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How To Move Forward When You're Out of Focus

Moving forward can be daunting, even conceptually. Whether at the hands of a broken heart or some solid writers' block, it can be challenging to get back on track- especially when what's going on in our minds is feeling fuzzy.

Our brains may lack the auto-focus feature of modern cameras, but luckily there are still ways we can reset to a point of clarity as we aim to capture the bigger picture of life.

Take A Step Back

First, set down and step away for a moment from what it is that is weighing you down to the point of distraction. It may sound counterproductive, but everything else will remain out of focus as long as you are too close to the core of the disruption.

In some cases, this may solve the issue entirely. However, if it is not something you can permanently detach from for the foreseeable future, at the least allow things a few moments to settle. Learn to sit with your feelings- then move accordingly.

Composure is a skill-set that ages well over time. Learning to be less reactive can be difficult. But don't get caught sitting passenger-side while emotions take the wheel.

Accept The Negatives

Radical acceptance is key to contentment.

If the past couple of years have taught me anything between my personal life and professional life, it is that in order to flourish as individuals, we must learn to be equally grateful for the highs and the lows.

The Bad will serve as your teacher; bringing you lessons and imploring for your caution and consideration. The Good will be your friend; offering you comfort and reminding you of what it is that you have to be grateful for.

They only exist together. Both are important, and both must be wholly accepted as fundamental. Striving to live a life of only good days may be admirable, but it is realistically unattainable.

Learning to practice non-attachment can aid in learning to accept things as they are.

Live with ambitions but without expectations. Don't allow your reality to be owned by anything, anyone, or any circumstance that is beyond you. This requires a certain level of self-discipline that brings its own set of challenges, but it is your responsibility to prioritize your needs over your wants.

Practice Self-care

Through every instance in life, it is important to stop and ask "am I taking proper care of myself?".

Ensuring that your mind, body, and soul are well attended to will allow you the peace-of-mind to know that you're giving yourself the fighting chance to accomplish your goals.

Especially in a hyper-fast-paced society, while also embarking on Year 2 of COVID-19, it is more imperative than ever before to make sure that we are doing what we can to take care of ourselves.

No amount of self-care exercises will be truly effective without covering the basics, so make sure to start with:

  • Getting enough rest

  • Eating a balanced diet

  • Drinking plenty of water

  • Making time for leisure

If the goal is to return to a state of productivity, try engaging in mindfulness activities. While the immediate objective will be to redirect your focus off of exterior stressors, the awareness of practicing these exercises can provide a deep refresh for your mind and body.

Positive Psychology, a "science-based" resource collaborative focused on human psyches, has a great compilation of mindfulness practices here, on their website.

Break It Into Pieces

Have you ever had so much on your plate that your stress or anxiety renders you practically immobile?

Often it tends to be the big pile in front of us that appears overwhelming, but when we break it into pieces- it's suddenly much easier to tackle. After all, you can't just shoot to the top of a mountain. Instead, you have to take it step-by-step to climb there.

Put simply by author & entrepreneur Maren Kate in Escaping the 9 to 5,

"A big goal is only achieved when every little thing that you do every day, gets you closer to that goal".

Business or personal, learning to break things down into smaller pieces will provide your mind with an uncluttered view to better assist you in getting to where it is that you want to be.

Make lists, prioritize, and manage your time. Then watch as the mountain sheds into stepping-stones.

Shake The Dust Off

An important part of the process to refocus yourself is reminding yourself of your self-proclaimed purpose. What feeds your dreams or motivates you?

Circle back to your objective. Push aside the setbacks and re-center to what illuminates you. There may be music, photographs, trinkets, or journals that could provide a sentimental aide-memoire to a more inspired version of yourself.

Taking the time to visit with what makes you feel empowered is a great way to re-calibrate the path you've envisioned for yourself.

If you find that you need a little extra help in remembering what you want out of this world, Life by Design is a renowned guided-journal that is exceptional in identifying standards for ourselves.

Get Back Up

Finally, set yourself up for success and get back to the hustle.

Even for those of us who set out to achieve an unconventional lifestyle, consistency is still critical. Humans are creatures designed to thrive best with routine.

As an example, making the bed in the morning is the most infamous habit of any successful person. It may sound like an arbitrary task, but it offers a way to incorporate one 5-minute task into a daily routine that also provides a tangible 'reset' button.

An added benefit: people who make their beds in the morning are 206.8% more likely to be millionaires. Not bad odds for an easy check off the to-do list!

Be kind to yourself. Know that you have the right to enjoy the adventure that is life on Earth. Be accepting of the fact that setbacks are bound to happen now and then, and that life will continue to ebb and flow with unexpected hiccups. Even then, everything will be okay!

Remember, we all started somewhere with just one foot in front of the other as our guiding motions. Even if you do trip- still claim and embrace the potential for new possibilities as you wake up every day. And no matter what- keep moving forward.

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