Be the Center of Your Attention
Whether in a coaching session or sitting in a restaurant, I frequently hear people say, “If only I could just get that contract.” Or, “If I could just get her to go out with me!” Or, “If I had a house like that (or a car or a job or a salary or an investment portfolio or a child, or…) I would be so happy.”
These statements are loaded with LIES™ and demonstrate how we quest after things outside ourselves, thinking that is where our happiness, meaning and safety reside. I hate to break it to you, but it just ain’t so. What will fulfill you is inside. It’s You. Will you focus and go there?
In a coaching conversation with Justine, we talked about the value of focusing her attention. Like a lot of people, she said, “Oh, I don’t know about that,” laughing nervously.
Frequently, when I hear people say, “I don’t know,” it’s the same as shouting, “I’m terrified. That scares me.”
I asked Justine, “What is it about trying to silence the constant chatter in your mind that bothers you?”
She had a litany of reasons. “First, I don’t know if I can. I’ve tried before and I can’t stop the chattering. It’s frustrating. Plus, what if I get quiet and there’s nothing in there?”
There was that nervous laughter again. Then the bigger concerns came. “What if I hear something that I don’t want to know or I have to do something I don’t want to do?”
While Justine’s anxiety is shared by scores of people, I have learned that the only way to overcome an issue is to get still and go within to the place where it resides – get to the emotional root. If not, you’ll spend your life problem-solving instead of living.
When you deal with symptoms, you perpetually address the same issues. Time passes and you are talking about the same difficulty you had last week, last year, ten years ago. Sound familiar? The problem doesn’t change because you haven’t changed; there has been no internal shift.
Obsessing is a definite warning signal that it’s time to look within. The alert is sounding when you notice that someone else or some thing else has become the focus of your attention, be it for behavior you admire or disdain.
Grab hold of your energy, get quiet, go within, and ask:
- Why am I paying so much attention to (name the person or situation)?
- What am I not seeing in myself that I am seeing in him, her or it?
- In what way is what I’m admiring or complaining about also true of me?