It´s About What You Can do and Not What You Can´t
Focus, by definition is the centre of interest or activity, or to pay particular attention to something. It is focusing on the right things and following with the right actions that propels us in the right direction. The difficulty for many people is keeping that focus burning bright. Difficult tasks, tedious tasks and long-term tasks all have the power to pull you out of focus and let the blur of uncertainty and doubt creep in. When this happens, we make a complete shift from positive can-do attitude of laser like focus to a negative focus of why something is too difficult or that we can´t do it. We need to develop a habit of focusing on the right things.
To get to grips with focusing on the right things, there are some important questions that you should ask yourself:
Are your thoughts often direct towards things that you can´t do?
Is your time consumed with thoughts about why you can´t do something?
It´s perfectly reasonable and healthy to understand limitations and areas for development. At some time in our life we have all wished that we were a little better at something. This train of thought is natural. However, it´s the way that we choose to handle these thoughts that makes the difference.
There are two choices:
Continue along the same path, doing the same things.
Adopt a plan of action that brings about a desired change
It is the latter option of choosing change and redirecting your focus that starts to move you further from where you are now and nearer towards your end goal.
Have you ever wondered why some people always manage to learn new skills or kick bad habits?
If you the above question resonates with you, here´s the answer. People who always seem to be moving forward and acquiring new skills and positive habits, follow a simple formula. It´s simple in its step by step process of methodical thinking but it does take will power and determination to follow it through.
The things that we focus on get attention
Things that get attention can be measured
Things that get measured can be improved
Improvements get results
Results bring changes
Two Important Questions
Do you sit and ponder as to why you are no further on than last year with no sign of moving forward?
If you answered “yes” to those two questions, STOP EVERYTHING ELSE and focus on what you are about to read.
The reason that those people always seem to be moving forward is that they focus on what they can do and not what they can´t do. They identify their strengths and go to work on developing those skills and abilities further. They DO NOT focus on the things that they can´t do or have no control over. Think about this for a moment. If you were being interviewed for a position in a new company, you wouldn´t direct the focus towards the things that you couldn´t do. That´s a sure-fire way of not getting hired. What you would do, is direct the focus to what you can bring to the table and the results that you can achieve.
Positive Internal Dialogue
Focusing on our strengths, accomplishments and events that are moving in the right direction, gives us a certain feel good factor. It´s a constant reminder and testament to the things that we do well. It is essential to keep up this positive self-talk in order to build our self-esteem. When we focus on the things that we are good at and the things that are going right, we start to believe that more of the same is possible.
The same is true of negative self-talk and shying away from praise and compliments. Some people find it difficult to accept praise or recognition for a job well done and play their role in the task down or make an excuse for the achievement by saying that they were lucky. A great deal of learning how to focus on the things that you can do, stems from learning how to accept praise compliments and recognition.
More often than not, negative self-talk will triumph over any amount of kind or positive words from someone else. Now we have a conflict as external praise is defeated by internal self-doubt and low self-esteem. It´s imperative that we learn to accept that someone has seen something good in us and then focus on that positive attribute to develop it even further.
This may well take some practice, if you are naturally uncomfortable with accepting praise and compliments. However, accept it you must, if you want to learn the skill of focus to build your self-esteem and develop a positive outlook towards life.
There´s no time like now to start to learn how to focus on the things that you can do. There´s no need to wait until someone tells you how good you are at something or what they like about you. Grab a pen and some paper and make a note of the following:
What things am I good at?
What things do I excel at?
What are my biggest strengths?
What have I achieved recently?
What have I achieved in my life?
There are two important considerations here. The first is to not shy away from your positive attributes and achievements. The second is to enjoy all the positive recognition that you are giving yourself. Don´t rush this. Take your time and build your list.
When you have finished building your list, you are not done yet. Now I want you to enlist the help of friends, family, colleagues, partner and other people that you associate with. Ask them the same questions and compile a second list. Above all else, enjoy the praise and positive feedback and learn to respond with genuine, sincere appreciation.
Did they see something positive that you didn´t? Chances are, they did.
Building Your Focus
The next thing to do is to look for any common themes that run through your positive attributes list and break it down into categories.
I care about people
I like to help people
I understand people´s feelings
I am organized
I pay attention to detail
I complete all tasks
Once you have broken the list down into categories, write down what you are going to do to focus on further developing the skills and attributes in each category. Focusing on improving all those positives will bring results. It´s just a matter of time before you and everyone else around you notices the positive changes since your shift in focus.
Are you having trouble focusing on the right things?
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