Art to Inspire: On Feeling Out of Focus

Focus (photograph by Laura Evans)

Do you ever feel like things are out of focus? Like you just can’t see the bigger picture or know where to go from here?

Don’t panic! This happens to loads of other people too. In fact, it is a topic that has been popping up a lot lately in my own group of friends (bloggers and creatives in the community), which is why I wanted to talk about it today.

The truth is, you don’t have to have it all figured out.

There is bound to be a moment of struggle, confusion, or lack of clarity here and there. That is okay.

You just need to know how to get back on track once those “out of focus” feelings start to hit. Here are my tips for getting back on track + into focus…

I Write ACEO print by Flourish Cafe

Organize your thoughts: You’d be surprised how much clarity will come from simply writing things down. Use your paper and pencil as a dumping ground for everything that’s been stuck in your head lately. Once you have it on the page, it will be much easier to examine with an open mind.

Rain Simplicity by Shabby Studios

Don’t forget that every day is a new start: Often times, uncertainty is sparked by a setback – something that recently happened that had a negative result. So try to remember that each day is a fresh start, a new opportunity to “get it right.” Leave yesterday’s pitfalls in the past and start anew.

Old Desk Phone original painting by Alice Flynn

Phone a friend: Remember when you were in high school and you had a problem? What did you do? You either walked downstairs and dished with your mom over a bowl of ice cream OR you called up your best friend and chatted for an hour and a half about what was bothering you. No matter what route you choose, you’ll always feel a little better after talking things out with someone with a listening ear.

Never Stop Creating print by Wonder Forest

Never stop creating: And finally, never stop creating. Don’t ever let a lack of certainty stop you from doing the things that you hold most dear. Sometimes the best medicine for feeling out of focus is to just keep on. You’ll get where you are meant to be one of these days. But you can’t get to the other side of the road without putting one foot in front of the other.

Have your own thoughts on focus to share?

Leave your response in the comments below.

8 thoughts on “Art to Inspire: On Feeling Out of Focus

  1. Great stuff, Brittni. The “keep on keepin’ on” thing is difficult when you’re questioning yourself; especially as a perfectionist. But it is definitely worthwhile just to get stuff out there and then tweak later as needed. Especially because, out in the wild, things can be received differently than you expected. Feedback can change everything.

    Also love the “Rain Simplicity” print by Shabby Studios :)

  2. For me, the change from winter to spring is always a period when I get a little out of focus. After months of gray, wet, dreary days that were run by routine and focus in order to keep the winter blues away the sun has suddenly burst forth and the birds are singing. If I am to produce anything of value I need to keep that focus in place. One of the best remedies for me is to change my venue. Ok, I still have to write the blog, work on the book, get the material pulled together for the next speaking gig, but how to do it when my brain is in a fog. But who says I can’t pack up the laptop, take a drive downriver and do it from the picnic table as the winter snow melt rushes by in a roaring plume? Or maybe it’s 60 degrees and my skin is calling for a little sun induced blush (meaning a tan)–let’s put on the bathing suit and speak into the voice recorder on my phone as I lay in the back yard for an hour. A hike in the mountains still requires time to sit and eat lunch. While lunching I can pull out a pen and notebook to outline a chapter or edit tomorrow’s blog. Spring calls me forth with a beckoning finger into the freedom of the great outdoors so I’ll just take my work with me and revel in the spaciousness of my new “office.”

    1. I agree with you Laura – sometimes even moving even for a few moments helps the refocusing part come back! I find it funny I use this often, Ill sit outside my shop and down by the coffee place to write my action steps for the day – so much easier than when Im in the shop with everything around me…

  3. Great article Brittni! Another thing I do when feeling creatively low is to focus on “administrative” tasks that might otherwise be a drag when creativity peaks again – for me that means collating package inserts, tying on bookmark tassels, filing paperwork, checking inventory, and restocking shipping/packaging supplies. I find that still being “productive” even if not “creative” takes some of the pressure off!

  4. What a great article! It came at a particularly good time for me, as I have been struggling with a lack of focus/motivation for the past month. The only thing that helped me recover from feeling ‘tapped out’ was making a list of things I eventually hope to accomplish, and breaking them down into manageable steps. Even if I could only do one a day, at least I was making progress toward my goals.

  5. The best thing that helps me focus is one you mentioned – writing things down. I keep my phone on me always, just so I can note ideas that pop in my head, and to-dos. This is a huge help for focus, because it clears your head. You don’t have to worry about trying to remember that great idea you had, or that thing you want to do. Once it’s written down, it’s out of your head.. making room for new ideas, and giving you time to focus on right now.

  6. Great Post Brittni- I agree with so much that you shared here – yes indeed! I even like to idea to remember that each day is a new day –

    The one thing Tara taught me in her ‘The Art of Earning e-course’ I use everyday is about writing it all down as you mention here too in your post… everything and anything (I also add dates and if it’s an idea for a post, blog, what have you)…. I even enjoy reviewing what I might have written on a so called ‘to do’ list a month later and see that I can check off a few things that I accomplished while still others need attention.

    One other trick is stepping away from it all, to get some perspective, concentrate on a different medium, read other’s posts…. and voila during the shower, the inspiration comes down like the water falling on your head.

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