InsideOut Development

Where's Your Focus?

by Cindy Holtom


You stumble into an early-morning meeting ten minutes late, mind racing with questions about why you’ve taken on so much and why no one else in the room seems so frazzled. You begin mentally transitioning to the topic at hand, only to notice that everyone else has their laptops open—and yours is still sitting on your desk. At home. Damn! Are they judging you right now? Are you losing credibility as you sit there? These people clearly lead privileged lives. If only they understood what you’re dealing with! Quick, get up to speed! What did you miss?!

How did you get here? Here’s the reality. You spent most of the night comforting a sick child. You were awoken by an all-too-early alarm for the aforementioned meeting. That meeting will kick off a project that could further your career. As if the lack of sleep wasn’t enough, there is road construction on the commute, no parking when you arrive, and you can’t believe the news report you’re hearing on the radio. It’s no surprise that your mind was flooded with distracting internal dialogue by the time you sat down.

There are many factors in life that are outside of our control. At InsideOut Development, we call them “interference.” Interference is anything that gets in the way of your progress. There are two types: external and internal.

External interference is the stuff that’s happening around you.For example, your child is sick, your company has mandated tighter budgets, your future career path is fuzzy, you’re dealing with broken equipment, etcetera. Unfortunately, you can’t control how it will rear its’ ugly head and there’s rarely anything you can do about it.

Internal interference is how the external stuff impacts our mental and emotional state. It’s that internal dialogue in your head preventing you from doing your best work. We are all susceptible to this type of distraction, whether it manifests as a frustrated mental rant, an untrue story about what’s happening, or questioning our own capability.

So, is there any good news? Yes! You can recognize the effects of external interference and choose your focus to prevent it from holding you back. Choose to focus on the work that needs to be done instead of the interference. Choosing your focus is how you take control of your performance.

In our latest workshop, Breakthroughs: High Performance from the InsideOut, we help participants get deliberate about their focus to improve their performance. The workshop guides participants through a 3-step process to get unstuck and start achieving more breakthroughs. Participants learn how to choose their focus, chart their course with the GROW® Model, and get perspective from colleagues in order to better navigate performance pitfalls and excel at work and beyond.

If you or your team has been struggling with interference, remember this: you have a choice. Will you focus on the dialogue in your head or the action steps to move forward?

Chat with us or schedule a call with one of our performance experts.

Click here to learn more about how to drive breakthroughs at your organization with Breakthroughs: High Performance from the InsideOut.

Category: Breakthroughs Focus

Picture of Cindy Holtom

Cindy is a seasoned designer with experience in brand creation, campaign strategy, event design, and product development. She delights in creating meaningful experiences for her clients and their customers, and is always jumping from podcasts to audiobooks, devouring ideas. She lives in Salt Lake City with her husband and 2 dogs. She loves to be outdoors and experience new perspectives.

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