How To Turn Toward Your Personal Goals And Away From Pain

Are you focusing on pain or your personal goals?

How To Focus On Your Personal Goals Getty

It's summer and change is all around. School is out, and it’s time to celebrate your achievements and to make new personal goals.

So, why does getting what you dream about seem so challenging? Why is it that just when you are about to make the leap forward, you slide backward?

It’s really interesting, actually. From a brain perspective, that is...

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The "backward slide" into negative self-talk.

This backward slide seems to bring with it a reinforcement of past negative thoughts and self-talk like, "I’m not strong enough," "I’m weak-willed," "I’m not smart enough," and "I’m lazy."

But actually, it’s usually none of these things at all. It’s a component of strategies. And it has to do with the direction of your thoughts: Toward your goals, or away from your pain.

Refining your strategy.

Strategy refers to "how" you do what you do. This month, you need to refine your strategy focus in terms of the "movie in your head" that you're creating.


Are you focusing on what you really want, or on not creating more of what you don’t want?

Regaining focus from your "monkey mind."

By "focus," I’m referring to that little voice in your head that chatters at you all day long. You know the one with all the negative, disaster-prone thoughts? This is what I refer to as your “monkey-mind.”

Let’s use money as an example. Most people want more money in their lives. So if you ask yourself, "When you think about having more money, do you have a picture?” You'll probably say yes.

But if you try to detail the sights, sounds, and feelings of what you're seeing, you might say something like, “So, now the bill collector won’t call,” or, “My spouse won’t yell at me over the credit card bill,” or, “I won't hear my parents telling me I’ll never understand money anymore."


These are called "away-froms." The brain cannot process negatives, so this translates in your brain to... Having more of whatever negative effect you're fearing.

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Whatever you focus on grows.

The rule is: Whatever you focus on grows. So, focusing on what you don’t want brings more of that into your life!

What the monkey-mind continually chatters about is what you'll get!

An exercise in visualization. 

If you’re willing to use a quick and powerful tool to keep you on track to your goals, then go through the following exercise...

Imagine that a magic wand has waved itself over your life, and there's nothing to fix! You have all the money you really need to live the way you wish to live. You're healthy. You're in a great and passionate relationship.


Remember to really imagine that this is the case! See it. Hear it. Feel it. It’s just an imagination exercise, so really play at 100 percent.

Ask yourself, “Now what?” Imagine in detail,with all of the color, sights, smells, sounds, and textures possible. If you weren’t spending all your time on problems, what would you create with your life? Imagine it. See it. Hear it. Feel it. Make it so real that you can taste it.

This becomes your new goal. Now, if you said “I don’t know,” then that’s the problem! You can’t create something unless you know what you’re creating.


Spend as much time every day with this new goal as you did with your problem. Talk about it with friends and family, imagine it, research it on the internet, draw it, create a brain map to it, make it real to yourself and everyone around you.

That way, you will be spending your energy creating something positive, rather than negative.

Remind yourself that this is more than a "think good thoughts" game. This requires specifics, time, energy, and eventually it might even entail money, too. But one thing at a time.

Begin to make your goals and dreams more real to you than your obstacles, and you will reprogram your own unconscious to use all of your resources to create consciously toward your goals. It happens fairly quickly, and it’s fun, too.


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Dr. Kim is Canada’s board-designated master trainer in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), hypnosis, timeline therapy, and NLP results coaching. For more information on how she can help you, visit her website here.