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When did we all get so obsessed with what we don't want?


From relationships to jobs to families, we’ve all got a little obsessed by what we don’t want.  If you don’t know what I mean.  Read the following and see if they ring any bells, whether that’s coming from your own mouth or someone else’s.

I don’t want to be stressed

I don’t want to have to compromise myself

I don’t want to feel this way

I don’t want to be disorganised

I don’t want to be treated like...

I could go on, but I think you get the idea!  It’s a trap I’ve fallen into many times myself and have noticed often in others.  Recently I moved roles within my company and took over a senior management position with an already established team.  This was the first time I had done this as previously I had generally come up through the ranks so people already knew and hopefully liked me - I’m sure people pleasing will be a future post!

Upon starting, I met with each individual team member to find out more about them and how they felt in their role and importantly how they like to be managed.  Nearly every person I asked this question to did not have an answer, I re-framed it to ask what they don’t like in a manager and suddenly the answer becomes clearer.

Sometimes we need to think about what we don’t want to be clear about what we do and motivation works differently for us all.  Some of us are motivated towards things and others are motivated away from things.   But, wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t need to get bogged down in the detail of everything we dislike in our job, relationship, family and instead think about what we do want.

Once we know what we want we can then figure out how we will get there and put in those small action steps I keep talking about.

If you only focus on what you don’t want, it’s really hard to get anywhere.

Think about it as a physical destination, if you know where you want to go, you will get there, if you only know all the places that you don’t want to go, it becomes a little harder!

I know some people will be reading this thinking “but I don’t know what I want!!” I get it.  But on some level you do, you might not know the exact specifics but you will have an idea of how you want a relationship or job to make you feel.  Then you can break it down by thinking what makes you feel that way and keep breaking it down further.  

Here is a simplified example.

When I returned from travelling I was unclear about what I wanted, I was stuck focusing on what I didn’t want.  I couldn’t think what career would be right for me long term but I knew what I didn’t want.  

Then I started thinking about what I wanted.  Words such as fulfilment and balance came up.  Then I thought about what brought me fulfilment and balance, then things like developing others, helping people grow as well as boundaries at work, working for myself started to come forward.  

This then started to shape my way so that I could be really clear on what I was striving for.

This is really important because not only does it help you know what you might want, but also our subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between what you want or what you don’t want, it only knows what you are focusing on.  By focusing on what you want your subconscious mind helps you to work towards it.  You will start to notice opportunities that present themselves to you and before you know it you are one or two steps closer to your goal.

If you learn one thing today, please, let it be to focus on what you want!

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