How to focus on yourself: 3 easy ways
Focusing on other people can manifest (and mess you up) in a couple of ways.
One is when you focus on other people’s opinions, expectations, and even doubts and fears since other people’s limitations can easily become our own if we take them on without questioning.
When you do this, you worry more about what other people think of you rather than what you think of you. This stops you from following your unique path in life.
Another common way people focus their attention on other people is through social media, perhaps living vicariously through others while your own life stagnates.
Fiona Apple described this in an awesome way as getting swept away in the “propaganda brochure” of other people’s lives, wanting what they have because it looks cool even though it’s not an authentic desire of your heart.
This is why it's so important to learn how to focus on yourself.
We’re all so inundated with stories from other people’s lives, and focusing on them makes it easy to fall out of alignment with our true path.
This happened to me when I got into a rut of selling online courses and coaching even though the business systems I built following that path didn't align with my true needs and desires.
(Not saying I'll never offer those things again, but the business model I built was not good for me physically or mentally.)
I had a goal — make money online using my gifts of helping people heal emotionally, understand themselves and create unique lives, and saw other people doing this through coaching and courses.
So I started doing coaching and courses and although it was fun, and I helped a lot of people, and made some great money, this pathway ultimately didn’t align with my soul.
If you’ve been around for awhile, you’ve probably heard me say it before: Both our goals and the pathway there must align with our souls.
The way to find this unique path to your unique life is uncovered step by step. It’s an ongoing practice of healing your past pains, listening to your inner voice and taking action on the messages you find.
That’s why today I'm sharing how to focus on yourself.
That’s why Soul Scroll Journals exists, by the way — to help you understand yourself to create a life as unique as you are through journaling.
With that, here are the three most important things for learning how to focus on yourself:
1. Build a relationship with yourself.
Think of your relationship with yourself as you would any other relationship. When you think about building strong relationships with significant others, family or friends, it’s all about spending time with them and hearing their stories.
You want to know their hopes and dreams, their desires and fears, their values and priorities.
Yet when it comes to ourselves, too few people dig in to ask themselves these foundational questions. And if they do, they don’t do it regularly (because we’re always changing) or they don’t actually create changes based on what they find.
We expect the relationships we have with ourselves to flow without any effort, but any relationship without effort will fail. The relationships we have with ourselves are no different.
You have to work at it. Put yourself first. Value yourself enough to discover who you are beyond how other people see you or what they want from you.
This is how to focus on yourself.
In the Self-Love guided journal, you will spend 30 deep, delicious days exploring every layer of your being as you answer questions in all of these areas.
(This doesn't have to take a lot of time. Even 20 or 30 minutes a day will create great results.)
In the journal, you’ll learn the thoughts and past pains keeping you from receiving your own love.
You’ll explore your values and what matters to you.
You’ll dig deep and learn to define yourself so your actions in the world reflect your authentic self rather than a mask of who you think you should be.
2. Learn how to trust yourself.
The biggest reason people spend so much time looking outside of themselves for answers, or not trusting what they find, is that they don’t trust themselves. (Blog on this coming soon.)
You may receive guidance from within for a project to start, curiosity to explore or goal to set, but many people waste time wondering if it’s the right thing to do, worrying what other people will think of them if they do it, and fearing what will happen if they fail.
Even if you do know what you want to do, if you don’t trust yourself, you’ll crash into the next obstacle — not knowing how.
Nobody knows how to do something they’ve never done, but letting that be an obstacle to creating change in our lives is just an excuse. You can figure it out, one next right step at a time.
You may find practical, logical reasons why you can’t do the thing you want to do — not enough time, resources, or knowledge — but I’ve found in my own life that whenever I really wanted to do something, absolutely nothing could hold me back.
The obstacles were always within.
In the Self-Love guided journal, you’ll learn how to identify the voice of distrust, understand why it’s there and change these ongoing patterns so you can feel good about yourself and your life.
There are readings and potent journal prompts on reclaiming your intuition, unlocking your inner power and tapping into true confidence (versus perfectionism) so you can trust yourself and become who you were born to be.
When you don’t trust yourself and follow through on the inner guidance, you end up focusing on what other people want and need, or living vicariously through others while feeling stuck and frozen in your own life.
It’s time to learn how to focus on yourself.
3. Identify something in yourself you’d like to develop and work at it every day.
We’re alive as humans to evolve. Like an old-school photograph negative, we are here to develop into full color.
To translate the possibilities and potentials within us and develop them into actuality.
I find it helpful to focus on one change at a time and make it a habit.
This blog is promoting the Self-Love journal and not Play with the Day, but I can’t help but mention how helpful this yearly goal journal been to track my habits and continue creating forward momentum in my life.
In the past, I’d create change and then plateau or even regress. Growth never felt solid, and I struggled with having goals while still enjoying daily life because I have obsessive tendencies, which leads to fixating on where I want to go rather than being where I am.
If I did create amazing change in one direction, that success was usually due to my obsession, which created imbalance because I would focus on one goal in one area of life to the detriment of other areas of my life.
So then I’d have to go back and clean up other areas of my life, losing the ground I’d just gained in the first area.
Through Play with the Day, I set monthly intentions and goals that are balanced in all areas of my life and track the habits required to make progress on those goals.
Now, my fear mind likes to tell me I’m not moving fast enough, but in my heart I know that I’m moving forward in a much more grounded, spacious way that will support my ongoing chronic fatigue recovery, and without short-circuiting my energy in obsessive pursuit of a goal.
I do enjoy the moment more now, but I find it very important to keep setting incremental new goals, and keep turning up the dial, as an old mentor used to say.
If we don’t move forward, we stagnate. Of course it’s fine to coast sometimes, but just like on a bicycle, if you coast for too long, you’ll eventually lose momentum and fall off.
So tune in, what’s something you’d like to develop in yourself right now?
Something I love about the Self-Love guided journal is the way it helps you clear lots of space before asking you to dream about the future.
Week 1 is all about the foundation. You’ll learn about common self-love myths and why they hold you back from feeling good enough while examining in broad strokes how to move through the world in thought, feeling and action as one who deeply loves herself.
Week 2 is a thorough inventory. You’ll examine generational patterns of self-care in your family, including the mother wound (patriarchy’s dismissal of all things feminine) and how they’re affecting your day-to-day life.
You’ll also identify more clearly the stories you tell yourself about your worthiness so you can heal what needs to be healed and create meaningful change in your life.
Week 3 is all about reclaiming your power. We talk about the difference between being nice and kind, which is so important and an area where people give A LOT of power away.
You’ll also explore the kinds of boundaries you’d like to set (and how to do it), along with ways to deepen your connection to your intuition.
This is a great, powerful week because we explore how deeper fears of inadequacy and rejection have influenced how you show up in the world as a way to protect yourself.
Once you create a feeling of safety within yourself, no longer trying to get it from the outside world, you will feel emboldened to live more boldly and unapologetically than ever before.
Week 4 is all about rediscovering your dreams.
One of my favorite readings and prompts is from Day 27, about learning how to receive.
I guide you through a powerful shadow work process to heal tendencies of over-giving that naturally result in a most-frustrating tug of war: feelings of resentment when you over-give and guilt when you try to set boundaries or say no.
You’ll explore your desires, which is sure to be a powerful conversation with yourself now that you're so deeply connected. I also talk about my unconventional views on life purpose, including a super fast way to create clarity even when you feel insanely confused.
The Self-Love guided journal is one of my favorite things I’ve ever created. It strikes the perfect balance between deep healing and fun exploration.
If you’d like to learn how to focus on yourself and want support to feel good enough, I know you’ll love it!
Questions? Let me know, and I'll reply!
All the love,
Founder, Soul Scroll Journals