What You Focus on Grows

A Garden Metaphor: How Does Your Garden Grow?

What are you planting in your garden of life? Life is like a garden, and what’s growing in our lives is that which we’ve planted. Sure… some of it is weeds we didn’t ask for. But what you focus on grows, so focus on the good and you’ll have more of that.

Plant the seeds you want to grow and tend them well. The more they grow the less room for weeds. Whether in this garden metaphor or in your life and work… what you focus on is what grows more fully in your life.

Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t.

~iCreateDaily.com

Table of Contents

Audio Article: Garden Metaphor

What you focus on, grows.
~Multiple authors

What are you planting in your garden of life? Strengths are like the plants in your garden. You plant the seeds you want to grow and tend them well. The more they grow the less room for weeds. What you focus on grows, whether in this garden metaphor or in your life and work.

What You Focus on Grows

Your garden grows what you plant. What you plant stands to thrive if you focus on its care. Don’t focus on the weeds you don’t want. Make the good ones into medicine and get rid of the rest.

When it comes to the weeds in your life… those annoyances that detract and get in your way, don’t lament them… just get rid of them. If you can’t get rid of them, learn from them and reframe negatives into positive fuel.

Reframe the Weeds

Your “weaknesses” (weeds) can actually be strengths when perceived differently. In the garden, weeds are often edible and medicinal. Weeds can also inform us as to the health of our soil. However if our weeds take over, it’s time to replace them with the plants (plans) that we choose.

AFFIRMATION:
I focus on what I want in life, and that is what I have.

Dreams Come True with Focus

Now notice we’re not saying what you dream about or wish for is what you’ll have. Focus implies steady, persistent concentrated effort.

Like a well tended garden, what you focus on is what grows more fully in your garden of life. What you focus on thrives, so be sure you’re focusing on the good that you have and the good that you want, because without a doubt, what you focus on is what will grow in your mind and in your life. It’s simple physics… the law of cause and effect.

Remember your dreams and fight for them.

~Paulo Coelho, Brazilian novelist, author of The Alchemist

Crowd Out the Weeds

To reframe the negatives, ponder the benefits hidden there. Then focus on what you want to grow most.

Whatever is holding you back… whatever you fear, don’t let it stop you.  Fear never really disappears completely. It’s just that by focusing on your strengths and what you want to grow, the good crowds out the bad.

Focus on your strengths and your courage will grow stronger than your fear. Your garden will flourish and outgrow the weeds.

Do that which you fear to do, and the fear will die.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist & poet, 1803-1882

Whatever is holding you back... whatever you fear, don't let it stop you.  Fear never really disappears completely. It’s just that through focusing on your strengths and what you want to grow, you strengthen these such that your courage grows stronger than the fear. How? By doing hard things.

Reframing Fuels Your Growth

When it comes to the metaphor of weeds in the garden, some weeds are actually edible and medicinal, so these too can be useful. Those that aren’t can make good compost. Reframing, fertilizes the garden of your life.

Many weeds also nourish the soil and plants of the garden, and some thwart pests. Weeds also teach us about our soil. In this garden metaphor, our weeds (weaknesses) teach us about our strengths, because each strength has a weakness… a flip side of that coin, and vice versa. Each weakness has a strength to be nurtured.

For example, an introvert may be a good writer with a great sense of humor that she normally keeps to herself or shares with a small circle of friends and family. Turn her loose to write and she comes alive with a whimsical wit which weaves wonderfully into whatever she writes.

That “weakness” of not feeling comfortable being an introvert around people, reveals a strength of powerful internal dialogue that can convey very well in the written word. Introverts are often inner extroverts. Ask any writer with their bevy of characters crashing around in their head.

Weeds then… those things that may appear unattractive to the meticulous gardener, also serve their purpose. It’s the same thing with fear. Pull the weeds of fear that get in the way.

Like compost for plants, you can use your fears to fuel your growth.

We become what we think about most of the time, and that’s the strangest secret.
~Earl Nightingale, American radio speaker and motivational author, 1921-1989

You’re the Master Gardener of Your Life

If you want to create video content for your art… your brand, but think you’re “not good” on video, you are the meticulous gardener now, criticizing the imperfection of “the weeds”.  However, there are other ways to grow your brand and build a tribe, some of which can lead you to creating video more easily by focusing on your strengths first.

There are some areas that you may never wish to develop. Some weak areas (weeds) that simply need to be ignored or even removed. We all have those.

If you’re not interested in developing a particular area, all the better. To ignore it will allow you to focus on what you wish to grow. If it’s a must do or must-be-done kind of thing, such as bookkeeping or marketing or website maintenance, then if you must, do it until you’re able to outsource it.

Don’t Give Up!

However, if—as in the video creation example mentioned—it’s something you want to do but assume you can’t or shouldn’t, don’t give up. Adopt a learner’s mindset and give it a try. Most of us aren’t good at anything the first few times.

You’re the master gardener of your life. You decide what to plant in your garden of life.

Focus on your strengths… the “plants” you want to grow, and as they grow, the “weeds” of your life will diminish.

~LeAura Alderson, Cofounder-iCreateDaily

Reframe the “Weeds” of Stinking Thinking

Some weeds need to be pulled out by the roots and tossed. The others can be converted into food, medicine, tea and fertilizer. For continuing this garden metaphor, we’re correlating weeds to negative thoughts and “stinking thinking” that you can convert to something better.

🔥 REFRAMING
Stinking Thinking: “I’m not good at that.”
Reframe: “What do I need to do to become better at that?”

Not being good at something almost always means that we simply haven’t practiced it enough… or, we’re not interested. If it’s something you want to do, keep at it. If not, let it go.

🔥 REFRAMING
Stinking Thinking: “I’m not good on video.”
Reframe: “How can I ease into creating video content when I’m not comfortable in front of the camera?”

Solution: If you want to create video content, there are simple ways to get better at it. Remember…. what you focus on, grows.

Tilling New Ground

If you like to write, you can start there. You can then read/talk some of your written articles into video. Those are called video blogs or “vlogs”. You now have a blog article on your website, and you’ve created a video—a vlog—that will expand your reach and exposure to a larger audience.

Not so hard, and if it is, you will improve with a little practice. Reading your article on camera has given you a simple structure to share something on video. You can even read your article as voiceover to visuals, if you don’t yet want to appear onscreen yourself.

For the garden to flourish, you need to till new ground. This is the harder work. But this is the work that expands your ability to grow more, do more, and serve more.

To push against your boundaries expands your capacity, and thus your freedom to choose.

It’s normal to have fear of failure; just don’t let it stop you.

~LeAura Alderson, author, entrepreneur, co-founder-iCreateDaily
What are you planting in your garden of life? Strengths are like the plants in your garden. You plant the seeds you want to grow and tend them well. The more they grow the less room for weeds. What you focus on grows, whether in this garden metaphor or in your life and work.

What Do You Need to Reframe in Your Life?

🔥 REFRAMING
Stinking Thinking: “I’m afraid and so I procrastinate trying.”
Reframe: “I’m eager to take on new challenges and I love how I grow through them.”

Solution: It’s actually always harder to make excuses or live in fear, than to do the hard thing. If you shy away from something because it’s hard, you have to make excuses or be disappointed in yourself.  Neither of those help you make the progress you seek, until… until the pain is enough that you can’t not.

There’s a story of a dog lying on the porch of his home, moaning. The owner is sitting on the porch with a friend who asks: “Why is your dog moaning?”
Owner: “Oh, he’s lying on a board with a nail on it. The nail is poking him but he’s too lazy to move.”

When the pain is enough, you will move. Or… you can move sooner.

~LeAura Alderson, Cofounder-iCreateDaily
With practice, you will act sooner to change your circumstance and turn it around. When the pain of fear is greater than the pain of that feared, you will turn it around. As you become increasingly clear on how you have the power to change yourself, your life and your circumstance, you won't wait to eradicate fears—new and old. When you face the fear it evaporates into nothingness.

Face Your Fears and they Disappear

With practice, you will act sooner to change your circumstance and turn it around. When the pain of fear is greater than the pain of that feared, you will turn it around.

As you become increasingly clear on how you have the power to change yourself, your life and your circumstance, you won’t wait to eradicate fears—new and old. When you face the fear, its shadows grow weak and eventually evaporate into nothingness.

When the pain of fear is greater than the pain of that feared, you will turn it around.

~LeAura Alderson, Cofounder-iCreateDaily

The Power of Practice

With practice, you can even sidestep a lot of your own growing pains of learning through painful experiences.  By becoming a student of observation you can learn from the experiences of others in addition to your own.

Mentors, parents, friends and acquaintances can all serve to guide you along the way through the wisdom of their experiences. To learn from those who’ve been there before is like consulting a master gardener for advice, which cuts way down on the learning curve. Wouldn’t we if we could?

Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.
~Henry Ford, American business magnate, founder-Ford Motor Company, 1863-1947

What are you planting in your garden of life? Strengths are like the plants in your garden. You plant the seeds you want to grow and tend them well. The more they grow the less room for weeds. What you focus on grows, whether in this garden metaphor or in your life and work.

Growing the Garden of Your Life

“As ye sow, so shall ye reap”, is ageless wisdom that’s applicable here. What you focus on is what you’re sowing into the garden of your life. When you focus on what you want in your life, you will have more of that. It’s just basic common sense that it’s often overlooked.

Whatever weeds may grow in your day, focus on the good, and more good will grow because yes… what you focus on grows.

So be a conscious gardener and tend the crops and orchards of your life, and they will bear fruit for years to come. Our privilege is to create art… words… craft… commerce… AND… to create our lives… our way.

When you face the fear it evaporates. Shadows cannot withstand the light.

~LeAura Alderson, Cofounder-iCreateDaily

Wisdom from the Community

iCreateDaily community member, Lynne Hundley, had this observation:

Lynne: “I’m working on my response to all the little ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’ do. Yesterday I went to vote – but the road was closed (the city is putting in a bike path and this week is bridge-close week). So it was detour time – over the river and through the woods, as they say.”

“My take-away is that the detours – and hijackings – in our lives, aren’t detours on the path. They are the path. They aren’t interruptions in the day. They are the day.  So I get to have the same satisfaction at finishing them as I do at finishing the planned stuff.”

“That’s a game changer for me.”

Absolutely!

Following a stroke at age 42, musician Dave Kim asked himself:

[ASK YOURSELF]
“Is this a chance to be a victim or to bring a message of positivity?”
~Dave Kim, musician, stroke victim turned survivor1)https://www.heart.org/en/news/2019/05/23/with-grit-and-gratitude-stroke-survivors-songs-play-on

The fastest way out of stinking thinking, negative, victim and even depression and ill health is… free and available to anyone anywhere at anytime. It’s so simple it’s easy to dismiss, to overlook, and yet it has unlimited power to bolster your own unlimited abilities. That way is simply the practice of gratitude.

Never underestimate the power of gratitude to empower you to turn negatives to positives.

The attitudes of inconvenience are learned through conditioning. And… like good pets, they can be retrained.

~LeAura Alderson, author, entrepreneur, co-founder-iCreateDaily

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