Has Your Focus Flown the Coop? Let’s Talk Regaining It.
First we shared tips now for creating focus (CLICK HERE), and then maintaining it once you have it (CLICK HERE). I hope they’ve helped you to get more focus, and be more productive in your business. But what to do when you lose your focus? It’s all about regaining it baby, yeah!
Loss of focus can happen to anyone. Sometimes, it is a slow slide away from focus to flitting. Other times, it could be a life crisis that derails you. No matter the cause though, the result is a decline in your effectiveness, and just as increased focus affected your bottom line, so will losing it, only negatively. Yikes.
Whatever the root cause, you want to fix that! Here’s how…
1. Take Care of YOU.
Business owners and entrepreneurs are some of the busiest people I know. We know how to rock a work day and do it consistently, or we would not succeed. Not for long anyway. We understand that it takes that consistency to reach our goals so we strive to be consistent.
What about the body you use as you are attending promptly to these things? Are you also being consistent in caring for it so it can serve you well? Yikes, again.
Smart, focused entrepreneurs realize they are only as good as their body is healthy. It must be a foundation. It’s all about maximizing your potential, in all areas and how can you do that if you are sick, tired, hurting, out of shape, abusing your body by pulling all-nighters, skipping meals, exercise and maybe even living on energy drinks?
If you are like many of us and tend to drift in that area, try focusing on developing habits to better support your health. Stack habits so they are easier to incorporate into your routines. And if you have never given much thought to how you care for the only body you have, I’d say you should do that.
It really does make a difference!
2. Fix Your Stinkin’ Thinkin’.
Most of the time, our biggest issues that are holding us back are not the situations we blame for whatever we are dealing with, but our thinking about them. I call it stinkin’ thinkin’ (ST) and can be a real pro at it if I’m not careful; I’m pretty intimate with most forms of it.
So, what IS “stinkin thinkin”?
Basically, it’s the thoughts you let run rampant through your mind, usually without much thought to controlling them - and they are out to do you in! Some are merely annoying, or divert you from purpose, but others are downright destructive. I’ve watched as people I love let themselves be destroyed for lack of ability to wrangle their thoughts. They are in your control, and you need to use that control and use it wisely.
Thoughts are the beginning of everything. We’ve probably all heard the quotes about how thoughts become actions, which become destiny and a bunch of variations of it. That is because it is a basic truth….one most entrepreneurs are well versed in. But, most of us still have those times when we get off track, and let the beast run wild. We slip into ST.
Some common examples of Stinkin’ Thinkin’ are:
- Lack of Gratitude.
- Worrying and Expecting the Worst.
- Not Seeking the Lessons.
- Beating Yourself Up.
Now, let’s look at each of these, and find out how to turn them around and do the opposite.
No more poor, poor, pitiful me allowed.
Years ago, I was in a bad circumstance, and my attitude was just bad as the stinky situation. I didn’t want to admit it, but it was. I had grown so negative, so defeated, all I could do was focus on the problems, and whine about them. I found a problem for every solution, and did not even notice those things in my life that were worthy of praise. I was stuck in a mire of self-pity and was grateful for nothing.
It’s so true, situations like chronic illnesses, a dysfunctional family, financial stress, mental illness… these are all very real stresses. However, they can only beat us when we let them. I was so focused on all the things I was helpless to make better, and had quit even trying to bring about change in the areas I could control; Like how I think.
I can’t think of one instance where somebody faced with a challenge overcame it by sitting there feeling sorry for themselves. Every single person that has overcome it has done so with determination and by refusing to give in to extended periods of self-pity. Instead they choose to focus forward embodying positivity and gratitude.
To get your focus and mojo back when you’ve lost it, start with checking your gratitude meter and adjust accordingly. Having an attitude of gratitude is such a powerful thing and it ushers in so much more! If you’ve not gotten totally turned on to its power yet, dabble in it; You’ll thank me later!
Worry wastes this moment over moments that haven’t happened yet… and likely won’t.
The thing you are worrying about, likely will not happen anyway. However, keeping your mind focused on it, your energy directed towards it, could help usher in that which you dread.
Does all the worry change anything, besides draining you mentally, physically, and spiritually?
Refuse to fret and worry. Instead, use that nervous energy to work towards solutions that will lessen the worry.
In the midst of struggle, the greatest lessons can be found.
We all have our struggles. There really is no sense in comparing them, because the amount of stress they cause is so individual. What you take in stride might be immobilizing to somebody else. We are no better or worse than the next person for being able to stand up under pressure. Besides, we aren’t talking about others, we are talking about YOU.
Whatever your struggles might be, there are valuable lessons to be found in them, if you look. Our supposed failures are only failures if we don’t learn from them. If you can change your mindset from one of being focused on the struggle to one of being focused on learning from it and finding solutions, the hard times can make you better instead of taking you down. The choice is yours.
Beating on yourself does no good - It hurts more than it helps.
The last area of Stinkin’ Thinkin’ I want to cover is the one where you beat yourself up unmercifully in your head. Our girl Sacha fights her battles against this relentlessly. Like her, you might think you deserve it, but I bet you don’t, not really. You might think it feels good, in a weird way, to punish yourself for your supposed shortcomings. It doesn’t. It does much more harm than good and is totally counter-productive.
Try instead to be as kind and understanding with yourself as you are with others. Give yourself credit for doing your best. Remind yourself that your best IS good enough.
When you find yourself saying ugly things about you; For each negative, make yourself come up with a sincere compliment. Do positive affirmations about yourself daily….out loud.
Build yourself up, don’t tear yourself down, the world usually does enough of that already. Be kind to YOU.
3. Don’t Cheat on Your Niche.
If you have lost your focus, chances are high that you drifted from your niche (or two, max). Most entrepreneurs are creative, driven, and just full of amazing ideas. We want to implement them all RIGHT NOW.
Get it through your head - YOU CANNOT DO IT ALL. - and you shouldn’t. Stay true and dedicated to your niche.
Even within your niche, beware of taking on too many projects at once. Keep a front-burner project and a back-burner one. The back-burner can have a little of your time, but tend that front-burner carefully, giving it your best, until it is launched and on to a maintenance schedule. Then you may move the back-burner project to a front-burner and can begin a new back burner project.
4. Learn When to Walk Away for a Spell.
There will be times when none of the above seems to work. Focus and clarity of purpose just will not come. These are the times when you must learn to say “to heck with this” and take a breather.
A breather is not like a break. A break is to focus elsewhere for a bit, relax, stretch, sing, dance, take a little walk or whatever refreshes you for another round of tasks. A breather is a total separation from your work to focus on something that thrills your soul.
Think activities like enjoying your favorite sport, art or craft project. It could be curling up with a good book or having a lunch out with a friend. The important thing is to do something totally unrelated to your work that delights you. Once your mind is unwound and happy again, you can get back to your work with new vision.
5. Don’t Forget to DREAM.
It can be difficult to maintain focus when we lose sight of our dreams and what we are working for. Did you know vision boards and dream boards work? That’s why so many of us use them. They help us to remember our dreams, goals, and deepest desires and the reasons we work so hard. If you are dream-deficient, you should fix that.
Keep your dreams in front of you or create some if you are lacking. Imagine them coming to pass; Feel yourself walking into them as your reality. These practices are powerful and will keep you focused.
Thank you for taking the time to read this! Don’t forget you can always check out the past posts too.
Our next installment in the focus series is on the “special needs” when it comes to maintaining focus. We will address issues like ADHD, PTSD, mental illness, or other stresses that make focus extra challenging. You want to stay tuned.
Do you have strategies or tips for focus you’ve found work well for you? We’d love to hear about them - simply comment below.