Understanding Your Focus
We all know that if we want to do something well, we need to focus and prepare. Common practice is to prepare for every possible scenario, both the good and the bad. However, if you want to succeed, you need to focus on where you want to go, not on what you cannot control.
James Hayes, an Executive Leadership and Management Coach, shares with us that when he first began presenting in front of large groups, his preparation was focused on preventing all of the things he did not want to happen. In his mind, his energy was focused on what to do if the audience was skeptical, unruly, or became disengaged. His intention to be prepared was positive, but it was focused on what he did not want, sending his mind to situations beyond his control.
The problem with this type of preparation is that it is sending your focus where you do not want to go. You go where you are looking, and if you are looking for problems, that is where your brain is focused and where you are likely to end up. When you are thinking about what could go wrong, you create an anxious experience, rather than an empowered resourceful state experience.
Fear causes you to look at the very object you fear, and when you look at something, your body and mind tend to follow. Take, for example, race car drivers that train at high speeds. A serious concern is skidding into the wall. If they look at the wall, that is where they become focused, and they are likely to hit the wall as the body and mind follow the focus. The paradox they must overcome is that in order to avoid the wall, they must not focus their thoughts on avoiding the wall.
Changing Your Focus
James realized that he was making a mistake by focusing his preparation on what could go wrong. He knew he needed to change his strategy and empower himself to be successful. James changed his thinking to focus on the state he wanted to be in by shifting his thoughts to what he would do right.
By changing the focus of your mind, you change the quality of information that is generating the scenarios for which you are preparing. This can have a big impact on your state because as you change your thoughts to those of success, your focus moves to what you can control instead of what you cannot control.
If you focus on what you cannot control, your awareness moves away from your personal power. When you focus on the possibilities, the process turns productive, and your state becomes motivated and excited. Empowerment is bringing your attention and your focus to the things you can control. What you focus on, you give energy to, and what you give energy to is what you bring to life.
Three Steps to Empowerment
If you want to become empowered and change your state to focus on the positive, it is a simple three step process.
Step 1: Ask yourself what are the things you can control in this situation. Your answers should focus on your thoughts, your feelings, what you say, and what you do. These are the four powers you can control.
Step 2: Think about how you will control your experience. What is it that will allow you to have the experience you desire? What can you do to get into the right state before encountering the situation?
Step 3: The final step is forgetting about anything that does not fit into the four powers. Focusing on what you can control gives you more influence with others. The more you focus on things outside of what you can control, the less influence you have because you will be less empowered.
This three-step process is a constructive empowered process because it shifts your attention to positive solutions and outcomes. Instead of focusing your energy on what you do not want to happen, follow these three steps and change your strategy. If you want to succeed, look at where you want to go and focus on what you can control.