4 Steps to Guilt Free Focus
Your focus determines your future.
But what happens when you know what you want, you know WHY you want it and you know exactly what to focus on and, yet, whenever you sit down to focus, this nagging guilt pulls you away from your biggest priorities?
I’ll tell you what happens: your focus suffers.
Yes, you give 80% but you’re not ALL in. Yes, you have a to-do list but it’s taken second place to a ‘should-do’ list that’s running on the inside.
In 40 years of life, I’ve felt guilt ridden focus A LOT… but the first time I heard the term guilt free focus (in 40 years of living) was last week. I was reading a Facebook post from one of my favorite entrepreneurs (Shanda Sumpter of HeartCore Business) and she put it like this:
This same guilt free focus has helped me grow HeartCore Business and get fit… Anything you want is one priority ranking away from coming true!
Those three words stopped me right in my tracks: GUILT FREE FOCUS…
And then I asked myself, “How often have I focused on my biggest goals and dreams WITHOUT guilt?” The answer is sad: not often and not until the last year… and I’m 40!
Because when you’re a person with BIG dreams, BIG goals, tons of intensity, lots of focus and 0/100 tendencies, you’ll come across many people who will criticize your commitment as ‘too intense’, ‘not balanced’, ‘maybe you should slow down’, ‘you’re focusing on the wrong things’, ‘you’re probably not going to make it’, ‘shouldn’t you just be happy with what you have?’
And here’s the problem: so many of us are pursuing goals with GUILT RIDDEN FOCUS that is of our own choosing… because, in our minds, if we pursue things ‘just enough’, if we go for our dreams ‘but keep other people in mind’, if we do a little here and a little there, then others we’ll accept our ambitions…
So not true!
Here’s how it works: every moment you’re not ALL in on your goals, every week you spend lukewarm living, every time you invest 85% of yourself but leave 15% behind, you are setting yourself up for failure… both in the here and now and in the long run.
“But I’m a mom and I struggle with missing out on time with my kids!”
“But I have friends and family who say they never see me and I’m trying to keep balance in my life!”
“But I want to build a successful business and I want to have a social life too!”
But, but, but, but but…. Keep saying them and all you have is a room full of excuses and no big dreams achieved.
Guilt ridden focus produces very little over a lifetime… except regrets.
So how do you go from guilt ridden focus to GUILT FREE FOCUS?
Here are 4 Steps:
1 Give yourself permission to go ALL in
Sounds easy, right? Not easy at all. When I say permission, I mean permission to do ALL of the things listed below. Permission to:
- say No to anything and everything not deeply connected to your biggest life goals and dreams
- say Yes to your deepest desires, even when you’re around people who’ve lived a lifetime saying No to their deepest desires and dreams
- be obsessed about your priorities and spend extraordinary amounts of time on them
- be imbalanced in your life (the season will dictate which area(s) gets the devotion)
- let people, circumstances, jobs and ‘stuff’ go with no notice, no debates, and no discussions
- be unavailable to meet the immediate (and seemingly urgent) needs of others, especially those who are used to you dropping everything at a moment’s notice for them
- raise your life standards and abruptly dismiss anything that doesn’t meet it
You’ve got to be able to, first and foremost, say YES to yourself… and hold onto that YES even when people criticize, judge, or try to shame you for it.
Simple, yes. Easy, no.
2 Scale back your life
Seems like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? Go after your biggest dreams but, first, scale back your life. It’s not.
And here’s why this is powerfully important: most of us are majoring in minor things. We have so many irrelevant, unimportant and time sucking things on our to-do list and then wonder why we barely have time for our most important priorities.
You need to scale back your life. Look at where you’re spending your time. What’s your biggest goal or dream? Is there FOUR hours a day devoted to pursuing that dream EVERY SINGLE DAY? If not, there are things on your schedule that are choking your ability to breathe life into your dreams.
If you don’t have four hours a day, seven days a week to work on your dreams, your daily priorities need re-evaluating and scaling back.
Remember: We make time for the things that are important to us.
3 Stop talking about your ‘plans’
Bringing your dreams to life is like bringing a baby into existence: there’s a gestation period… and far too many people are on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter running their mouths about dreams that aren’t even three months into gestation… and then wonder why six months in, they give up on the process.
You’ve got to protect and uphold the sacred nature of your dream creation process… and you can’t do that if you’re giving people updates on Facebook, arguing with family members about why you want what you want and dealing with haters who, on the one hand, call you brave and, on the other hand, give you back ended compliments like “I don’t know how you do it. I don’t think I could at this stage in my life.”
Remember: less talking, more doing. No more affirming. A lot more action.
4 Figure out your ONE Thing and get progress made on that ONE thing EVERY day
How to achieve any of your dreams is not a secret. You have the answer. You can figure out the strategies. However, what most people do is pursue 70 different strategies at one time and then wonder why they’re burnt out after two months.
Ever heard of the Pareto Principle (80/20 rule)? It applies to everything!
Essentially, 20% of your efforts leads to 80% of your results in ANY endeavor… which means most of us are working way too hard for the things we want to achieve.
Figure out what your 20% is when it comes to your dream and focus every single day on taking actions on the 20%. Do your ONE thing every single day and, over time, the progress compounds.
Stop spreading yourself thin trying this new thing and that new thing. What’s tried and true is tried and true for a reason. Read Gary Keller’s book The ONE Thing, do what he says to do and watch what happens next (no, not in 3 months; over a lifetime).
And final point: Be in this for the long game.
So many people want their dreams fast and furious. Sorry, that’s for the movie series, not for life.
You will get to any dream you take action on and make a commitment to the long game of. And, if you become someone who focuses on the long game, you’ll continue to win again and again. Why? Because most people are short game focused… and that’s why they do the roller coaster of win-lose and lose-win. Don’t be like them. Fully step into you.
Begin with guilt free focus. It works…
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