Understanding Your Daily Focus
I used to be someone who needed to be pulling all the
strings. I felt like if I couldn’t be there to help, to make sure things got
done right, then they wouldn’t get done at all. It took getting sick and losing
mobility for me to really learn to ask for help, and beyond that, to stop
offering it all the time. It felt important to me to be able to play a role, to
have a say, and to know what was coming in the future.
When you stay in your lane, so to speak, you not only allow yourself to focus on the things you need, but you also give others the room they need to stumble, fall, and get back up. We can only make choices for ourselves, so spending time and energy trying to mold others into what we want them to be or trying to control a situation that has a billion little moving parts is going to end up draining you. In this week’s Daily Focus, I want to look at ways we can focus on ourselves, and what peace comes with that sort of release.
Saturday, February 5
“This isn’t life in the fast lane, it’s life in
the oncoming traffic.” –Terry Pratchett
When you’re used to being at the center of a family or work unit, it can feel like you’re being constantly stopped in your tracks whenever someone else faces a problem. Setting a boundary allows you more time and freedom from stress, but also allows others to problem solve on their own, something that is important. Obviously, to be a reliable and capable person, you’ll have to pick and choose your battles to find the balance.
Sunday, February 6
“When everything is coming your way, you’re
probably in the wrong lane.” –Tom Snyder
On the same note as yesterday, if you’re feeling like you can’t get anything done, and you’re constantly cleaning up after other people, metaphorically or physically, I implore you to stop. It’s not on you to take on everything. In doing so, you may actually be depriving others of the circumstances that would allow them to build better skills.
Monday, February 7
“If you focus on results, you will never change.
If you focus on change, you will get results.” –Jack Dixon
Setting lofty goals is usually a trap. Unless you have a
very clear, reasonable, and doable path for reaching said goals, it’s likely
that you’ll fail pretty quickly, reinforcing the idea that it’s pointless to try.
Sometimes we subconsciously set ourselves up for failure in this way, due to a
fear of moving forward. Instead, try to focus on the small steps like putting
aside small periods of time, or changing the way you speak.
Tuesday, February 8
“Ultimately, the only person you can control is
yourself, and really—you have your hands full with that.” –Unknown
If you feel like you’re having trouble keeping your life together, take a look at who else’s life you’re also trying to keep together. How much of your energy is being expended trying to keep others afloat? Obviously, the key is not to cut all ties and focus only on yourself, but awareness is key to avoiding burnout and allowing others their fair share of autonomy.
Wednesday, February 9
“Stay in your lane. If you’re good enough, people
will move to you.” –Russell Simmons
The thing about setting boundaries is that while it may seem cruel at first, it ultimately improves relationships. The only people who can’t handle you focusing on yourself are people who need your energy to get by. But healthy boundaries allow those people to grow and thrive alongside you, rather than through you. People will meet you where you stand, and with more energy and drive, it will be easier to navigate those interactions.
Thursday, February, 10
“Each spiritual journey has a right to its own fulfillment.
We must learn how to stay in our lane.” –T.F. Hodge
The simple truth is that what works for one person doesn’t
necessarily work for another. And so, we cannot really know what’s best for
someone else, no matter how much we may think we do. It’s important to let
other people find their way, even if it means stumbling and falling, even if it
means harm will come to them. That is a part of life, and we can only learn to
run if we get used to bumping into things along the way.
Friday, February 11
“Lead by example.” –Proverb
Setting limits and focusing on yourself sets an example to
those around you, the same people you might otherwise be engaging with in
codependent ways. Everyone benefits when there are healthy boundaries involved
and using your voice and power to take control of your life sets the stage for
how those who look up to you will behave as well.
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