MeJane's blog by Nadine Nicholson


Why distraction can be a great strategy to focus #mejane

Nadine Nicholson - Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Why distraction can be a great strategy to focus #mejane

Do a search for “how to focus” in Google and you get nearly 2 billion hits, mostly about how to minimize distractions.

So, it might come as a surprise, when in a world full of information overload, in this article I recommend distraction as a strategy to help you focus.

Let me explain...

Recently, my family was out in the Canadian Rocky Mountains on our first hike of the spring season.

Our son started off with a bang. Up front with a spring in his step, he stayed close enough to be in sight and was far enough to have some independence.

Then, his stride started to slow down, his enjoyment waned, and his confidence fell.

“I can’t do this anymore and need to turn around and go back,” he said.

Sure, the hike was feeling difficult for him. It was the first hike of the season.

His head was playing games with him, telling him he couldn’t do it.

I certainly could relate to how he was feeling. My legs were sore too.

While watching his body language, I giggled to myself.

This is what I help my ideal clients with all the time – and I knew the way to help my son, too.

Think of a time when you came up with an idea in your business, felt excited about it, and started out strong.

Then, before you knew it, things started to feel hard.

Fear crept in.

Your mind started playing games with you.

You questioned whether you could do it.

Your confidence fell.

The joy and excitement were gone.

You felt stuck.

Can you relate?

I call this place the “middle zone”.

Your mind will tell you it’s safer to stay here – or turn around and go back.

However, business and life are much harder in the middle zone.

The way to more ease and confidence is to ascend to a completely different altitude.

You get more breathing room and perspective.

And things are easier with more breathing room and perspective.

I knew this was the case with my son.

Even though his mind would disagree with me, his answer was not to stop or go back.

If he stopped moving for too long, lactic acid would naturally build up in his muscles and make it worse.

If he went back, it would have reinforced to his mind that he couldn’t persevere through challenges.

The answer was to help him get some breathing room and perspective – to move past the middle, harder zone, and gain some confidence and joy in the experience.

How did I help him do that?

And how can this help you?

Instead of talking about the hike or trying to encourage him to stay focused, I diverted the focus completely.

My strategy was to distract him from the perceived difficulty by engaging him in a subject he loves talking about.

I got super curious and asked him a question about an online game he loves.

He got talking and soon enough the difficulty of the hike washed away.

Each moment his mind would creep in and tell him to turn around, I quickly pulled a new question out of my back pocket and engaged him again.

After a lot of questions and a few short rest breaks, we made it to our goal, the viewpoint on the mountain ridge.

I looked at our son’s face and his smile beamed.

That moment made it all worth it.

He navigated his fears by focusing on a subject he loves – and along the way he got to a completely different altitude and saw a different perspective.

Now, he has the experience of getting to the other side of building some joy and confidence in what he thought he couldn’t do.

Call to Action

Let’s apply this back to you. The next time you feel fear creep in and you want to stop or turn around, remember this story and give it a try. The answer is not to stay stuck in the middle zone. The answer is to ascend and get some breathing room and perspective. Divert your focus from what feels hard and shift your energy to something you love, which creates joy and confidence.

For example, go for a walk into Mother Nature and as you connect with the beauty around you, notice the clarity you get about your original goal. I’d love to hear about your experience. Please post a comment here under the blog.