Inspiration, Life/Living, Mindset

Focus On What You Don’t Want To Get What You Do Want

In a recent conversation with a fellow entrepreneur, he spoke to me about how he was constantly feeling the pull to run back to the safety of a full-time job.

I know this struggle all too well. I think most of us do.

We started speaking about vision and the importance of vision. There are a lot of entrepreneurs out there who credit a portion of their success to having a strong vision of their future. However, when I think about my future, it’s clouded in uncertainty.

This is because I have 4 daughters, a wife and a bunch of boring adult stuff to consider.

While I have a vision of what I would like my life to look like, I can’t focus on details about this future. Instead of beating myself up about my inability to envision the perfect future, I focus on what I don’t ever want to do again.

But this isn’t as easy as it seems.

In Psychology Today, Lisa Firestone writes, “The anti-self is an internal enemy residing in our minds.

“It speaks to us through self-critical, self-denying, or even self-soothing thoughts known as the “critical inner voice” the purpose of which is to hold us back and keep us in our place.”

For many entrepreneurs, this critical inner voice can be one of the biggest struggles anyone will face. The constant call to return to the known, to avoid the unknown and keep us in our place is a major reason why people fail.

They give up. Sometimes because their vision isn’t strong enough.

While their vision may not be strong enough for the future to fight off that anti-self, often their vision of what they never want to do again is.

This is one of the reasons why I suggest fueling the drive with the vision of “what I never want to do again”.

With all of that said, here are three ways that entrepreneurs can leverage that deep desire of not wanting to go back to move forward:


1) Regularly take part in the activity that you hate.

I know hate is a pretty strong word but the deeper the disdain for this task the better. Having to regularly undertake the task combined with your ever growing disdain will only force you to work harder to achieve the end goal.


2) Compare your life to what it would be like in worst situation to what it would be like in the ideal situation.

The ideal situation here is your future vision. This comparison will just show you the amount of drive you have to no longer live that life. If you never want to return to that standard of living, having that clear understanding of what it would be like in the ideal scenario will increase your tenacity to challenges and obstacles.


3) Remember the emotions that were associated with that situation.

This might be controversial to those who practice a lot of positivity exercises but hear me out for a second. When we remember or envision the emotions associated with losing, it pushes the emotions that make you want to win. This is the same concept with never wanting to go back. We remember how that situation made us feel, we harness that emotion and then direct all of our efforts to achieving what needs to be accomplished.


This is all about what works for you. If you can envision the perfect future and have a super clear goal of that, good for you. If you’re like me who has a large number of variables that is bound to force your pre-conceived vision of your future to turn to custard, then maybe this technique is for you.


This article has been republished with permission, and originally appeared on

James Tew

Founder & Host at James Tew
James is a dad of four daughters who, when not playing dress ups, helps entrepreneurs and professionals build trust and authority through video. He focuses on three key areas; building the confidence to be on camera, removing the overwhelm when it comes to the tech and how to produce content that builds authority in your niche. As a regular contributor to, James' videos are seen by thousands of entrepreneurs and professionals every week. His YouTube channel, is where you'll find all of his latest content.

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