About This Episode:
In this episode of “#WalkWithMe” I share a different perspective on “tunnel vision” and provide some effective hacks that will help widen your focus whenever you’re stuck in the wrong direction in life and want to move forward.
Have you ever been in a place where you’ve had complete tunnel vision because you either have blinders on or are laser focused on a specific topic or a direction or a feeling? Normally, when we reference tunnel vision, it means somebody is just overly focused, or in a flow, or laser locked on something, in a positive way while blocking out everything else.
But here’s my question: When it comes to tunnel vision, have you ever been stuck in the wrong tunnel? Meaning, you had that same narrow perspective but the thing or direction or feeling you were focused on (or obsessed about) was NOT good for you? It was the wrong thing? I want to talk about how sometimes we can get stuck in a narrow perspective in the wrong direction that can really cripple us and prevent us from moving forward in life.
Fear is notorious for getting us stuck in the wrong tunnel and is constantly replaying a loop in our head about something catastrophic that might never happen. Depression, for example, can get us stuck in a narrowed state where we can’t pull ourselves out.
If you’re stuck in a rabbit hole, ask yourself this: What can I do right now to widen my perspective?
My brain is always going, so I’ve had to learn to recognize what I’m fixated on and then sometimes shift focus. Here’s some simple, highly effective hacks to widen your focus.
Use your environment.
Use your environment to your advantage. For example, take a walk in nature. Sit in front of a body of water. Take 10 to 15 minutes and watch the sun set. Stare at the stars. It doesn’t take much to refocus when you use your environment to ground you in a wider perspective.
Talk it out.
Leverage relationships, preferably with somebody you know who is a good empathetic listener or can give advice as a mentor. Sometimes just talking out loud gives you more perspective.
Create healthy distractions.
Find a way to have healthy distractions, with “healthy” being the key word. Healthy distractions might be exercising, socializing with friends, doing a hobby, meditating, journaling, reading a book. Make a list of healthy distractions you enjoy.
Schedule an “obsessive appointment.”
I got this advice from a mentor who is an expert in personal development. If your brain keeps going in the wrong direction and you can’t stop it, try to contain it. Schedule small chunks of time (8 minutes) throughout the day to literally and intentionally obsess over what you’re obsessing about. It gives you a place in your calendar to push your thoughts into. For example, when unwanted stressful thoughts come your way, you can think: “I’m not going to go there right now; I’m scheduled to think about that at 11am.”
Accept all possible outcomes.
The ultimate solution to the tunnel vision challenge is to learn how to accept all the possible outcomes. When we can get to a place where we can accept the worst-case scenario and be ‘okay’ with all the potential outcomes that we’re afraid of, fear no longer has control over us, and inner peace can come.