I’ve been trying to focus all day… Here’s a hint: I can’t do it. Every time I try, I just get so overwhelmed with anxiety and worry that I fail to even think about what to do, let alone how to do it. Which is weird considering the circumstances…
Circumstance #1: I’m doing something I enjoy.
Why in the world do we worry about things just because we see them as work? Half the time, I do 90% the same thing when I work as when I play, and yet I can’t do the former nearly as much with ease as the latter.
A thought, I think, to consider: our mindsets really do affect our abilities, so in order to do what we want and/or need to do, we should focus just as much energy on the thought of doing it as we do towards the act of doing it.
Circumstance #2: I fear failure…and success.
I believe that most people have this problem. We fear failure because of the social stigma (or perceived possibility thereof), lack of feeling confident, or fear of career/life setback; similarly, I think we fear success because we fear we won’t be able to handle the larger challenges a greater role may bring us—this obviously ties a lot into the fear of failure, too.
Circumstance #3: I don’t actually have a lot of work to do…
Why is it we so easily feel overwhelmed, as if drowning in a sea of torrential workloads, even if we really don’t have that much on our to-do lists? This is probably due to a lot of things, but I think one of the biggest issues behind it is that we tend to focus on the big picture, as opposed to focusing on the present, singular tense.
It’s one of our great collective faults in life: not being able to live in the present moment. Don’t get me wrong, of course—it’s very important to be able to recognise and embrace the possibilities of the future as well as the memories of the past. These temporal foci allow us to learn from our mistakes and successes, and to make predictions about the future to keep us safe. But we, as groups and individuals, often tend to take that to the extreme and dwell. Knowing is good; dwelling is bad. It’s a simple concept, but often very hard to implement.
I have a lot more issues than just these three. I deal from mental health problems on a regular basis and they pose a lot of challenges for me in both my professional and personal lives. But knowing the psychology behind it helps a lot in learning to challenge, and hold back, my limitations. I may not be able to defeat them, but even a delay can give me enough time to make it to the finish line before collapsing.
And I suppose that’s a lesson we all have to keep close to heart. For in the end, it’s not a problem with only certain people. Everyone has problems, and most people have very similar problems at that. The variable here tends to be severity, and therein lies the challenge we all face: not of ability, not of how hard you try, but of tenacity, of endurance, of how long one persists.
Hehe…and now that I realise it, look at this. I wrote this whole post. Wow, I am actually quite proud of myself. I’m gonna go do something great now. Let’s do this.