By Remez Sasson
Do you find lack of concentration and distracting thoughts overwhelming, when you try to concentrate, meditate or follow any personal growth or spiritual growth technique?
Someone has recently asked me the following question:
“I was just wondering if it was common for people in a sense to get “worse” before they get better. I’ve been doing so much reading and have started meditating and doing affirmations. I feel that I have been having a harder time shutting my mind off and almost feel a bit overwhelmed. Is this a normal part of the process? And when can I expect things to improve?”
When starting with meditation, affirmations or other inner growth methods, people sometimes seem to experience more acutely their lack of control over their mind. They feel more strongly the lack of concentration and are unable shut the mind off. This is a common occurrence, and one should be patient and strong enough not to give up.
Why does this happen?
You are trying to change deep rooted habits, and this evokes inner resistance. You are trying to think in a different way, and the mind does not accept this in the beginning. Both body and mind are taught to be calm and even silent, and this too creates resistance and difficulties.
When on the path of spiritual growth or self improvement, people become more sensitive and aware of distractions and obstacles, which tend to stand out clearly, and might even grow out of proportions. This give you the sense of things getting worse.
When focus is not strong enough, any attempt to focus the mind, awakens inner resistance.
External distractions and obstacles don’t disappear just because you are on the path of inner growth, on the contrary, often, you become more sensitive and more aware of them. This of course makes shutting the mind off more difficult, and makes you feel you are not making any progress.
It is only when trying to concentrate or meditate you find out how many thoughts pass through your mind, and how your focus is weak, and how it is almost impossible to shut down the chatter of the mind.
The remedy is to stay patient, manifest more self discipline and resolve, and continue meditating, affirming or visualizing, and in time, you will be less aware or disturbed of the distractions and inner resistance.