Small focus, BIG results
These days, it is easy to be distracted by big bright lights, loud music and glossy images. It is natural to feel that all the big pizzazz of other people’s lives is way better than your own and that somehow you are lacking, not achieving, being left behind. Small. As if they have it all and you cannot compare to them.
The disease of comparison is one we can all suffer from, should we let it. By focusing so much time and energy on watching the big things others are doing, we are not taking action ourselves. We get blinded by the lights and subdue our own motivation as a result.
Alvin HJ wrote a book called ‘The Positive Green Eyed Monster, Discover Why Green-Eyed Is A Sign of Green Light and How to Make Jealousy Work For You’. In this book, Alvin talks about jealousy being fear based, why we get jealous, the effects of this and how to manage it. If you can’t find a copy of this let me know. There is a focus on understanding what has caused the jealousy, why it has affected us and building a strategy for turning that around to our own benefit.
When situations dictate a more level playing field, such as a global pandemic bringing about a lockdown situation, much of the stimuli for such distraction was reduced. There were no big showy holiday snaps from others, no ‘look at me’ images of social events or amazing restaurants visited. The focus was small, more close to home and more about getting through the situation. Together (virtually speaking).
You will have your own ‘discovered in lockdown’ stories. The things you learned, enjoyed or mastered. The fun times you would not have otherwise enjoyed and may not do again. When the situation forced new behaviours. Small focus. How much of that more ‘simple’ existence do you miss now?
Lockdown – small was definitely the new BIG
So if we take lockdown as an example of how things can become small, where we only focus on the important things and we are not distracted by others, we can see how much our lives can be more relaxed. We do not let in the big noise from elsewhere. It is easier to maintain a happy state.
In Ant Middleton’s book ‘The Fear Bubble, Harness Fear and Live Without Limits’ he describes a method of pushing the fear of anything away until right at the point of the event that is causing the fear, so as not to ruin the time leading up to that event. To preserve the quality of life in the ‘gap’.
So, I like to refer to this gap as the Positivity Bubble. This Positivity Bubble, this happy state, is one we can maintain by focusing on the small more necessary things. Like that relaxed feeling of a cosy Sunday – an easy day, a walk in the woods, a late breakfast (or brunch), a slow roasting joint in the oven, the vegetables prepared and a film on the sofa while the food cooks. The fire crackling and the dogs snoozing by the sofa. A blissful state where the world is small, nothing else matters and life is good.
And this can still happen every day, when you cut out the big noise, focus in and are grateful for the small things.
In 5 instances as to what thinking small has taught me
- You’ve got a lane, you’ve got a chance – Rebecca Adlington – Paralympics (Mark Spitz originally)
I heard this during a Paralympics event where Rebecca said ‘You’ve got a lane, you’ve got a chance’ and, although she was using it in relation to a swimming competition, I likened it in my mind to your life. You have a life, you can live it.
I imagined the lane ropes in the pool like blinkers that a horse wears to keep them looking forwards, to keep them on the ‘straight and narrow’. If you can narrow your thinking, your focus and your energy, you can put greater attention on what you want to achieve.
This is very reflective of the lockdown situation, everyone was forced to think small, to focus in and to get to the end.
- Show them, don’t tell them
Have you ever shared something with someone that you think is a great big idea, that is exciting to you and you want to throw all of your energy at it, only for that other person to slash that dream? To put doubt in your mind and knock your confidence. It’s like a sucker punch in the gut. It can take the wind out of your sails, knocking you down and leaving you paused wondering what else you could do, or worse, put you off for good.
Instead, why not try first. Like a scientist in a lab, trying to discover the cure to cancer before everyone else, lock away that idea, nurture it like a small baby, grow it and pamper it until you are ready to say ‘look what I did’. The power of proof far outweighs the doubters, the negativity and the small mindedness of others.
Always consider that others will genuinely have your best interests at heart, but, they may also be limited by their own fear and allow it to reflect in their advice to you.
- The Power of Now (Eckhart Tolle)
This is one of my favourites to help maintain a Positivity Bubble. Right now, as I write this, I am safe. I have a drink by my side, food in the kitchen, the ability to contact anyone should I need them, a shower to wash in, power to our home to keep us warm. Right now, I am good. Right now.
Later today, I could encounter events that may challenge my feeling of being ok, but remembering the basic foundations that can make me ‘ok’, and that they are still there, gives me some security that I am and will be ok. No matter what.
I admit, this is not always easy to maintain, but, if you can add in some sort of mental trigger to snap you into that feeling whenever you need it, the Power of Now becomes your Power. It becomes the key to maintaining a Positivity Bubble, focusing on the small things, your happy state.
- Eyes down, look in – Lobsters
I learned a little fact about lobsters whilst studying Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) and I refer to it many many times. Because it is hugely powerful.
A lobster, when it grows, sheds its small hard, tough and robust outer shell, in order to grow a new one. When the lobster does this, it will retreat to a ‘safe place’. It will hide away while the softer newer shell becomes stronger.
Much like my Science teacher used to say ‘eyes down, look in’, the lobster is focusing on the task. It makes its world small while it goes through the change in order to emerge bigger, stronger and ready to take on the world once more.
Nature is showing us that it is ok to feel vulnerable and to want to retreat to a safe place while that change happens.
- The only approval you need
Never pin your level of success on the recognition of others.
Read that again.
You can wait an eternity for people to notice OR you can be flooded with ‘false’ praise. There is merit in appreciating any compliment / positive recognition all in good will, on face value, without reading into it. But none of this should indicate to you that you are doing a good job, that what you do matters, or that you need to do something different.
In this case, I prefer a ‘no news is good news’ approach. You really never know who is watching, what they think or if they truly care. Your actions may seem small to you, but others may see them as big giant leaps. If we are all so absorbed in our own journey, we can at least put our attention on our intentions with less distraction. Giving more intensity on the small actions to build big results.
So much like ‘show them, don’t tell them’, there is no need to show off until the big reveal. And even then, never expect anything back, then it will only be a bonus if it comes.
My tried and tested 6 stage programme was built due to my own experience. I originally wrote it after I had been through a job change. And in fact I have applied all the same steps again as I was going through a similar change more recently.
The programme takes you through stages of knowing yourself, assessing your ‘current state’, looking towards a ‘future state’ and then assessing the steps and plan to bridge the gap. All focusing on you and for you. Keeping it small to become BIG.
By knowing yourself and working on yourself, you are becoming the person you want to be, in a private and safe place, like the lobster. You are focusing on Project You. You are showing the universe what you want and you are not leaving it to chance that it will be delivered.
So I hope you can see how keeping it small at the start, working away in private and emerging from your chrysalis as a beautiful butterfly can be achieved via the programme.
The beauty of this programme is that anyone can use it to guide them to be happier.
So if you are also feeling like you need to hunker down and work on yourself, why not get in touch. Allow me to help you to become that beautiful butterfly.
Let’s get you started on the 6 steps to success!