The Power of Focus For WLS Success
✓ Would you like to learn a simple tool that you can use to start getting better results with your health and weight?
✓ Would you like to know what to do when life seems to be going against you and you’re heading off track?
What we want to share with you today is the power of focus, and how your focus can heavily influence your health and weight results. By understanding the power of focus you’ll immediately be able to start getting better results after WLS and also in all other areas of your life. You’ll know what to do when life becomes challenging, and you’ll learn a powerful secret to success when it comes to your long-term health and weight management.
We’d like to start with a little experiment for you – take a look at the picture below for five seconds and notice all the things that are brown. How many brown things can you count in 5 seconds? Go!
Okay, now cover the picture with your hand. Do that now.
Now ask yourself, without checking the picture…. How many books were there? How many green objects were there?
What can you notice about your answers? I’m guessing you don’t have much of an idea about the cushions and green objects! Now look at the picture again, this time focusing on the books and green objects. There are quite a few aren’t there? And yet you didn’t notice them when you were only looking for brown things. Interesting isn’t it? Why did this happen?
It happened because you were focused on the objects that were brown, so you would have looked for them only, deleting all other colours or objects from your awareness. This is how your mind operates – it brings into your awareness what you tell it to focus on.
The reason that it does this is because there are so many things that you can pay attention to in life, but your brain can’t possibly process them all. For example, right now you could be paying attention to the feeling of your toes pressing against your shoes, or your heart beating, or listening to the noises outside, or looking at the corner of the ceiling (and now that we’ve mentioned them you perhaps are now paying attention to them!) and so on. There are literally billions of things that come through all of your senses that you could be paying attention to in any moment, but your brain would become inundated and unable to function if it paid attention to everything… So it filters most of it out and it pays attention to what you tell it is important and this then creates your reality.
By way of example, think of a time when you bought a particular product, like a car, or a certain gadget. Can you recall that before you decided to get the car or the gadget, you didn’t notice that particular product in your daily life? Now have a think about what changed once you made that decision to buy that thing. How many of that type of product did you begin to notice I wonder? You might recall that you probably started to see that car or that gadget almost everywhere you looked!
The important principle to take from this is that what you focus on in life tends to expand and creates your reality.
So how does this affect us and how can we use this? Well, let’s have a look at how this works when we’re faced with challenges in life.
If you’re faced with a challenge and you give all of your attention to that challenge and to what’s wrong in that situation, what’s going to happen? In all likelihood, you’ll probably start to feel worse and will experience negative emotions such as fear, frustration and overwhelm. And when you’re feeling like that, does that help solve the situation or does it tend to bring more challenges and problems into your experience?
Remember, what you focus on in life tends to expand and creates your reality.
So what should we do in this situation? Should we put rose-tinted glasses on, pretend there are no problems and always feel good? Absolutely not! That’s simply not healthy or sustainable. I’m not denying that life can be incredibly challenging – everyone experiences tough situations in their life and sometimes it can be very difficult to see the good in a situation. What I’m saying is that it’s important to focus on solutions rather than the problem – that is, to focus on what you want rather than what you don’t want because what you focus on in life tends to expand and creates your reality.
Imagine a gardener who comes into the garden and all they do is say ‘look at all the weeds, look at all the weeds, look at all the weeds, look at all the weeds!” and do nothing about it – nothing changes – in fact the problem will probably get worse as the weeds just continue to grow and grow. What the gardener is focusing on expands! Compare that to a gardener who comes into the garden and puts 5% of their attention on the problem. So they say “look at all the weeds” and then draw up a plan of how they want it to be, and then get down on their knees, pull out the weeds, put down some mulch and start planting fruit trees, and flowers, and herbs. What the gardener is focusing on expands and he starts to create a beautiful garden!
So the key is not to pretend that the challenge does not exist, the key is to place just 5% of our attention on the challenge and 95% of our attention on the solutions. This will then make a huge difference to the situation and to our lives. Most people usually however have the percentages the other way around, where they dwell on the problem, analyse and over analyse, and immerse themselves in it, and as a result find life in general quite a struggle.
Remember, what you focus on in life tends to expand and creates your reality.
Let’s apply this to your desire to reach your goal weight and health after WLS. Think about where your focus has been up to now and what’s been ‘expanding’ for you. Have you been focusing mostly on the problems and challenges you’ve been facing or have you been putting your attention mostly on the solutions? Have you been worrying and focusing on the results you don’t want? Worrying about ill health, weight plateaus, weight loss struggles, slipping back to your old ways and putting all the weight back on again, worrying that you won’t be able to do this and doubting or criticising yourself? Worrying about sabotaging yourself and getting in your own way?
Or, on the flipside, have you been focusing on the keys to successful weight management and great health, and on your strengths, constantly picturing a clear image of exactly how you want your new life to be, how you want your energy levels to be, how you want your health and body to be and on the action steps that you can take to get there?
A big clue as to what you’ve been focused on is actually how you’ve been feeling. When we have uncomfortable or painful emotions such as fear, self-doubt, worry, criticism, judgement, anger, frustration, anxiety, and so on, it’s generally because we’re focused on what we don’t want and our thoughts are all about that. We then feel bad and turn back to disempowering habits like comfort eating to try and feel better, and this then leads to more results that we don’t want. Thoughts about what we do want however will help make us feel better and will lead to the actions that are more likely to give us more results that we do want.
Thinking now about where your focus has been mostly up to now, I encourage you strongly to consistently turn your focus to what you want and to focus on solutions rather than the problem, in order to conspire for your success and for your desired results after WLS! You can choose your focus in any and every moment and where you put your focus changes your whole experience of the world – it really does create your reality.
In terms of your health, this means that jumping on the scales repeatedly and worrying constantly about putting weight back on is not going to get you where you want to be. Instead it’s important to focus on and visualise the way you want your health to be, to focus on the action steps that you can take to get there, and regularly planning and assessing your nutrition, your physical activity, your stress management and your sleep to make sure you’re on track.
So, aim to make sure that you’re consistently aware of where your focus is. Are you focusing on the weeds or are you focusing on the beautiful, healthy, energised garden that you want to create? Are you spending your time thinking about the problems, or the solutions? You’ll know by how you’re feeling!
To build your ‘focus muscle’ you might like to do the following activity:
- Take 5 minutes, 3 times a day for at least the next 7 days to reflect and write down how you’re feeling, what your inner thoughts are, what you are focusing on and what you have been focusing. Are you focusing on the challenges and worrying about putting weight back on or are you focusing on what you want and the steps to get there? Set a reminder to help you do this.
- Start to practice consistently redirecting your focus more consciously away from what you don’t want e.g. weight gain, plateaus, feeling stressed, the numbers not moving on the scales, limiting beliefs you have around not succeeding and so on… towards what you do want and the steps to get there e.g. visualising the results that you want, planning when you’re going to exercise, the healthy foods you’re going to eat, the steps you’re going to take to reduce stress, the actions that will put you in a good mood and help you feel more calm and peace…
This really will have a huge impact on your results after WLS.
This blog post originally appeared on the Fresh Start blog: https://freshstartprogram.mykajabi.com/blog
Reproduced with permission.