We feel most small, we feel most challenged when we’re only focusing on ourselves. – Tony Robbins and here
What does that mean?
This quote caught my attention as it reminded me of some of the discussions on one of my other posts. Some of them were feeling very sorry for themselves, and that was a big part of why they were feeling so small and vulnerable.
Interestingly, my advice was to focus on improving themselves, and not on what had gone wrong. Most of the people who followed the advice have since added comments letting me know that they were doing better, and that things were looking up for them.
That’s what this quote is about. When we make everything about us, and focus inwards on ourselves, we get all wrapped up in ourselves, and move ourselves into a type of learned helplessness. This just helps to make us feel even more helpless and small. Everything becomes a massive challenge.
Why is not focusing on ourselves, but on others important?
When we focus on what is wrong, that can become all that we see. If we want to feel better, it usually helps to stop focusing on the bad and begin focusing on the good. That doesn’t mean ignore the bad, but to look for the bright spot, the lesson learned, or what good can come of it.
Many of the people I have been chatting with are in relationships that have gone bad. Some were having a pity party. They were focused inward, and feeling small. Others were focused on what they had lost, and were anywhere from mad to furious. Still others were focused on how helpless they were without the person they loved.
In each of these cases, they were focused on the bad, and inward on themselves. A handful were focused on learning something from the situation and improving themselves in the process. That is what I have been encouraging the others to do as well. Some are doing better than others, but many are having some success.
Where can I apply this in my life?
How often do you feel helpless, at the end of your rope, frustrated, overcome or otherwise powerless? Take a moment and search for the last few times you felt that way. While you may have taken some time to consider the forces aligned against you, was most of your focus, worry, and emotional energy directed inwards? My instances were.
Now think of the times when you got out of that cycle, out of your funk. What did you do that was different? Was it the same each time? Can you find anything in common between them? Take a few moments to think your way through a few of those less than great times.
Given today’s quote, I may be looking to validate a theory, rather than test it, but I found focusing on others, or on improving myself was the key. While I was focused on the negative within me, all I got was more negative. Did you find that to be the case as well?
While I’m sure we can construct a case that disproves it, I have found in my life that there was always somebody who was in worse shape than I, and by trying to help them, the dark clouds quickly parted. How about you, was that your experience? Did you feel a little less crushed when you changed your focus?
Please note that this technique won’t make your problems go away, but it will help you find some perspective, and help you find the vitality to face your trouble, as well as helping you free your mind from the grip of fear and allow it to function properly. Hopefully that combination will allow you to better respond to what life has thrown at you.
Where in your life, at this very moment, do you feel a little stressed, under some pressure, dazed, confused, or helpless? Are you focused on the impact it will have on you, the source of the difficulty, on the terrible and dark nature of it, or are you focused on helping someone else?
Even if you’re focused on helping yourself (usually in an area other than where the challenge lies), often that is enough to help clear your head from the downward spiral that often comes with the focus on ourselves or on our problems. That is what the quote is hoping to help us accomplish.
Do you have a favorite charitable organization, or a volunteer activity you enjoy? Helping others instantly takes the focus off of yourself, right? Are there any activities you enjoy that could help you distract yourself for a short period of time? Again, we’re trying to break the gloom-and-doom attitude, right?
This won’t make your challenges go away. You will still have to work on those. However, changing your focus can easily change your attitude, and that can really impact your energy and creativity. If all you are doing is asking “Why me?” you will probably never get an answer that will help you out of your situation.
Break the inward and downward spiral and focus outside yourself and outside your problem. Shake out the cobwebs, and get your head back in the game. You may just surprise yourself with what you can accomplish. This won’t solve all your challenges, but it’s hard to imagine things being worse than where they were when you were locked in a pity party, right?
From: Twitter, @tonyrobbins
confirmed at : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marianne-schnall/life-purpose_b_1461184.html about 3/4 of the way down (loooong but interesting interview)
Photo by Phillie Casablanca