Hyper-intention...A Limiting Factor?

Written by Blake KoehnAugust 5, 2019
Cover image for the Hyper-intention...A Limiting Factor? article

Hyper-intention: A neurosis that causes patients to be unable to accomplish that which they intend.

In Victor Frankl’s "Man's Search For Meaning", hyper-intention is discussed as being overly focused on the goal and consequently ignoring innate truths such as the time required and the laws of nature. In psychotherapy, paradoxical intention is the deliberate practice of a neurotic habit or thought, undertaken to identify and remove it. The concept was termed by Dr. Frankl who advocated for its use by patients experiencing severe forms of anxiety disorders.

How often have you heard the advice to be focused, manifest your future, have tunnel-vision, or even become obsessed with reaching a goal? The idea of putting your head down and not stopping until the goal has been achieved may be an effective strategy for some but perhaps the worst for others. Dependent upon many factors, the best suited approach is likely highly interdependent and only accurately self-selected after some goal setting and personal reflection. This likely begins with one pivotal idea… to begin with the end in mind. Below is a very generic outline of a 3 step process if you find yourself needing guidance or an alternative way of conceptualizing a distant goal. How you relate and interpret each step in very individualized to each and every person.

Step 1: Begin With The End In Mind
Step 2: Try To Avoid Hyper-Intention/Hyper Focusing
Step 3: Trust The Process While Working Toward Your Goal/Appreciate The Time Required


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