The Power of Intention
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” ~ Buddha
Intentions. I start every day by setting intentions for my day. I also set them for my week, my month and year.
What kind of day am I going to have today? How am I going to feel? What am I going to achieve this week? Who am I here to serve? How can I bring joy and energy to the people around me? How can I be my best self? What future am I creating? How can I move closer to that future today and everyday?
These are the questions I ask myself.
I remember when I was just 28 years old. I had a baby face (thanks mum), and was still being asked for ID at nightclubs (actually that was still happening at 32). Despite my childish looks, I had a deep wisdom (thanks Universe) that gave me a capacity to create a space in which people could transform their lives. And since graduating from university, all I had dreamed about was starting my own private psychology practice so I could help people do just that.
Problem was, I was also full of self-doubt. I felt way too young and inexperienced (whatever that means), and didn’t think people would take me seriously (Most did, a few didn’t… Who cares?)
The truth was, I wasn’t taking me seriously. I was focused on my limitations and not on my strengths. I was focused on how I might fail and embarrass myself, rather than on what I could achieve and how amazing it would feel.
A Shift of Intention
I was working for Kids Help Line (KHL) at the time, and I was sometimes teased for being “popular” with the callers. This happened because, most shifts, there was a queue of teenage girls waiting to speak with me. Because of this I managed to escape the endless string of prank calls. Without realising it, I had already started my private practice. Yet I was still full of self-doubt and couldn’t make the leap! So there I was, getting paid $20 an hour, working for someone else – because that was the level of my intention at the time.
One day, I remember hearing a colleague who was in her mid-40’s saying that she was leaving KHL to start a private practice. I was so jealous; I wanted to leave and do exactly that, but I was too scared. However, when I heard that this colleague was doing it, my competitive streak kicked in (thanks mum) and I thought to myself – “Heck, I am easily as skilled – if not more skilled! What is holding me back?” Only me!
In that moment, I set a new and unshakeable intention – I decided I would leave my job and start my first business. A flip switched, and I decided I could do it. And so that’s what I did.
Within a month, I had found a fresh, new practice to join. Things grew rapidly from there. Within 9-months, I’d reduced my hours at KHL, and was working 3-days per week on my practice. It was then I decided to take 3-months leave from KHL. Having a safety-net gave me the confidence I needed to take a leap of faith. I never returned to KHL.
It all started with a new intention.
Intention Creates Results
Intentions are very powerful things. With the power of intention you can make changes to any aspect of your life. In fact, your intentions are most definitely contributing to the results you are getting in your life right now. And you results may be positive or negative, depending on the content of your intention.
You see, intentions can be conscious and, well, intentional… or they can be unconscious and habitual. Most people’s are the latter, as were mine for many years.
So, hang on, back up…what exactly is an intention? Well, an intention is simply a thought directed towards a desired outcome. It’s like asking “What do I intend to make happen?”
At this point you might be asking, how can an unconscious thought be an intention? Doesn’t seem to make sense, right?
Conscious vs Unconscious Intentions
Well, an ‘unconscious intention‘ is simply an intention from a part of yourself that you are lacking awareness about. That’s right – we each have our conscious identity – and this refers to all the parts of yourself that you are aware of, and that you claim as “me or mine”.
But we also have a secondary identity that we may be partially conscious of, or completely unconscious about, and this includes all those parts of yourself that you claim as “not me” or that you have no idea about, but they still operate within you and influence your thoughts, feelings, decisions, actions and so on.
Our secondary identity may have thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and values that differ from those of our primary identity.
And these unconscious identities, with their seperate thoughts and beliefs set intentions for you just as much, if not more so than your conscious intentions. And for that reason, you may or may not be aware of the content of your intentions…
But you are always an intentional being.
You Are Always Being Intentional…
So, whether you are conscious of it or not, you are always setting intentions for how you want your life to be. and your life is always cooperating with your most powerful intentions.
As a result, your unconscious intentions explain many of the outcomes you experience that you feel you haven’t chosen, especially those that feel like a pattern – the ones where you ask:
- “Why does this always happen to me?”
- “How come can I never seem to achieve…?”
- “Why do things never work out the way I want?”
In fact, things have turned out exactly they way you unconsciously intended.
It often unfolds like this: you hope or wish for a particular result, but immediately, and without your awareness, your unconscious thoughts focus on all the reasons why you cannot have what you want – and in this way you ‘wish away’ the very outcome you are consciously trying to create.
We’ve talked before about A.N.T.’s – Automatic Negative Thoughts – and how powerful they can be in shaping your reality. Most people’s minds are full of A.N.T.’s which they repeat day after day. Some of these A.N.T.’s become so habitual, they actually turn into unconscious, negative self beliefs.
A belief is simply a thought that has been repeated so many times it comes to feel like a fact or a truth.
Unconscious beliefs are much harder to challenge, because they are both beyond awareness and deeply entrenched. Like a well worn path that you don’t even realise you are taking – they shape your path in life. Your brain defaults to these thoughts because they are familiar and your life defaults to the results associated with these paths – unless you decide to consciously change them!
Usually you will require the help of a coach or psychologist to help you become conscious of and break down your negative beliefs, and show you how to replace them with new, more empowering beliefs.
Victoria wants to get fit. She’s been fit before, when she was younger, but in the last 8 years work-life and marriage has got in the way and she’s lost her way. But recently, her lower back went out, causing her a great deal of pain, and now she’s decided she is ready for a change.
Travis wants a long-term relationship. Content for years to be a “lady’s man,” he recently got his heart broken by a woman he really liked. Whilst he is still recovering from the hurt of that loss, one thing is clear – he wants a life-long partner.
Jo wants to reach her potential in her life. For years, she has had a wonderful family life, a successful business and financial abundance, but what has been lacking is the deep personal fulfilment that would, in her eyes, complete the picture. When she noticed herself feeling depressed, she finally decided “enough was enough” and to get focused on creating joy, contentment and peace in her life.
Attention and Intention
The common but invisible thread that connects these three people is this: Each person has actually declared an intention, rather than wistfully wishing for things to be different.
“Conscious change is brought about by the two qualities inherent in consciousness: attention and intention,” writes Deepak Chopra in Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. “Attention energizes, and intention transforms. Whatever you put your attention on will grow stronger in your life…. Intention, on the other hand, triggers transformation of energy and information. Intention organizes its own fulfillment.”
When you declare an intention, you gain the support of your subconscious mind. Here are some suggestions for how to work with intentions in order to bring what you need into your life:
Get clear on what you want and why.
It’s not enough to know what you don’t want. You can’t get what you want until you know what that is. Steven Covey in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, writes that all things are created twice. “There’s a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation to all things.”
Check out my article: Purpose: Why It’s Difficult & Why It’s Worth It
See it happening in your mind’s eye. “Your imagination creates the inner picture that allows you to participate in the act of creation,” writes Dr. Wayne Dyer in his best-selling book The Power of Intention. “Your willpower is much less effective than your imagination, which is your link to the power of intention.” People can struggle with visualising, but it’s a skill, and it just takes practice. So practice daily, for 5 minutes, visualising the life you want to create. If it changes, if you can’t see it as clearly as you think you “should” be able to – don’t worry – keep visualising.
For more on this: read my article: What you Appreciate, Appreciates.
Keep yourself receptive.
Exercise, eat healthily, play and relax. Stress, exhaustion, anxiety, etc., are like “static” that interferes with the “frequencies” of what you’re wanting to bring into your life. Most importantly, keep an open mind – read, learn, get a coach – in this way your mind keeps opening to new ideas and possibilities, rather than settling into a ‘comfort zone’ of familiarity and mediocrity.
Intention isn’t about sitting back and waiting for it all to come to you (The Secret skipped over this essential step). For example, Victoria enrolled herself in an exercise program at her local gym; Travis became involved with a social organisation and took relationship classes to improve his dating skills; Jo began working with a results coach to create a plan for ‘whole-life fulfilment.’ When we commit to a thing by taking action, it’s often surprising how quickly our intentions are realised.
This means to let go and trust. Let go of the particular way in which things will happen. Let go of fear, doubt, worry and disappointment. Let go of the notion of struggle. Trust that the outcome will be just right.
So, what intentions are you going to set for your day, week, month or year? What is it you want to achieve or create? What will it feel like when you achieve it?
If you don’t know, then jump on a complimentary IGNITE call with me and let me help you get clarity.
Well, that’s it for this month. 🙂
Until next month,
 Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Deepak Chopra
 The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey
 The Power of Intention, Dr. Wayne Dyer
© Michelle McClintock Coaching & Psychology
Author’s content used under license, © Claire Communications
The Mindset Mentor
Michelle McClintock is a Life & Business Mindset Strategist who specialises in transforming your mindset so you can experience more peace, happiness, success and fulfilment.
Michelle has 30-years experience in personal development, as a Psychologist, Facilitator, Speaker and Results Coach. She loves it when people get new insights that spark massive growth and positive transformation.
Through her writing and videos she makes complex coaching and psychology ideas easy to digest and assimilate, so you can create your ultimate life.