What are you focusing on ?
Updated: Nov 23, 2021
Has this ever happened to you? Someone asks you one small question about your work, some type of dish you made, or brings up a memory of your past… and then... one thought pops into your mind
“ oh no, what if they hate me?”
And then another
“Oh no, what if they tell everybody?”
And then another
“Oh no, what's wrong with me?”
and then another
" Oh no, what if they didn't like..."
And before you know it, one small word or phrase eventually leads to a whole story about something that will most most probably never happen or something that is completely untrue about you and yet that one thought ends up hijacking our whole day or even our whole life.
At some point or another does it ever get exhausting to go around and around with made-up thoughts in your head? The truth is by simply shifting our thoughts and changing our focus, there are a few things that we can do to almost eradicate this negative cycle.
First, let’s take a look at what a simple Google search of the word “magnify” means. As it turns out, there are 2 definitions
make (something) appear larger than it is, especially with a lens or microscope.
praise highly; glorify.
During times when our thoughts may get the best of us, we have 2 options.
The first, is to just let our thoughts highjack our whole day. We pick the one simple thought and then dissect and analyze it and create a new false story that we end up repeating over and over again.
What can we do when this happens?
This is where we can look at the second option. Psalm 34:3 says, we can magnify the Lord. The way that we can do this is by repeating some of God’s promises. One of my favorite verses is from Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon formed against you shall prosper” I say this to myself and share it with friends when they are going through their own difficulties as a reminder that no matter what, as long I shift my focus and set my eyes on God, then that’s all that matters. I know that if He got me through some of the hardest times of my life, than He will get me through this too!
Find your favorite bible verse, and keep it in a place where you can read it throughout the day until it becomes ingrained in your mind!
How can we shift our focus?
Pay attention to what you’re listening to and watching
Take a minute to think about what you watch, listen to and read. Is it content that inspires you and lifts you up? Is the latest breaking news blasting off from your TV, are you listening or watching something which is uninspiring? Is your house out of order? Is your phone blasting notifications? Have a look around you when the little hamster wheel of anxiety is going around and around in your head. Try to shut something down, amplify that worship music , take out your notepad and talk to God about what’s going on!
If what you’re watching, listening to, or reading is uninspiring, than it is so important to to scroll forward or unsubscribe and consuming content which inspires you instead of drains you
In any situation, whether I’ve got a big meeting or if I’m feeling burnt out, it’s usually because I’m consuming too much news and entertainment. Sometimes all I need to hear is a little gospel music for inspiration. .
Look up and just think about God!
In the book of Matthew 14:22-33, Jesus asks Peter to walk on the water and heads toward him. Peter immediately decided to step out of the boat and started walking toward Jesus. He seems to be doing fine until starts to notice the storm around him and starts to sink. But when Peter cries out to Jesus, Jesus grabs on to him and he eventually is able to go to him.
How many of us are Peter when going through a difficult time? Some of us become so focused on the storm that we do not see that the answer to our problems and the other side of the problem, is just one step away.
Apart from writing, I have also been an English teacher for the last six years. I usually teach online to students from all over the world and the most frequently asked question that I get from students is “ Teacher, I am so horrible at English, how can I become a better English speaker?”
It is at that moment where I tell the student that it is important to remain positive and to shift their focus to what they can do instead of what they can’t do. Focusing on the little habits that they can create to start listening to the English language throughout the day ( such as listening to a podcast on their way to work/school, watching an English series on Netflix, or reading a quick article in English while eating their breakfast or on their lunch break) can help them to see the little ways that they can improve their English language skills.
This is why it’s so important to keep focusing on God and to pour yourself over His word. It’s easy to praise God when everything is going right in our lives. But when one little thing goes wrong, we have the choice to set off a chain of events. What sets off that chain of events, is what we end up magnifying. When we magnify God, and shift our focus to what He can do and all the other times in which He got us through every single situation, that will often end up being the difference between sinking and walking on water.