You Find What You’re Looking For

We’re always looking for something in our lives, from meaningful relationships to finding our lost keys or the socks the dryer has eaten, which you known you’ll probably never find. But what we’re talking about here is finding what you think you’ll find as you go about your day in a deeper way.  Some things are givens such as whether it’s thinking your spouse will be mad because you forgot to pick up that dress at the cleaners she was going to wear tonight for a gala event—and yes, you’re right, you’ll find she’s going to be mad. Other things are a little more muddled such as believing your horoscope when it says you will have a not so spectacular day and whatever happens that day lends credence to some predictions from an obscure source.  The truth is that you find what you’re looking for because what you see in your life is what you think, which in turn affects what you can accomplish. Remember our blog about the Little Engine That Could? It’s called the self-fulfilling prophecy and here is how it works.

The self-fulfilling prophecy is your brain fulfilling what you’ve convinced yourself you think so that you alter your actions and, therefore, make whatever you think come true. For example, the horoscope that implies you’re going to have a lousy day might make you do things to have that lousy day or maybe not even get out of bed. So when something doesn’t work out the way you hoped it would, you might simply slough it off as “my horoscope said I’d have a lousy day” and accept no responsibility because the stars told you this would happen. While this may be an unconscious gesture it’s often manifested in reality and can lead someone to be constricted with fear, worry and indecisiveness that can be harmful when there is no basis for it.  It often happens in the stock market when some pundit says the sky is falling and people decide to liquidate their investments because they’re already anxious about their retirement funds and thus lose money and reinforcing that anxiety. But most often it happens when people’s prejudices bubble up against a particular group or individual because they might look different, or come from a foreign land or a different part of the country, or worship a different religion or dress in ways we don’t understand.

But all is not lost! You could also believe a positive self-fulfilling prophecy like saying to yourself, “I’m going to have a great day” and you might act in ways that will actually make this prediction true. And you might educate yourself about those groups or individuals that instill anxiety in you so you can understand and relate better to them and live a less stressful life. Every day we decide how our day is going to turn out, whether we love our spouses or significant others—flaws and all—whether we want to tolerate those around us that are different, and whether we are going to throw out the thoughts that block a more positive point of view out the window. Only you can influence your life so how’s your day going?

To schedule an appointment with Ben Novell, LMFTJanelle Novell, LMFT,RPT-S or any of our therapists, please call 951-252-9911.

(Image from sproutsocial.com)