If I know anything, it’s what a crappy inside-of-the-mind looks like. Back when chronic pain, drug use and depression were controlling my life, I couldn’t see that it was actually my mind’s unhealthy focus ruling the roost. I’ve come a long way since then and experienced some seriously good and life-altering shit in the process.
How did I do it, you ask? Well, I had my very own mindset coach (in the form of a neurology professor) tell me to shift my focus inward and choose what I really wanted to focus on. He told me that if I focused on what I really wanted, which was freedom, and acted in favour of that, then within 12 months I could have a different reality.
Back then I thought I was focused on not being in pain, but actually, I was only focused on how shit my life was and how hard everything was. Listening to and actioning the neurology professor’s advice is what changed my life – and my focus – for the better, forever.
What does choosing better focus look like?
Shifting your mind’s focus to a more empowering space is an investment. You’re investing a lot of work into something that takes time to see results. But once the results are in, you and your life will become a fk-tonne better.
It’s not about relying on the outside world, financial success or your appearance to make you feel better. What an empowering focus comes down to is how you choose to feel and what you choose to think.
Choosing a more empowering focus will enable you to become the captain of your thoughts – rather than allowing them to run loose and rule you. When you choose better focus, it means that you’re willing to embrace a better quality of life for yourself and accept that you are worthy and deserving of all the good shit life can offer. You’ll face life head on and heart on, and know that you are un-fkn-stoppable.
1. Take a look at what you’re focused on
Are you focused on the things in your life that actually matter? Is your focus empowering or disempowering? If you are focused on shit, what is it costing you? Are you feeling mental ease? Inner peace? Joy?
The first step to choosing a more empowering focus is identifying and becoming aware of what you’re actually focused on. Once you’ve done that, you can acknowledge how it’s impacting you and your life.
2. Surround yourself with legends
This one is a no brainer. All of the greats (Confucius*, Oprah Winfrey**, Vanilla Ice***) say that you should surround yourself with positive people, and they’re not wrong. The people you spend a lot of time with are likely to influence you in some way, and you might even begin to adopt or mirror some of their traits.
So if you want to support yourself in choosing a more empowering focus, look at the people in your life who you spend most of your time with. What does their mindset look like? What about their outlook on life? What are your conversations like? Do you leave feeling inspired or as though you’ve just had a bitch and moan session?
It’s a tough journey realising that some relationships are in fact toxic, but it’s better to see this now rather than later.
3. Take your meds (a.k.a meditate!)
When I swapped out medicine for meditation, it was like my eyes and my mind were opened up to a whole new world of possibilities and freedom. Even now, I spend at least 20 minutes erryday doing my meds, and I can tell you – it’s fkn lifechanging.
Taking the time to just sit, breathe and focus on not really focusing (it’s a confusing concept at first, but you get used to it), has the power to shift your focus in a really big way. And if going solo ain’t your schtick, you can always try giving meditation classes a go.
I set my timer for five minutes, close my eyes, sit in silence and listen to what I can hear, smell, taste and sense around me. When my thoughts come in to take me off track, I come back to the senses to train my brain that I want to focus on something more than the list of shit I need to get done for the day.
4. How are you treating yourself?
If you’re getting a little tough on yourself and beating yourself up with ‘not good enough’ or ‘not worthy’ stories, it’s time for a reset. You need to know when you’ve given yourself enough hell for a day (or two) and say enough is enough.
When I get like this (because I do!), I ask myself what advice I’d give a friend if they were giving themselves a hard time. The advice I’d give to them is the advice I need to take on myself, which is choosing to treat myself with kindness and compassion. This is a far more empowering focus which contributes to me being more gentle on myself.
Find it in your heart to practice self-kindness, self-compassion and self-acceptance. You deserve it.
5. Save your fks for the things that matter
Ding ding ding! The final round: do the shit that makes you happy and save your fks for the good stuff.
If you stopped for a sweet little minute on the regular and asked yourself, what would I prefer to be giving a fk about right now? Then allow the answer to come forward naturally, you’d be doing so much more for yourself that positively contributes to living a better life.
Keep on going even when the going gets tough
Saving your fks for the things that matter and shifting your focus into a more empowering space might not happen straight away. Sometimes your spirits will get smashed, and that’s okay.
Everything in life takes time, and it’s okay if transitioning away from the bad shit doesn’t happen as quickly as you’d hoped. But do your future self a favour and begin choosing better focus now so that you can thank yourself in the future.
For a mindset coach who really gets it, hit me up x
* “Never contract friendship with a man that is not better than thyself.” – Confucius
** “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” – Oprah Winfrey
*** “Show me who your friends are and I’ll show you who you are.” – Vanilla Ice