Six things I need you to know (part two)
Your life is what you focus on
I used to have depression. I don’t hide it. It’s important to share the lows and the highs because life isn’t always easy, especially when you have a bold new vision that reaches far beyond your current means, circumstances and reality.
Back in July 2015, I had such a vision. I wanted to be happy. I wanted to be wealthy. I wanted to be fit. But more than all of this, I wanted to create a space where people felt safe to declare their ambitions and take a few risks in making those ambitious goals a reality. I wanted to help people live their dream lives because I knew that when they did that, they’d change the world.
As I later learnt, I wanted to create that space because it’s something I never had but always craved.
You see, I grew up ‘in the system’, much like many of you reading this blog. We were taught to get a good education, get a job, find love, buy nice things – like holidays, watches and perfume – and knuckle down until retirement. Or something along those lines and this life landscape didn’t just come from parents. It came from soaps, movies and magazines.
For some reason, this was never enough for me. I wanted more! More joy, more happiness, more freedom. As Jack Canfield writes in his book ‘The Key to Living the Law of Attraction’ “We are, as a people, looking within, questioning our priorities, and searching for a deeper meaning in our lives”. This sums it up beautifully.
And so, back in 2012 (or so) I left the world of work to set up on my own, launching my very first business. It has been a long journey full of highs and lows since then and this blog isn’t about that…I’ve got to save something for the book haven’t I! This blog is about one of the most important lessons I learnt on that journey…you are what you think about: your life is what you focus on.
Have you ever had one of those moments when fears grabs hold of you, pushes you to the floor and says ‘NO, that won’t work and here are all the reasons why not’? I have. I get it almost daily. It’s my default: focusing on lack. And I think it’s the default for a lot of us. We’re afraid to fail. We want that recognition. We’re programmed to succeed. We spend more time trying to get it right for other people than for ourselves.
Something has gone wrong because we’re not born like this; programmed to succeed. We’re born programmed to grow! It’s societal expectations that have warped our understanding of success to mean ‘get it right first time’ rather than ‘go on the journey and work towards abundance’.
I’m very much a ‘go on the journey’ kind of girl but I never used to be. I used to be obsessed with success. Being top. Being first. At school, I was Head Girl. When I sold books in America I was the only one who completed the programme. When I joined my first graduate programme I had to get the top performance ratings – three ‘one’ ratings. When I launched my second business it had to grow quickly – I tripled the revenue three years running. These targets and this incessant need to be ‘top’ led to depression. As Tony Robbins says: “Success without fulfilment is the biggest failure”.
I had it all but I had nothing at all because I just wasn’t happy. I wasn’t living my purpose. I wasn’t expressing my true gifts and so even though I had achieved a lot of success, I felt like a huge failure and that’s what I focused on for a long time. Lucky for me, I did notice. I woke up and started making huge, transformative changes. Within 18 months, I’d changed every single aspect of my life. I went from being £70k in debt to being in the black in all my accounts. I lost just under a stone to hit my dream weight. I got over depression. I launched my dream business. I fell in love.
And behind it all was one key change: I stopped focusing on lack – on what I didn’t want – and I started focusing on abundance, on what I did want.
When I had depression, I realised looking back, I would focus on what I didn’t have. I’d list all the ways things could go wrong. I’d remember everything I hadn’t achieved. I’d compare myself to other people who were more successful. I’d criticise myself for not working hard enough or making the right decisions or making the wrong move. I’d look in the mirror and tell myself I was fat. No wonder I had depression!
And I know I’m not alone here…we all do it. Although the abuse we throw at ourselves does vary in subject matter, frequency and harness of course.
The change came when I read ‘The Magic’ at the start of 2016. The book is a 28-day programme that demonstrates how gratitude plays a major role in the Law of Attraction. In simple terms: you attract more of what you focus on. If you focus on debt, you attract more debt. If you focus on depression, well, you can guess what happens.
On day one, you’re asked to begin a gratitude diary to ‘count your blessings’. Each morning when you wake up you have to write down ten things you’re grateful for and explain why. In doing so, you’re encouraged to really feel the gratitude you have for each item. For example, if you normally curse the gym / exercise you could begin your morning by practicing gratitude for having legs strong enough to allow you to run or enough money to afford the gym fees or a heart and lungs that enable you to walk to work. If you normally frown when a bill arrives, pay it gladly and remember how grateful you were for the service or the purchase. For example, if it’s a heating bill – how lucky are we to have heat in our homes?
When I read this lesson, I began applying it immediately and I’ve never stopped since. The change in my mindset as a result has been phenomenal. Now, whenever I complain, I hear myself, I stop and I look for what I’m grateful for. I even write on my bills ‘THANK YOU’ with a reason as to why I’m grateful! Mostly I’m now grateful for having the cash to pay the bills on the time because this was not the case 18 months ago.
This approach has transformed my whole life! You see, your life is what you focus on and you get more of what you focus on. It’s just a fact. Why focus on lack and deprivation when you can focus on abundance and supply?
As I read more and more about this and, perhaps more importantly, as I experience more and more success* (*read fulfilment) because of this I know more and more deeply that you are what you think about: your life is what you choose to focus on.
In her latest book ‘Abundance Now’, Lisa Nichols (one of my all-time fav speakers!) talks about this in depth. “We become what we most think about. Your new possibilities and success can be created by you and only you. You will become what you think about every day”.
In her book – a complete manual for an abundant life – Lisa brings into focus the power of visualisation exercises and I know why. More and more research is coming out to prove that your subconscious mind will seek to create whatever image you hold to be true in your mind. If you visualise a world of wealth, health and abundance your reticular activating system will work around the clock to spot opportunities to bring your vision and reality into alignment.
The same is true is you focus on poverty, poor health and lack.
This is why, before I go to bed, I give my subconscious mind a mission. I tell it every night: “give me a million-pound idea that expands my reach to positively impact people’s lives”. It’s not just about the money, it’s about bringing my messages of transformation to more and more people. When I wake up (and often throughout the day) I write down all the ideas that come to me! This blog series (Six Things I Need You To Know) was one idea. My book was another idea. And DARETOGROW | The Journey vlog series was another.
The trick is, as Lisa Nichols rightly says: “To achieve an abundant life…you’re going to have to take the position (as I did) that you would rather make a fool of yourself reaching for the extraordinary – than be complacent, ordinary, and living in mediocrity”.
People who succeed in life (whatever success means to you) know this. They take a risk on themselves. They step out in faith. Rather than exploring all the ways it could go wrong, they choose to focus on all the ways it could go right and take action to back this up. Yes they falter. Yes they make a few wrong moves but they takes these hiccups and lessons learnt and keep going. Because they know the secret…
Happy, successful and deeply fulfilled people practice the Law of Attraction: choosing to live in a place of gratitude, sending out what they want to receive back.
I mean put it this way, you can’t be a mean person and have good friendships. Whatever frequency you vibrate on in life, you’re going to get back. Does that make sense? As Jack Canfield writes in his book ‘The Key to Living the Law of Attraction’ “At any given moment, the Universe is automatically responding to your every thought, feeling, and action. It has no choice; it’s simply the way things work”.
And it’s true. I know it is. I’ve experienced it.
Imagine living in that way? Taking full responsibility for your thoughts, your actions and your results. Looking for the positive in every situation. Practicing gratitude every single day. Can you imagine how your life would change?
This is what I did last year. I stopped blaming society, my parents, my clients, the economy and I put it all on me. If something didn’t happen…it’s on me to turn it around! If I ran out of money…it’s on me to find a way forward! If I had depression…it’s up to me to find a solution! And this is how I turned my life around. I took full responsibility, I focused on what I had and I looked for new ways forward.
“If I got myself here”, I’d say, “I can get myself ‘there’, where I want to be”. And I did. I have.
Your life is what you focus on. Start focusing on what you want and practice gratitude for what you have. The results will astound you!
Need a little more guidance?
I’m about to launch a free online course to guide you through this process. It’s a 6 day course and I’ll be sending you one 5 minute video every day for 6 days to share the key ideas and give you a process to follow to get moving.
If you’re interested, sign up below and I’ll tell you when it’s ready!