You’ve likely heard this say that we get what we focus on. Is that true? With millions of data points around us at any given time, we do filter. Our unconscious brain has the job of protecting us based on our beliefs, experiences, and circumstances. We can support our focus by increasing our awareness of what might be at play and choose to seek new perspectives.
As the famous Henry Ford quote says, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”
Our view of the situation, how we think about it, and what we feel about it all play a role in what we choose to consciously focus on. If we see a situation as difficult, we may think we don’t even want to attempt anything in that situation, and we feel at a loss to do anything differently. If we see the same situation as an opportunity, we may think about what the learning or stretching is for us in that situation and feel optimistic about taking the next step forward.
I will use a personal example. I had a bicycle accident from which I had injuries and have had physiotherapy on and off thereafter. Initially, I was concerned about going for a bike ride again. I had to think through the pros and cons of trying again and why it was important for me to do so. By focusing on what I could do and what was important to me about that (my values), I was able to stay with it and enjoy the benefits from being outdoors, exercising, and touring around the countryside with family and friends. A focus on: “this is over for me”, sets me back. A focus on “I can do something about this” and “I want to be able to do this for my well being, health and relationships”, pulls me forward optimistically, and I experience many benefits from that focus.
Where are you at with your beliefs about what is possible for you?
Where in your life or leadership do you hesitate? Where are you focusing that may be causing that hesitation? Do you find yourself saying “I can’t do this because … nobody else has been able to do it, I don’t have enough time or energy, I’ve got to much on my plate, I’m not sure where to start, or I’m not skilled enough”, or something similar?
When we come at things from a more negative focus, it can affect our ability to create a positive impact. When we have trouble managing the narrative we tell ourselves, it stands to reason that this will cascade over to our leadership roles. So how do we shift the focus?
Shift the focus
Shift the focus and this will change the view. How can we shift the focus? This sounds so straight-forward and yet, in practice, this takes reflection, awareness, and new focus therefrom. Sometimes we can do this on our own. A good starting point is to note and/or write what we are thinking and then, if it is negative or pessimistic, challenging yourself to come up with positive alternatives. Another way to shift the focus is to think about where in life or leadership do you excel? Are you really great at building relationships, connecting others, understanding the interconnections between roles and teams, or something else? How can you bring that to areas that you are hesitating with? Bringing your strengths to other areas can make it easier to move forward on those new areas or initiatives.
We can also shift the focus by talking about it with a trusted person in our lives. Sometimes, another perspective can be all that’s needed to help you see things differently. If you are looking to shift your focus and create more positive impact in your leadership role, coaching can support you with this and move you closer towards fulfilling your potential. It is possible!
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Yours is possibility,
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