Saturday, September 02, 2006

Power of Focus

What we focus on unrelentingly becomes our reality. If we believe the world is a horrible place and people in it are all abusers, that’s what we will see. We won’t notice the times people are kind to us, we won’t trust opportunities that may appear. And abusers will be able to spot us as likely victims.

On the other hand, if we focus on the good things that happen in our lives, if we encourage and welcome kindness and opportunities then that’s what we will find, more and more.

Expectations have a profound effect—on us and on the people around us. Study after psychological study has proven it. Children told they are stupid believe it and do worse than children who are told they are smart. People who are expected to behave well are far more likely to do so.

What does this mean for US? It means that we can affect our own behavior and experiences by what we choose to believe about ourselves. We will act differently if we choose to believe that we are worth loving, that we are intelligent and competent and able to do anything we put our minds to than if we repeat lies we may have been told—particularly by abusers—about ourselves.

We can affect how others treat us. If we greet them with smiles, expecting to be treated kindly and warmly, it is more likely to happen. If we treat others as though we expect them to live honorably and honestly and to treat us with respect and kindness, they are more likely to do so. AND WE ARE MORE LIKELY TO WALK AWAY IF THEY DON’T—both because we know we deserve to be treated better and because we can believe that there will be other people out there who will treat us with kindness and respect.

There is tremendous power in choosing to focus on the positive in our lives. That doesn’t mean bad things never happen, only that we choose to see ourselves as people to whom good things can and do happen.

How will you choose to live your life this week?

Sending safe and gentle (((((((hugs)))))),



keepers said...

i agree in general but when you are bending over backwards and still get ripped apart for being as kind and sensitive as possible what are you supposed to think then? Seems like here lately everyone is out to get us for no apparent reason. Just wondering.

thanks for letting me blow off some steam


jen said...

I agree about the power of focus, and about what you said about expectations. One problem that I have had and know some other survivors share is a tendency to think that they don't even have the right to expect to be treated well. Expectations mean a lot.

April_optimist said...


This is so important that I've done a whole new post on it. For me, when I got ripped apart even when I was kind and good to the other person, it was because the person wasn't someone I should be spending time with and/or they knew they could get away with it. I didn't value me so they didn't. Or they needed to hurt me to make themselves feel better. In some cases I walked away, in some cases, as I changed how I saw myself, they changed how they treated me. Anyway, see my new post. Thanks for raising his issue because it is important.

April_optimist said...


Yes!!! Expectations do mean a lot. It can be really powerful, then to write down how you would like to be treated. And begin picturing people treating you that way. Your comments and Keepers have sparked a new post. Thanks for saying something so important.