I was reminded again recently that we get what we focus our mental and emotional attention. This concept is part of any and every self- help theory, ideology, and spiritual guidance. It’s one of those things we know intellectually but putting it into practice is often a different story.
Over the weekend I spent a lot of time ‘getting ready’(procrastinating) to sit down and actually start to continue writing my new manuscript. I owe my editor updates and my lack of focus is seriously holding up the process.
Finally, after serious mental gymnastics I sat down late Saturday afternoon and started typing. Low and behold as I got going a lot of writing was done in a relatively short amount of time. Feeling productive I took a break, cleaned a bit, and then went back to the laptop. Yes, I was tired but once I decided to stop doing everything but the task at hand, it was not as hard as I had anticipated.
The next day I said to myself: ‘Self, let’s do this.’ Yes, the content is emotionally charged but it isn’t that hard to just sit down and do the work.
The theme I have for this year is ‘Fearlessness’ and I had to remind myself to just go for it. I work to overcome procrastination, which is the result of a deep-seated doubt that my work is not important and that I won’t be successful.
Does this sound familiar?
For those of us who are not naturally optimistic, reimagining our lives and staying focused on positive outcomes takes work. When I saw the quote about what we focus on is what manifests (Thank You Leeza Gibbons) I started to think about what do I really focus on mentally and emotionally and how is it impacting my daily life?
It’s so easy to get into victim mode and just forget that my thoughts are a choice and when I start to obsess about things or get stuck in the pain of being single or I have pandemic fatigue, I have to catch myself and redirect my thinking.
It’s March and spring is peeking through the clouds. The theme this month is persistence. Yes, it was more comfortable this weekend to lay in bed and watch Netflix than it is to sit down and write about challenging life moments.
Even in these strange times when it seems like nothing is moving, doing the work is a cause and it will get effects. Focusing on the possibility of getting this book out to encourage women around the globe is as mentally easy as thinking why bother and hiding from the world.
I am also aware that taking even the smallest action decreases anxiety. Have I responded to that email? Have I called in a prescription refill? Have I made the bed and done the dishes? It all counts.
I found a few things that help me to stay focused and persistent on moving ahead:
- I set a timer. I know I can sit down and write for one hour and a shocking amount of work gets done in one focused hour.
- I disconnect from social media to free myself from distraction.
- I allow myself breaks. In my overachieving mind I think I have to sit and write all day without a break. This is simply not realistic. I know the content of this book is very emotionally charged so I schedule breaks.
- I get up and move. Sitting at the computer all day is physically taxing. I include short spurts of exercise and stretching to keep my body and brain flowing.
- I reward myself. I reward myself with outings for each small milestone.
Are you the type that always feels like you are never doing enough? Are you always in a state of overwhelm? Is it hard to relax and enjoy? I understand. I am the same. I am getting better and breaking those habits. This ‘stinking’ thinking is just that, a bad habit. It may have served me over the course of my life, but I know that I no longer need this habitual way of thinking.
In refocusing, I also reframe my intention. What if the manuscript is a hit? What if the coaching practice takes off? What if I believe my mission is going to create value in the world? What if I believe I am worthy of true love and can manifest a healthy relationship?
How does thinking about these possibilities feel?
Since my life condition is my choice, my goal is to shut down the negative self-talk. It takes work and effort to break bad habits. After all, it is a choice to stay stuck in how it’s been or to focus on how it can be. This means we get to face our human revolution and create lasting internal transformation. At the end of the day this is why we are here.
Now, in the midst of this pandemic and all its crazy is the PERFECT time to try this on for size. Let’s live in the possibilities.
To get back to the writing story. Once I sat down and focused on writing, I couldn’t stop. By the end of the weekend, I sent thirteen pages off to my editor. I was able to complete some especially challenging parts of the story which are behind me for now. I also realized that I don’t have to spend two days putzing around to get it done.
Let’s be determined to keep persistent action going. Small consistent goals yield big results.
What we focus on matters. It’s our choice.