How to Get Anything You Want
Really? How do you get what you want?
First, you can’t expect other people to give it to you. It has to come from you.
Here’s the secret: Keep uppermost in your mind that if you want to accomplish something (anything) you must first expect it of yourself.
I read this somewhere and have kept the saying because, over the years, it has proven so true – both for my therapy clients and myself as well. Sometimes I’ve achieved what I want with astonishing speed. It has made me a believer.
Watch a child learning to ride a bike. They are totally determined to master this skill and gain a freedom they never knew before. They are focused and it is uppermost in their minds. They aren’t allowing habitual negative thinking to be uppermost in their minds. They are concentrating on the task that they really want to master.
It doesn’t matter whether you are hoping to be the best athlete, lose weight, keep a clean house, be a better lover or parent, or…on and on, if you are just hoping for it, it is not so likely to occur. You have to “keep it forefront in your mind” as something that you are not hoping for – it must be something you are committed to achieving. How do you do that? Interestingly, there are many methods reported to succeed.
Some have used journaling every day, others use daily meditating on the desired outcome, and others say using the Biblical advice of “Pray all the time.” has produced miracles for them, even including healing. Some set alarms on their phone, while others find support in like-minded groups where the goal is stated, members reinforce it, as do regular meetings of some sort (even if it is meeting a friend for a walk, run or golf game). When I was younger I used to place Post-Its in various places where I’d see them a few times a day. Now I use Outlook because I have to look at my calendar several times a day, so I’m reminded quite often of what I want so I won’t lose sight or get distracted. But research shows that if you are visual, it is very helpful to have pictures in various places of what you want so that you are reminded visually several times a day. Others who want a car, for example, get a small model of the one they want and keep it on their work desk.
However, besides commitment and reinforcers, it is critical to examine automatic negative thoughts and messages you may be giving yourself that are unhelpful, untrue or not useful that say you can’t do or have what you want. This self-sabotage goes on daily in our heads without our realizing it about so many issues. Our thoughts control how we feel about ourselves and the world around us and what we can accomplish. Positive thoughts lead to us feeling good and negative thoughts can put us down. Sometimes our thoughts happen so quickly that we fail to notice them, but they can still affect our mood and our actions. These are called automatic thoughts. They are often negative or at least not useful. They can even apply to ruminations about romantic partners lost or present or things we’ve wanted but failed to achieve. Oftentimes, our automatic thoughts are negative and irrational – sometimes not, but they can still be intrusive and unwanted. Identifying these negative automatic thoughts and replacing them with new rational thoughts can improve our mood and ability to get what we want. Research shows the fastest and most effective way of addressing this is with CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). Ask your therapist about this valuable tool or in the Bay Area contact me.
Therapy can be useful to clarify, quantify and help achieve your goals. And get you on the path that’s right for you…
Sharon Valentino, CHT, LMFT, CATC IV – Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, MFC51746, Addictions, Life Transitions, Habits, Goals, Achievement, Substance Abuse and Relapse, Anxiety, Depression, Aging, Relationships, Major Life & Business Decisions, Website: http://www.valentinotherapy.com – 3030 Bridgeway, Suite 108, Sausalito, CA 94965
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