Not Hitting Your Target ? Why You Need to Manage Your Focus
Yes, it is about being good at what you do. But what happens when you have the skill set but you are still not getting where you want ? How do you pull it all together and create your ultimate goal ?
That was the big question I found myself asking back in 2000 after yet another year of getting nowhere diving. I was stuck at 121 meters and nothing I did really seemed to make a difference. I knew how to dive. I had practiced the skills over and over until they were unconscious reactions, yet somehow I could just not get that dive that would take me to the world record. I had to change something, because obviously what I was doing was not getting me where I wanted to go, but what ?
Hindsight being a wonderful thing I can now look back and see what I needed to let go of, what I was focusing on. For almost three years I was stuck because all I could see was how I wanted it to be. The more I wanted things to be the way I thought they should be, the more stuck I became. Let me put it another way – I was focused on the people around me and trying to get them to change. I was focused on the outcome, all things that I had no control of. What I needed to do was change my focus onto what I could control and what I could control was my skills and my choices.
This is where it can get tricky because you only have choices if you are able to accept what is, which means letting go of the word, ‘should’. To do that I had to first become aware of how much time I spent bemoaning the fact that nothing was the way it should be. But here is the thing – things are what they are and wishing it is different will never change anything. The only way to create change is to use what you have and not wait for things to miraculously change.
I love this idea of changing my focus from the outcome which I can’t control, to myself and my actions all of which I can control. The moment I do that it feels like a huge load has suddenly been removed from my shoulders. I don’t have to control things anymore. I am not responsible and to blame for things I have no influence over! Now that my focus is on what I can do I feel more confident. It feels right because I am now the Master of my own Destiny!!!
The short and sweet summary
- Stop focusing on the outcome and focus on what you can control, which are your actions.
- Become aware of how often you expect the world to be the way it should be, which is not how it is and how that creates conflict and changes your behaviour
In case you were wondering what happened on my dive, well the moment I let go of forcing the world into the way I thought it should be and started to act on my own behalf, acting as if diving to world record depths was easy, as if I were already the deepest woman in the world, well, the moment I started that I went solo to 141 meters and that dive gave me full corporate sponsorship, an entire dive team and in the space of 6 months, my first world record dive attempt ( I reached 186 meters which would have been the Guinness record if an Italian diver had not made 211 meters the month before me).
I will blog about how to change your focus later this week, but until then, start practicing:
- Become AWARE of what you are focusing on.
- Do you focus exclusively on the outcome ?
- Are you using the word SHOULD a lot ?
- How aware are you of what ‘is’ ?
Start with something simple, like your golf game, but start!