So Much to Focus On
Let’s face it, if you’re reading this blog, you are either focused on helping others; or you are focused on helping yourself; or both.
You spend a lot of time learning and thinking about how to resolve the challenges of daily life.
You’ve had the experience of adjusting work habits and/or life habits…sometimes successfully and long term. Other times the changes are short lived.
You’ve tried to start something like obtain more business or improve your health or your mood.
You’ve perhaps been engaged in marketing or business development.
You’ve invested in free and paid resources such as books, webinars, coaching etc….
You’ve had great results and you’ve had mediocre results.
You’ve been focused and you’ve been scattered.
You’ve been disciplined and on point; you’ve been inconsistent and wanted to give up.
You’ve tried so many strategies and perhaps you have quit almost as many as you’ve started.
Are Our Efforts Making a Difference?
Even in our role as service providers, therapists, coaches or consultants, we sometimes harbor doubts about whether or not someone will improve.
Whether or not someone will achieve their goals and whether or not we can help… we begin to doubt ourselves.
We begin to question “Do I know enough? Am I skilled enough to help?”
We don’t always trust the process.
We want things to sometimes be easier for people than they are.
The truth is, to having lasting results with any endeavor, we have to work at it everyday…
That means that when we are helping others a big part of our role is supporting them in their personal agency; helping people take ownership of their life, their challenges, their opportunities and their solutions.
It doesn’t mean that we leave them alone with what they came in for help with…but we recognize their role…we learn their story…we respect their truth…we honor their pain…we watch our own tendencies…we pick a method that aligns with our best therapeutic self and with the client’s needs and then we need to stay focused and trust the process.
They Know What They Need, Just Like You Know What You Need
Clients are very accurate about what they need help with, even if they appear resistant… resistance is part of growth…people need to make change their own.
It doesn’t matter to me if the change you are focused on is adding multiple streams of income or helping someone battle depression or anxiety. The keys to success involve FOCUS and CONSISTENCY.
We must trust the process. For example, everyone isn’t going to do therapeutic assignments (homework)…
Just like every business owner isn’t intended to blog or video cast or be a social media giant.
So don’t make the conditions of therapeutic change be about doing homework.
And don’t make the cornerstone of your business development something that you don’t like to do or won’t do…because let’s face it…if you did do it, it probably wouldn’t turn out well under those circumstances.
What is Focus?
Focus doesn’t mean that you are inflexible.
Focus means that you stay connected to the end goal, as it relates to therapy or coaching…you allow the process to unfold at its natural pace.
If you don’t allow a natural pace and you switch strategies frequently, you are virtually guaranteeing that the client can’t trust the process and thereby sabotage their ability to put themselves in your hands and trust you.
We are talking about the basic trust that comes with the confidence that “this person knows what they are doing.”
Change and growth are hard enough where trust exists…be trustworthy…be consistent enough…not perfect…but consistent enough to be a trusted and reliable asset.
Your lack of focus begins to mirror the mental or relational confusion that they (the client) themselves may be experiencing.
It is the same in business development, if your services are not consistent then your customer base has no opportunity to hear about your services, find you, go through the procurement process, and begin their experience.
If they can’t do all of that, then they cannot achieve the benefits and results from what you provide.
They also will not be able to recommend your services to others. This is the best and most reliable marketing…clients achieving results and telling others about you.
Can’t Someone Else Do It?
In my daily work as a supervisor of beginning therapists or as a consultant and coach to colleagues, the number one challenge I observe involves people putting forth a lot of effort with limited results.
Sometimes people want to “hire it out,” and “get someone else to do it.” Let someone else create my content. Let someone else develop my brand, etc…
As it relates to clients there is a sense of overwhelm so they may want to “refer out,” this person is “too difficult.”
The truth is that results come from consistent action and intention.
If your intention is to have a life that feels balanced, where you are available to yourself and your family/friends while also building a practice or a service, etc….then there is a common trap you must avoid.
If you can avoid this trap, then you are unlocking the door to a far less stressful existence. In addition, you will increase your effectiveness. Do you know what the trap is?
It’s saying “yes” because you are afraid that an opportunity won’t come around again.
It is also saying “yes” because you think “I’d be stupid to say no to this opportunity.”
Or saying “yes” because you are afraid you will get fired.
Or saying “yes” because you want others to like you or think a particular way about you.
Or saying “yes” because someone close to us thinks we should.
There are countless reasons why we are saying “yes” when we should be saying “no.”
It culminates in the same result…
Muted results from scattered efforts because you are trying to do and be too many things all at once. Because the “intention” about who you really are and what you really want is not front and center.
Don’t add more work when you are not achieving your intended results in your life or work.
This is not the same as never making a change. Instead, I am suggesting that you really invest in a change only when it is truly more aligned with your work/life goals; be it a new job or a new opportunity…I’m suggesting that you let go of one thing fully to start another thing that you are certain is necessary – but only after you have gained clarity of purpose.
Is This Truly Mine to Focus On?
Know the answer to these questions:
- Am I switching gears without having fulling invested myself in what I have already set out to do?
- Is what I am considering doing instead fully aligned with my work and life goals?
- If the answer to #2 is yes, consider this…if you are already doing work aligned with these goals, is it necessary to add more right now?
- How does adding more right now impact your quality of life?
Just as I talked about trusting the process of change in therapy (coaching, consultation, or training)…
You must have faith that you can simply do the work that is in front of you; and not add to your work load in a frenzy to get to some desired outcome more quickly.
It is focus that gets you there…not being everything…to everyone…all of the time. It is consistency of effort that gets you to your end goal…not scattered bits of effort with little or no time for reflection or integration.
Copyright © 2016 Ruby Blow. All rights reserved.