You Find What You Look For

growth jenine kenna mindset personal development Oct 02, 2021

Ever notice how when you start a new job or get into a new hobby, you see it everywhere?  You know it was always there, you just never really noticed it before?  Psychologists call this the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon; more commonly, they refer to it as frequency illusion.

It’s like my obsession with plants. Before the pandemic and the lockdown, I liked plants. But I didn’t think. Much about them. Sometime over the last several months, I went from having 3 houseplants to 50ish. I think. LOL. I totally lost count.

As my passion for plants grew, so did my awareness of them. Everywhere.

Now, as I watch a movie, or go to a restaurant, or office, or anywhere else a plant might be found, my attention is immediately drawn to them. What kind of plant is it? Do I have one? Is it being properly cared for? Would anyone notice if I took a cutting?

I talk about plants so much, Shea now asks me everywhere we go, “Mommy, what kind of plant is that?” Lol.

A year ago, she never would have asked me that. And I wouldn’t have given most of the plants I see a second thought. Sure, I’d see that they were there, but I probably wouldn’t have cared unless they were something really special and different.

Because I wasn’t looking for them.

Well, it’s the same with the people in our lives.  We see in them what we’re looking for.

Like when you get into an argument with a friend or your spouse... The argument may be over, but if you’re holding something in, or you’re still upset with them, everything they do is going to piss you off.

You’ll pay more attention to all the little things that annoy you. Things you’d normally overlook, like leaving dishes in the sink or clothes on the floor. Something that might normally, at most, make you roll your eyes, now makes you fume to the point your anger consumes you, and that little argument you thought you let go of, may just blow up into a big fight. Simply because you didn’t speak your truth and instead let yourself focus on all the negative things about that person.

You may even “notice” some things that aren’t really true. Projecting past injuries onto someone you love because you’re looking for reasons to be angrier with them. Even if you don’t mean to.

But you can make this work to your advantage, too.

If you make an intentional effort to look for the good in people, you’ll see the good in people.

You want a stronger, deeper relationship with your spouse, partner, children, parents, friends, whoever... look for the good in them. Make a point of noticing the things you love about them. Really take a moment to appreciate the good things they do and the positive energy they bring to your world.

It will work with people you’re not as close with too.

That coworker who no-showed for a shift that you got stuck covering last week? Find something good they did for you, and focus on that.

The neighbor you’ve been ignoring because of the flag flying on their lawn? Think about the time they mowed your lawn for you or watched the house while you were away.

And the craziest part of this? When you project positive (or negative) traits on someone, they tend to live up to them!

You FIND what you LOOK for!

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