Focus to Remain Focused
Have you ever tried to do new things with the old order? I have, and guess what? Sometimes (actually lot of the times), this method does not work. I am in the process of restructuring and reorganizing my life and career, and I’m discovering that I need to refocus for where I am going, and not where I have been.
I had an enlightening conversation last week with Sherie at Plum Group. Sherie has been instrumental in guiding me through some of the work which I have been trying to unravel with Shattered Silence. I’ve been spending a lot of time running in circles, trying to structure business activities, check boxes, make plans and then I realized something very important … I had no FOCUS.
Sure, I know what my business objective is and how I want to implement it, but in the middle of change and transition (in my personal life and business), my ‘why’ had changed as well. I have been trying to carry the new opportunities with the old order and structure, and quite frankly, it’s led to utter confusion.
I have a challenge for you: Try doing something without focus - for example; working, driving, or spending money. When we lack focus, what tends to happen is that our energy, effort and money is quickly depleted, if there is no structure in place.
Just as no focus is challenging, the wrong kind of focus puts me out of sorts. I have been spending my time and energy on something that I thought I wanted to work towards. Working towards a goal for a ‘new’ project, with the focus of the old. I have been putting the right effort in wrong places. It doesn’t work. But planning and strategizing where I am trying to go, seems to be much more effective.
We all know that change is constant. I am not the same person I was 10 years ago. Heck, I’m not even the same person I was last year. Life experiences have moved me, my circumstances and has changed the trajectory of my life’s journey. This transition has ultimately changed my focus.
Sherie has done an incredible job in challenging my perspectives and how to align my personal values with new business goals. I have become more aware of what my priorities are. Instead of focusing so much on business activities, Sherie’s guidance has directed me to focus more on the internal - ME. I must admit, I wasn’t sure exactly how this would support the business development piece until we started working on me - my vision and my purpose. Now, I clearly see the value in starting inward first - this is the ‘why’ of my work.
The work I have been doing with Shattered Silence over the last couple of years was largely centred around administrative tasks, funding proposals, community connections, networking, and social media. In the midst trying to keep up with the positive community responses and momentum, I lost focus on my own personal parameters - overtime losing focus on myself. Don’t get me wrong, I was intentional in writing blogs and sharing social media posts, however, outside of that, I was not as consistent in continuing the work around the ‘why’ and was more concerned about developing the ‘what’ of the organization.
You can’t do it all
How many times has someone echoed this phrase to you? Several times for me, but sometimes there are moments in my life where I think I have the strength to tackle everything (I guess that’s my brain is playing tricks on me again). I love thinking of ideas, and planning, whether it be work, social activities, etc. I find myself filling notebooks with great visions, ideas and plans for work. Writing these lists excite me, but reading them overwhelms me, because I don’t have the right kind of focus. Some ideas would be great for the old, some for the new, and some - well, I don’t know where they belong yet.
What is my centre? What is my priority? Sometimes you just have to ask yourself that. One of the most important lessons I have learned (especially through burnout), is that I do not have enough strength to do everything. I can’t take on too much and still be effective - my mental, physical and spiritual health all suffer, and then there is chaos. Over the past several months, I was out of order for the weight-load I was trying to carry. My capacity to produce limited my inability to focus on key activities to move me forward. The more out of focused I was, the less creative I became.
I’m learning to recognize that everything good that comes my way, is not always for me to do. There is a time and place for everything. This recognition required me to zoom in on what my values, mission, and ideas are, and follow the path and opportunities that lead me in that direction. What areas in your life are causing you chaos and blurring your vision on where you want to go, be and achieve? As I have learned, the answer lies within you.
With love and care,
Founder of Life Out Loud
Martina has over 10 years’ professional experience working as a Personal Development Counsellor and Instructor and holds a diploma in Social Services (Addictions Counselling concentration) from the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), as well as a BA (hons) in Psychology from Mount St. Vincent University.