Having spent loads of time on what is missing in many areas of my life and realised how much time I have spent feeling inadequate because of this, I decided to focus upon what it is instead. The abundance I have experienced and celebrated ever since has been transformational. I was raised in a culture and in an environment where feeling proud of your achievements was a synonym of being arrogant or superior to others
Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer, in their book ‘the mindful self compassion workbook’ point out that our tendency to focus much more on what is wrong rather than on what is right in our lives is called negativity bias. The negativity bias is usually strong towards ourselves, as we tend to focus on our inadequacies rather than appreciate our strengths, we often have a skewed perspective of who we are. This attitude may stem from:
- our not wanting to alienate our friends by being arrogant
- Our belief that we do not need to focus on our good qualities, as it is not an issue that needs to be fixed
- Our belief that this will makes us superior and will separates us from others
Of course, there is a big difference between developing a greater awareness of our good qualities, and of our not so good ones, and saying that we are better than others, as a whole. However, if we focus on what we want but we do not have we will remain in a negative state of mind, while if we focus on what we do have and give thanks for it, we gradually reframe our experience and we attract more of what it is.
Nobody is telling that we should not try to have, or to obtain what we do not have, yet if we just focus our attention only onto what is missing and take for granted what it is, we will find ourselves in a vicious circle of discomfort.
Think about an experience you wish to be different. An experience where there are things you need more of, not a pretty significant one. You may close your eyes, take a deep breath and focus on three things that are good about it. Become aware of how good they are while they are happening and see what happens. Notice any sensations on your body that are new, any thoughts that are different. Remember that you can always choose where to focus on