Have you ever been so fixated on something that you can’t get it out of your head? Be careful, you could have target fixation.
Target fixation is a phenomenon that happens when the brain is focused so intently on an object that awareness towards any other objects is completely diminished.
The term seems to have originated from World War II fighter pilots, who spoke of a tendency to want to fly into targets during a strafing run. It also has been known to cause skydiving deaths, in which the skydiver will focus on the target or the ground and forget to pull the cord to open the parachute!
Another example is a motorcycle or bicycle will tend to go where the rider is looking; if the rider is overly focused on an obstacle, the cycle can collide with that object simply because of the rider’s focus on it, even though the rider is ostensibly trying to avoid it.”
We have always heard that what we focus on becomes our reality. So if you focus on something negative, you’ll probably get it – even if you don’t want it.
How do you train your mind to focus on what you do want and not what you don’t want?
State your goals in the positive.
“I don’t want to be overweight”, becomes, “I want lose 15 lbs and be healthy.”
I want to stop fighting with my partner becomes “I need to pick my battles and learn new tools.
“I want to stop worrying about money” becomes “I want to create abundance and be debt-free.”
“I don’t want to be alone” becomes “I want a loving, passionate relationship.”
You get the idea.
Focus on the outcome you want to achieve, not on what you are afraid may happen.
It’s easy to focus on our fears. I remember as soon as I found out my son had cancer, all I could think about was the worst case scenario.
I had to rewire my brain to focus on his healing. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life, but it worked.
He says now that he has only positive memories from that time in his life.
You have to discipline your mind. An out of control mind will cause trouble and play tricks on you.
Practice focusing on what you want. When your mind wanders, gently bring it back. Soon, just like a muscle, it will be remember. It will get easier and easier.
Can you be too focused on what you want?
Do you ever get so focused on something that you drive yourself and other people crazy? Like a pitbull, you grab hold of something and can’t let go?
I have a confession here. I use to be a bit of a control freak. Ok…a BIG control freak! I would focus on something my partner “needed” to do, or not do, and then nag him about it daily, hoping he would “get it”.
I realized that my behavior was creating the opposite of what I wanted. I backed off and learned to be more flexible. I let go of my view of how it “should” be. I started expressing my needs without nagging and came from a loving, more positive place.
Are you are so focused that you mentally disappear off the face of the earth? It’s important to consider how your focus is affecting those you love. Positive, intentional focus can get you what you want, but not at the expense of those you love or your health. Stay balanced.
It takes time…
When you change your focus, you don’t immediately change your direction. Often there is a time lag between when you redirect your focus and when your life catches up. That’s why its important to start now.
Like a camera, your focus only gives you a small portion of the big picture. How many times do we make things bigger than they really are or distort reality with our view?
Focus determines if you see your reality as good or bad, whether you feel happy or sad. When you think of something that upsets you, redirect your brain and think of something that makes you happy.
You are in charge of your own thoughts. So choose what you think about carefully. Your thoughts become your focus and your focus becomes your reality.
Decide to create a laser-sharp focus on what you want and do not allow negative thoughts to occupy your mind for long.
And remember …the distance between what you want and what you get is what you focus on.