This is a fascinating subject to me and I encounter this so frequently in my coaching work. Why do we always get what we fear? Why do things always turn out in the way we expect them to? In the main these questions are only asked when the outcome is something we do not want.
There is a big clue in my last sentence – when we focus on what we do not want, this is often all that we get. There are some fantastic books and articles on this and often I see that it gets explained by the universe not understanding the word not and delivering it to you. To me, although this in some way explains the outcome of what is happening, it doesn’t really place you at the centre of responsibility for what is happening in your life.
If you’ve ever done any goal setting, you may well understand that a good goal is phrased as what you do want, rather than what you do not want. e.g. I want to be confident (or better still I am confident) – instead of I am not going to be shy anymore. In the latter statement, we are focusing on what we do not want and therefore all that occupies our thinking is being shy. There’s no focus on being confident and you are unable to move away from being shy when you constantly tell yourself you are not going to be shy. All you are doing is reminding yourself that you are shy.
It’s very much the same with expectations and fears – if you expect your friend is going to let you down, you may be frightened of it or worried about it too, then there is very soon going to come a time that they are going to let you down. Why? Because you are going out of your way to look for situations where they can let you down. Because of this belief you hold about them, you are very likely to get involved in the process and help them (subconsciously) towards a place where they can let you down – thus supporting the fear, expectation and belief you hold about them. We are very good at proving ourselves right – in fact the brain has to do it. This is why if you can learn to focus your expectations on the positive outcomes you are looking for, your brain can get involved and help these positive outcomes come about. In the example here, you can expect that your friend is going to be a good, dependable friend and you will go out of your way to prove this is right.
It doesn’t really matter how you understand this process – if your view is that the universe will deliver what you ask for – whether it’s -ve because you are focused on what you do not want, or +ve because you are focused on what you do want, then that’s great. If you are more inclined towards the science of stuff, then you can learn about how your subconscious will support the thoughts and expectations you are having because it needs to prove it is right. Therefore if you focus on what you do not want, the chances are that your subconscious will move you towards proving your expectations of bad things right, whereas if you learn to focus only on what you do want, the subconscious can go about making that happen instead.
I’m sure there are many other ways to look at this, however the meaning and message are the same. I’d love to hear some more ideas!