Years ago, an ex-boyfriend gave me Rhonda Byrne’s, The Secret to read. He sold it to me as an awesome self-help book: I found it to be an arduous read. I just couldn’t understand how someone had written a book on the subject of something that should have been a leaflet, or a one-page blog post. Yes – I’m a massive believer in the power of focus. I just don’t necessarily believe that imagining you already own a brand new Mini-Cooper is going to bring you a brand new Mini-Cooper. “Ask – believe – receive,” Byrne tells us. The universe will provide whatever we desire. Not only is this concept ridiculous, but it’s also rather cringey. Even if you’re open to the idea that the universe is somehow conspiring to either give or withhold things from you individually, surely it has better things to think about than sending you a new car!
I digress. As much as I disagree with the packaged ‘Secret’ version of the Law of Attraction, I completely believe in the power of focusing on what you want, rather than what you don’t.
Years ago, when anxiety had me in its clutches, my inner-voice was constantly focusing on the negative. The statements, questions, commands, beliefs in my head were all centered around what I didn’t want.
What if someone see my lip quivering and thinks I’m pathetic?
I’m never going to be any good at this.
Why do I even bother?
I hate this. I hate me.
We all know someone who constantly repeats the same brutal crash diets, telling themselves that they just don’t want to be an ugly fat cow anymore. The reasons they have to repeat the diet is because it never works. And this certainly isn’t helped by the negativity around which their inner-language is framed. I wonder how their results might differ if they instead said, “I want to be slim, energetic, active and alive.”
Wherever you look, that’s where you’ll go
My favourite analogy for this is that of when you’re learning to drive. One of the things that my poor long-suffering instructor used to repeat was, “Wherever you look, that’s where you’ll go.”
If I was staring at oncoming traffic, my car would naturally drive into oncoming traffic. If I was distracted by a pigeon on the side of the road, I’d likely go into the curb. If I kept my focus on the road ahead, then I’d keep on driving and get where I was going safely.
If you’re focusing on your anxiety; your faults (or someone elses’); your problems; or the extra few inches around your waistline; then you’re feeding it.
You won’t create a beautiful garden by only feeding the weeds. Plant some flowers instead – feed them! You’ll find that the weeds die out on their own.
From my own experience, I found the more I focused on the positive – or just more realistic in most cases – I became dramatically happier.
Are you a believer in the Law of Attraction? Have I given up on ‘The Secret’ too soon? Did the universe send you a new car, or a cheque? Thoughts welcome: