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Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want

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full potential comes from building the new
Focus on what you want to reach your full potential.

Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want

By Barbara Steingas

From the time we are born, we are taught our limitations and we are broken of our full potential. Our parents and caretakers, although well-meaning, tell us what we can’t or shouldn’t do in hopes of protecting us. Even though this is intended for our benefit, it teaches us to focus mainly on our limitations. Rather than focusing on our full potential and what we want to have happen, we instead focus on what we don’t want.

For example, we are often told, “Don’t forget (something),” rather than, “Remember (something).” We also have the word “no” said to us an incredible amount of times by the time we are about ten years old. The book What to Say When You Talk to Yourself by Shad Helmstetter is all about the negative conditioning we receive as we grow up.

As a result of this negative conditioning, we become proficient in thinking about what we don’t want and we can’t understand why we don’t often get what we really want in life. To illustrate, have you or someone you know said, “Why can’t I get ahead in life?” This is an example of a self-fulfilling prophecy because the more we tell ourselves this story, the more it will continue to be true.


Focus on health

Getting sick with a chronic autoimmune illness helped me realize this concept. Part of my health puzzle was realizing that I needed to stop focusing on the disease that I didn’t want. I needed to shift my focus to the health I wanted. At first, I hoped this was possible. Eventually, with continued practice, I began to believe it was possible. Instead of crying out to God how I didn’t want to be sick anymore, I learned positive prayer techniques through the book Discover the Power Within You, by Eric Butterworth, a minister from Unity School of Christianity. This book taught me to pray by giving thanks to God for my health.

Initially, this was difficult to do because the pain and lack of energy from being sick were so intense and hard to not focus on. It was like a huge closed door directly in my face. The possibility of feeling healthy again felt so far in the distance. Even still, I followed Butterworth’s instruction by continuing to give daily thanks for my health. The book said that eventually belief would catch up. This would be because my focus would gradually shift more and more to health and less and less on being ill.

This wasn’t the only strategy that got me well, but it was a major piece in my puzzle. It took some time and effort, but the only other choice was to stay gravely ill and probably die from the disease. That was no longer an option I was willing to accept.


Reach your full potential: Tips to focus on your goal

In what areas of your life are you focusing on what you don’t like or want rather than on what you do like or want? It doesn’t just apply to major areas of our lives, but also on the smaller daily situations.

To help shift my thoughts and focus, I printed out positive sayings. I then placed them were I would see them throughout the day, both at home and at work. We all need reminders to help us stay on track. And eventually, those reminders will become more automatic to keep our thoughts on our goals and dreams so we can achieve them. I encourage you to write down all the things you want in your life. After you write them down, read and focus your thoughts on them. Do this as often as you can throughout your day and see the magic start to happen in your life.


Curious about how to shift your focus to better health? A mini coaching session with Danielle Rose can help you find the right focus to help you achieve your goals. Or you can also contact to set up a session to discuss your healing goals.

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