|Change your focus|
Let us continue with the process we started in our last blog post “I forgot”.
If you identified what you have been feeding (maybe unconsciously until now), you will be faced by the thought, ‘How am I going to overcome it?’
This is a very good question which we will now address.
How did these feelings shape your behaviour?
Let’s say you have always been a patient person, tolerant and understanding of others, but due to what you have been through, you have turned into an impulsive, impatient and irritable person.
The truth is that you do not like your own behaviour. After responding rudely to someone or acting in an abrupt manner, you regret what you did or feel ashamed and wish you could go back in time to react differently.
You then promise never to allow such a thing to happen again, but a few days later, there you are in the same downcast frame of mind because you could not control your impulsiveness.
In other words, you know how you react, but never understood that this reaction is the result of bottled-up feelings ruling your heart.
I gave one example to illustrate the issue, but you can use any other feelings and behaviour to the same effect. You behave in ways that you do not like or approve of, but feel you do not have control over these reactions.
Until you are able to detect these feelings and reactions, you will not be able to change your attitudes.
Notice that we are talking about feelings and recurrent reactions. We are dealing with the fruits of emotion and responses in your heart.
To overpower them, we need to activate another part of us -- our reasoning, our mind.
If you identify something in your reactions that you disapprove of, you need to know when and how it started and why it shaped your behaviour. Then you need to decide to do the opposite.
Think clearly about your feelings/attitudes/dissatisfaction with your behaviour and plan in your mind how you would prefer to react or deal with such situations.
Let’s go back to the example ... if someone says a cross word to you and your first impulse is to answer in a certain way, you know that if you do so, you will regret it afterwards. Remember too that words spoken cannot be taken back.
Repeat to yourself: “I am not this impulsive, impatient or nervous person. I do not need to respond in this manner. I do not need to break the house down. I do not need to raise my voice, but I can decide to act differently.”
Immediately, after turning your thoughts towards the way you would rather act, this will make you feel proud of yourself. Notice that your thought has changed its focus. Instead of dwelling on your impulsiveness, you thought of your ideal behaviour.
Look now for the impatience and anger. Did they go away? There was no magic, only a simple choice -- a decision to change your focus.
This approach requires exercise and practice. Start by remembering, “Everything is possible for those who believe.”
Tell us more about your experiences.