What does it mean to you?
Do you consider it a bad word?
Or do you few it in a positive light?
Whatever you believe, it’s hard to dispute the power of focusing on one thing at a time.
And in this case, that thing is you.
One of the challenges of managing your mental health is learning to focus on the right things.
And people who struggle with anxiety or depression often put the focus too much on others.
On what others want.
On what others expect.
On what others are doing.
It’s dangerous to put too much focus on others.
Because you have zero control over what they do.
Most people live in a bubble, and their span of attention extends only a few feet in front of them at any given time.
It’s sad, but it’s true.
Now, I’m not saying you should be like everyone else, that you should only worry about your immediate needs.
I’m talking about a certain kind of focus.
A kind of focus that is a mix of intention and self-love.
This focus, the kind of focus that is self-directed and self-compassionate, is a gift that keeps on giving.
Here’s why and how to focus on yourself.
Three Huge Reasons Why You Should Focus On Yourself
ONE - You know yourself best
It seems obvious.
But obvious, simple truths often hide in plain sight and have the biggest impact on your life.
There’s a reason that simple statements get repeated.
They get to the heart of the matter.
When it comes to changing your own life or getting yourself out of a rut, you have to start with yourself.
If you got into this rut, you can get yourself out of this rut.
Of course, you may need some assistance.
But the kind of assistance that will ultimately help you must include a self-directed, compassionate focus from YOU and only you.
How can anyone else’s body and mind choose the path that is right for you?
Is anyone else able to feel your gut instinct?
Does anyone else have your exact experiences?
Mentors are great.
Gurus can provide guidance.
But you are the one who must try a path on for size and decide if the change it brings is for you.
Change starts with you
Here’s another simple statement that you probably intuitively know but may not have fully embraced yet.
You are the change.
You spark it, and you fan the flames.
Whose thoughts are the precursor to the big decisions and actions in your life?
No one else can get inside your head.
If your thoughts are muddy and murky, that’s OK.
It doesn’t mean that you are that way.
It just means that you have had a part in where you are now, and you will have an equally impactful part in getting to a new place.
Every positive action begins with a thought.
Eventually, your thoughts become things.
If you think about all of the time you failed in life, you will bring more of that energy to you.
That energy will be your downfall.
Because you will start to spot more ways that you can fail in life.
But if you think about success, if you think about hope and potential and greatness, you will start to notice more of those kinds of things.
Don’t think yourself into a net.
Think yourself into a vast, oceanic view.
Which brings me to the final point…
Only you can choose your goals in life
Self-directed and self-compassionate focus is not easy, but it is worthwhile.
And it becomes worth its weight in gold when you take this new kind of focus that you’re aiming at yourself and you use it to choose exactly what you want from life.
The only way I ever I got anything I wanted out of life was to:
- Know what I want out of life
- Pursue it in a transparent, honest, and intentional way
- Write it down and focus on it constantly
Struggling with your mental health has a lot to do with being scattered.
With split attention.
With worrying about too many things and too many people.
When you set your mind on your goals, you start to direct your focus.
They’ve been around forever because they work.
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Achievable
R - Realistic
T - Timely
How can you come up with the goals that are right for you?
Set a goal to make a goal.
Write them down.
Getting your self-directed on paper has been proven to make it more likely that you will accomplish what you set out to do.
I think it’s because writing your aspirations on paper makes them more real to you.
It makes them come alive in the real world, not just in your mind.
And it all comes back to the word of the day.
You know yourself best, and only by establishing a self-directed habit of intention and self-compassion will you begin to open yourself up to what’s possible for you.
Change starts with you and no one else.
No one can move your body and turn the wheels of your mind.
You have to do that for yourself.
And when you do it, your future will start to come into focus.
This certain kind of focus is not selfish.
It’s not a bad word.
It’s choosing yourself so that you can become the person know you can be.
One of the major culprits of mental unease is a lack of clarity on what you want and where you’re going.
When you take the time to focus on yourself, your life begins to emerge, like an owl at night following the light of the moon.
In the end, it’s not so much about how to focus on yourself.
It’s about doing it or not.
I hope you’ll choose the most direct path there is to getting more what you want of life and bettering yourself in the process.