Back to Blog

Harness "Conscious Focusing" as Your Superpower! - 088

adhd executive function podcast Sep 14, 2021

If you could get yourself to focus when and where you need to AND could shift your state or feelings so you feel like doing things you’ve planned, when it’s time to take action, would having those skills change your life?  If you’re like other adults I’ve asked over the years, the answer is a resounding yes.  But how?

You are where your attention is.  What you focus on grows.  You are the meaning maker in your life.  Your feelings are a direct result of your thinking.  You create your own reality; we all do. 

So…are you ready to harness your focus before your dreams gently slip through your fingers or you run out of steam and just quit?  I hope so.

Today I’m talking about one aspect of embracing your Superpower and becoming the visionary of your life.  That’s right - developing your Foresight and Conscious Focusing so you can connect with your ideas about how things can be different for you; how they can actually improve.       

In this episode Dr B talks about:

  • Developing your Conscious Focusing and a fun exercise to do so
  • Developing your Foresight and it's significance in your life
  • The importance of celebrating your wins
  • Strong community and Live Q & A in the Living Beyond ADHD FB Group
  • Getting on the informational Waitlist for the ADDventures In Achievement Foundational Skills program

Developing your Executive Function Skills and shifting your limiting beliefs is the fastest and most effective way to overcome ADHD limitations, find focus, gain confidence, and newfound freedom in your life!

My mission is to put an end to the worldwide needless suffering of adults with ADHD and those with under-developed Executive Function Skills - whether from ADHD, chronic depression or anxiety, trauma, addictions, or chronic illnesses.  And, you don't need a formal diagnosis to know you need help developing these executive function skills in order to greatly reduce your suffering.

 

Full Episode Transcript Harness “Conscious Focusing” as Your Superpower! Episode #088

If you could get yourself to focus when and where you need to AND could shift your state or feelings so you feel like doing things you’ve planned, when it’s time to take action, would having those skills change your life? If you’re like other adults I’ve asked over the years, the answer is a resounding yes. But how?

You are where your attention is. What you focus on grows. You are the meaning maker in your life. Your feelings are a direct result of your thinking. You create your own reality; we all do.

So…are you ready to harness your focus before your dreams gently slip through your fingers or you run out of steam and just quit? I hope so.

Today I’m talking about one aspect of embracing your Superpower and becoming the visionary of your life. That’s right - developing your Foresight and Conscious Focusing so you can connect with your ideas about how things can be different for you; how they can actually improve.

When I first studied timelines in my NLP training, the importance of being able to transition back and forth between “in time” and “through time” became apparent. Think of “in time” as “in the zone” - your natural ability to “hyper-focus.” And think of “through time” as the ability to see what’s going on around you in relation to time so you can stop and start through time.

For most adults, being “in the zone” and hyperfocusing isn’t a problem; quite the opposite. They can be absorbed “in the zone” for hours and lose sight of what was important to accomplish that day. Without the ability to pop in and out of “hyper-focus” as well as engage other EF skills, so you keep yourself on track for the day’s events, that Superpower may cause you lots of problems.

I prefer the Superpower of Conscious Focusing, which is a bit different than hyper-focusing. It’s intentional. It’s where you and your attention intentionally go, rather than being hijacked. If you enjoy photography, rather than just taking snapshots, you are being intentional. You see the shot you want, you set up for it, you adjust your lens to consciously focus on that shot, and capture it when you click the shutter. You are consciously focusing yourself and the camera to capture the image you see.

Conscious Focusing is intentional focusing; it’s being fully present for that which you are consciously focusing on, and because you are experiencing something with intention, you will most likely gain a knowing of it and make a rich memory to recall your knowing. Your knowing is beyond knowledge or information; it’s coming from within you.

In 1961 Robert A. Heinlein published “Stranger in a Strange Land.” I bring up this book because of it’s influence on modern culture. The most significant to me is the word “grok” which literally means “to drink” and figurately means “to comprehend” and “to be one with.” When we have a knowing we “grok” the information via the experience that leads us to the knowing. What I also learned from the book is that each of us has our own reality and sometimes very little of it overlaps…plus it’s all made up by each of us.

So, if it’s all made up and you’re the author, what do you want your daily script to be? Where do you want your focus to go…and stay…until you shift it to something else?

And what about Foresight? Do you look ahead to what’s coming or do you get broadsided by your life events on a regular basis? Many do. Did you know that Foresight is a skill that you can develop just like all the other skills I talk about? It’s true.

I trust you understand how important Foresight is. To be able to look ahead and know when your bills are coming and due to be paid. When you have to make appointments with doctors or take your car in for maintenance or even get maintenance things done at your home. If you have no Foresight and don’t know how to look ahead then you won’t plan or schedule because what would be the point of it?

So, what pulls your focus or attention away from where it needs to be?

I hear so many people say they can’t focus. We know that’s not true because you focus on lots of things. More accurately is to say that you can’t get yourself to focus on things you need to focus on, when you need to focus on them, and actually take action on them as well.

Saying you can’t focus is a limiting belief and then you can’t focus because you’ve trained yourself to believe that you can’t focus. So now, you will need to re-train yourself to focus and correct your belief so that you can focus.

Not being able to focus when and where you need to is a symptom of an EF skill challenge. And as you already know, skills can be developed.

You are as limited as you believe you are. And when what you believe is based on your past instead of the now and your future life, you will continue to reinforce and get what you already have – limitations.

To break through all the limitations and learn to be capable and confident, you need to start re-programing your mind for what you want; not what you’ve already had. If you’re focus challenged, there are solutions for you in this episode, so keep listening.

If you aren’t yet a member of my Living Beyond ADHD FB group, I highly recommend you ask to join. Be sure to answer the few questions asked so you can be approved into the group. If you don’t, your request will be deleted and you will need to ask again to join. We have rules so that the group is a safe space, free of judgment, and a place where you can show up and interact with like-minded adults – laugh a little, learn a little and most of all be connected to a positive energy community.

Do you have questions about adult ADHD or developing your Executive Function skills? I go live in the group on Fridays and answer questions posed by group members. It’s definitely worth joining us to benefit from my 30+ years of expertise working with adults just like you – that is, if you are seeking answers. And, if you want to start developing your Executive Function Skills with more help than my podcast episodes, Facebook lives and engaging posts, I have created lots of free resources for you to benefit from. You’ll find them under Resources on my website.

Question – do you have problems with Time Management, Procrastination or Decision-Making? Do want to develop those skills and make your life easier? If yes, let’s work together. You’ll have 30 days per MasterClass to work with me to gain a “knowing” of the MasterClass methodology, not just get training. Knowledge isn’t power; being able to apply knowledge is very powerful.

And, if you’ve been wanting to know more about Executive Function skills and their development, as well as how that happens in the ADDventures In Achievement Foundational Skills program, I highly recommend you get yourself on the Waitlist right away. We’ve written a wonderful series of educational emails going out to those of you on the Waitlist. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Plus, you’ll be the first to hear about other opportunities coming very soon.

So much for you to benefit from – that is, if that’s of interest to you.

For those of you who have been long time listeners, you know I am big on WINS and their importance in your life. Consciously Focusing on your Wins every day trains your mind for consistency and helps you intentionally set your energy at a higher frequency of positivity so you can offset the massive number of negatives flying around every day.

Having a WINS mindset will shift how you experience your life, even during very challenging times, like now. How you experience your life and the meanings you give life events contribute greatly to the quality of your life. We don’t have control over people, places or things; however, we do have control over the meanings we give them.

It’s important to you to stand guard at the doorway to your mind because whatever you focus on grows. Do you want to grow more weeds in your mental garden? If not, then Consciously Focusing on your wins will continue to attract more WINS into your life, all leading you to the state of mind and life you want.

You are a precious child of God and the universe; and are called a “human being” not a “human doing” for good reason. You don’t have to earn your value; you were born with it. Your value comes from “who” you are; not what you do. And if you need a place to know that is true, be sure to join the FB group, so you can be with others who will celebrate yours WINS with you and affirm that you are more than okay as you, the “human being.” It’s a judgment-free zone. So, what’s it going to be for you today? If you filed your taxes before your 6- month extension expired, that’s awesome! If you washed, dried and put away all of your clean dishes, that’s wonderful! If you decided to commit to 15 minutes a day, every day, for personal growth for yourself, that’s fantastic! You get the point; celebrate them all – big and small. And none of this “half-hearted celebrating”; you’ve got to feel it. Exaggerate your emotions. YES!!! WOW!!! AWESOME!!! Your mind records and builds habits for you with consistency, so celebrating wins every day is the fast track to positive changes in your life.

How much time do we have? Not much. So, let’s get to it.

Back to being focus challenged and lacking foresight. I have an exercise for you to experience. Get a piece of paper now, or use your digital device to write on.

1. Make a list of all the things that you are able to focus on and stay focused on until you complete them.
a. How many things on your list? A 100? A 1,000?
b. Point is, there are many things you are able to stay focused on
2. Next, write down next to each of the things you are able to stay focused on the reason you can stay focused.
3. Next, look for themes or commonalities in the reasons you listed.
4. Let’s say that the reasons or theme you are able to stay focused is because it’s interesting or it’s fun, then you have your solution. For you to be able to stay focused, it has to be fun or interesting.
5. Figure out how you will make things fun and interesting for yourself. Remember, you are the meaning maker and things are fun or interesting to you because you have decided they are; not because they truly are.

And, drawing from a previous episode about busting limiting beliefs, we can now bust your limiting belief about not being able to focus.

Busting your focus belief – “I can’t focus.” We already know that belief isn’t true because you have a list of things that you can focus on just fine. And we know what makes it possible for you to focus as well. So, your limiting belief that you can’t focus is a lie.

Instead, the truth is that you can focus just fine when you make things fun and interesting for yourself. Remember, you are 100% responsible, 100% of the time, for the outcomes in your life. That means, you are responsible and response-able for making things fun and interesting; no one else.

Remember that I mentioned Foresight earlier on in this episode? And how important it is to develop your Foresight? Think of your Foresight as “seeing ahead of time.” When you can see ahead of time, you can plan to meet your needs before the time arrives for them to be met.

Choose something to “consciously focus” on and apply Foresight. What can you see that you will need in a few hours or days or weeks? Once you recognize what that is, be sure to write it down and schedule time for you to take care of that need so it’s ready when the time comes.

How would it feel to live ready because you developed your Foresight and aren’t caught off guard? That you can take care of yourself no matter what situation you are in? Knowing both sides of this experience, I can tell you it’s a wonderful feeling to live ready because of developed Foresight. If you didn’t pause and do the exercise, please do take time to experience it. You’ll be glad you did.

Building on what Gandhi said:

“Your beliefs become your thoughts” – so choose your beliefs carefully; they are going to occupy a lot of your thinking time

“Your thoughts become your words” – so choose your thoughts carefully; they become the vehicle for your expression

“Your words become your actions” – so choose your words with care so they can accurately steer your actions

“Your actions become your habits” – so choose mindfully based on what you want your shortcuts in life to be

“Your habits become your values” – so pay attention to the habits you allow yourself to develop; you may regret them later

“Your values become your destiny” – we spend our time on what we value even when it’s not what we say we value, and it’s not congruent with our goals and Dreams

Develop your foresight well enough to stop yourself from consciously focusing on things that don’t align with your true values and run your life into the ground. And then set your intention and consciously focus of what you do want to bring into your life, rather than what you don’t want.

Are you ready to commit to transforming your life, in 15-minute a day increments? If you are, great! What’s your first commitment? Be sure to celebrate your commitment in the Facebook group with the Wednesday Wins Posts.

I want you all to know that there is real hope for resolving the challenges you are experiencing with your focus and foresight.

The needless suffering of millions of adults around the world has to stop, and I am doing what I can to stop it with this generation; with us. We all need to address our conscious focusing and foresight if we want to live the life that is possible for us with those changes. We can all develop our EF skills; they are just skills, and when developed in a methodical way, they arise to support us as if they’d been there all the time. I say that because I’m thinking of a student who didn’t have foresight and developed it and now talks as if it’s always been there. It’s very Exciting!!

We have to be the person who lives the life we say we want; not struggle to live the life we say we want so we can become the person someday who has that life.

We all need empowering beliefs, essential pre-skills, and well-developed Executive Function skills to thrive as adults in today’s world. If we can’t work with time, plan, organize, prioritize, start and keep going until the end, or regulate states of overwhelm and analysis paralysis so we can more easily make good decisions and know they are good decisions, it’s going to cost us dearly. In fact, I’m sure it’s already cost you a lot.

Slow down and become a student of your own life. Understand what you need to succeed with the multi-faceted brain you have. Take action on what you learn about yourself. This is the lifework that lies ahead for you if this is your time.

You came to this lifetime with an empowering gift, and I would love it if each and every person on this planet were able to express his or her unique, empowering gifts freely, without the threat of being shamed or criticized. Let’s put an end to that stigma once and for all…and for generations to come.

Some favorite quotes about focus:

• Alexander Bell said, “Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.”

• Will Durant said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

• Bruce Lee said, “The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like Focus.”

• Zig Ziglar said, “I don’t care how much power, brilliance or energy you have, if you don’t harness it and focus it on a specific target, and hold it there, you’re never going to accomplish as much as your ability warrants.”

• Steve Jobs said, “Focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

• Mike Hawkins said, “you don’t get results by focusing on results. You get results by focusing on the actions that produce results.”

• Jacqueline Leo said, “One look at an email can rob you of 15 minutes of focus. One call on your cell phone, one tweet, one instant message can destroy your schedule, forcing you to move meetings, or blow off really important things, like love and friendship.”

• Ralph Marston said, “Your destiny is to fulfill those things upon which you focus most intently. So, choose to keep your focus on that which is truly magnificent, beautiful, uplifting and joyful. Your life is always moving toward Something.”

• Oprah Winfrey said, “Energy is the essence of life. Every day you decide how you’re going to use it by knowing what you want and what it takes to reach that goal, and by maintaining focus.”

• John Carmack said, “Focus is a matter of deciding what things you’re not going to do.”

• Anthony D’Angelo said, “Focus 90% of your time on solutions and only 10% of your time on problems.”

• Og Mandino said, “It is those who concentrate on but one things at a time who advance in this world. The great man or woman is the one who never steps outside his or her specialty or foolishly dissipates his or her Individuality.”

All of these quotes say to me that because I am 100% responsible, 100% of the time for the outcomes in my life, it’s up to me to develop my abilities to consciously focus and have foresight so that I end up where I want to be in my life. And because I am a solutions-focused person, I always ask myself “HOW” can I” rather than thinking that I can’t; that there’s no way forward.

Whether you’re learning from my podcast episodes or live videos or working with me directly, you are in my world and I’m here to serve your needs. So be sure to reach out and get your needs met. It’s up to you to take action so things can change for the better for you. And they can only change for the better for you if you Change.

Two priorities - Join the Facebook group so you can have a non-judgment community to lean into. And, put yourself on the Waitlist for the ADDventures In Achievement Foundational Skills program, so you start receiving the educational email series we created just for you.

If you enjoyed today’s episode or any of the other episodes, please share this podcast show with others. I would also be grateful if you’d rate the show and write a positive or inspiring review on iTunes so I know I’m meeting your needs. It means a lot to me to know your life is getting a little bit better every time we get together.

Be sure to check out the show notes for the many opportunities available to you as well as ways we can work together and stop your needless suffering. You will find real solutions to the challenges you are experiencing, and I would love to help you realize a new freedom, that is…if that’s of interest to you. Thanks for listening… Until the next time… Bye for now…

Resources referred to in this episode:

• Living Beyond ADHD Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/livingbeyondadhd

• AIA Executive Function Foundational Skills Program & Waitlist: https://www.drbarbaracohen.com/AIAWaitlist

• Free PDF - 13 Signs Weak Executive Functioning Is Holding You Back: https://www.drbarbaracohen.com/Executive-Function

 

Episode Resources:

 

To Help The Show:

Subscribe at your favorite listening spot and my podcast player has social media links (icons) in the episode player so you can share episodes you love with others! 

Please rate the show and leave a thoughtful review on iTunes so I know you're benefiting from the episodes.  The greater the number of reviews, the higher the ranking, and the easier it will be for others to find the show; people who also need this information.  

Let's put an end to the worldwide needless suffering together! We can do this!