5 Toxic Distractions That Stop You Getting What You Want

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We all would like to have everything we want in life.  Preferable this very minute. Right?

Sadly, life doesn’t work that way.

Life never offers us what we want, because it can’t. It can only offer us who we are.

Which means everything that’s happening within us is what requires our attention most. We have to be careful of the words we whisper to ourselves, the assumptions we make about us and others and the attitude we bring to every situation we encounter.

In other words we have to move away from the outer physical world which relentlessly streams information to us and spend more time consciously being aware of what’s going on within.

The first one is easily done.  Turn everything off. Turn off your notifications, email, facebook, twitter, etc and stop checking your cell phone every 5 minutes.  Easy.

It’s the more subtle inner distractions that grab our attention and play havoc with our ability to concentrate our energy on our best future.

If you’re ready to stop your toxic mental distractions from getting in the way of what you want in life, it doesn’t take much.

All you need is the desire for change, the awareness of the toxic distractions that get in your way and the discipline to practice new ways of being until you get the results you want.

Distraction one – clutter

Mental clutter is as big a distraction as physical clutter. Both create disharmony in your life. When we have something on our minds that we decide is important, our mind does what it’s designed to do to keep things vital to us at the forefront of our thinking.  It simply plays the important ideas in an unending, stressful loop.

One thing that helps me with mental clutter is to put everything I WANT to do on my calendar and it gets clear pretty soon that there isn’t enough time for all the wants, leaving me to have to choose the things I NEED to do.

Once you see your calendar has everything that needs to be done, your brain will relax knowing the important things are being handled.

Distraction two – negativity and poison

Don’t allow those who spread negativity and misery to be front and center in your life. They’ll suck the spirit right out of you and distract you from focusing your thoughts on all the things you want to accomplish and to experience.

Those who would dump their criticism and resentment onto you don’t deserve a place in your world.

Remember to leave enough room in your life for those who would help you reach the mountain top, those who believe in you and those who show you the greatness in you when it’s hard to see it for yourself.helping-hand

Distraction three – grudges

Life is too short for a lifetime grudge and we, none of us, have the time to hold on to past experiences that continue to poison our hearts.

Sometimes we just need to accept that we’ll never get the apology we think we deserve.

Peace of mind can’t exist when a heart is filled with resentment or anger, so do yourself a favor and let it go and then you can escape the prison of the past and enjoy the beautiful, happy present.

This gives you time to take a breath and relax enough for something new to enter your consciousness and you can use that mental energy to move you forward.

Distraction four – seeking happiness outside of yourself

Your happiness lies in your hands only. If you’re not happy with how you see yourself, change it. Don’t look for others for your happiness.

Realize that somewhere within you is a huge supply of happiness, always there, patiently waiting for you to reach out and grab it.  It’s yours for the asking. And you ask by giving it your attention.

Having a happy relationship with you is the only way you can share happiness with another. Make yourself a priority and remember the longest relationship you’ll ever have is the one you have with yourself. Make it great.

Distraction five – the worry habit

Worry is using the incredible gift of your imagination to infuse life into something you never want to see in your world.  It’s one of the biggest distractions of all.

Worry is like a false alarm that rings when there isn’t a fire in sight, other than the fire you’re creating in your mind.

Look back and you’ll often see that all the things you worried about have been handled and often they led you to being a stronger person, in a better place.

So smile and tell your worries you’ve had it with them, and don’t allow your mind to get you tangled up in the mental tricks it likes to play.

Over to you…

What’s your biggest toxic distraction? And what helps you switch your attitude from negative to positive when those distractions are  stressful and painful?  We would  love to hear from you in the comments below with your thoughts and insights.

Encourage one another.

Love Elle

xo

ElleSommer
Elle Sommer is the author and founder of Live Purposefully Now, a website focused on sharing the insights and ancient wisdom that have collectively changed her life, in the desire to make a meaningful impact on yours. Trained at Coach U and having completed a year long training with Bob Proctor, her mission is to encourage and inspire others to build the business, relationships and life they want. Get your free instant access to Success Simplified ebook and get the tips, techniques and secrets of successfully living the life you want.
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17 Comments

  • Very interesting, Elle. I can happily say I’ve tackled some of these distractions like worry and seeking happiness outside myself. My challenge, at the moment, is to declutter my mind as you suggest. I love the idea of putting everything in my calendar. I always feel better when it’s in one single place. However, I have trouble being consistent with this, that’s where my growth edge is. At the moment, I’m decluttering physical and I think that will have a positive impact too.

    • I know what you mean Sandra. I find physical clutter doesn’t feel good and I can only stand it for so long! How great that some of those inner distractions are now no longer distractions in your world. So much more peaceful. And easier to keep your focus on higher things. 🙂

  • I find mental clutter really contributes to many of the others, such as worry. When I have a system, or a plan, in place, and a way of capturing what I have going on, I find it easier to focus on the now (I used David Allen’s ‘Getting Things Done’ in a modified version for this).

    • Hello Ellen…I have David Allen’s book too…just not been very good at implemented some of his suggestions. I’m glad they work for you through your own unique filter…that’s always the way to do it isn’t it? Take some techniques and turn them into your own. 🙂

  • Thanks for this helpful list and explanations, Elle. I don’t feel I’m very distracted at the moment. Oh, but I have been in the past. If anything, I’m too focused. Not really worried – yet. Being focused is my way of distracting myself (from anxiety and fear), I guess. 🙂

    • Now that’s interesting Debbie. Focus sounds like a great way to stop the distractions. I must confess I have to turn everything off and just have the one thing in front of me that needs my attention, otherwise I find myself flitting! And if focus keeps fear out of the way, what a great benefit for you. 🙂

  • Great suggestions here, Elle. I appreciate the idea of decluttering. It has helped me immensely through the years to keep things on a calendar. I’ve even gone back to a paper planner which I like better.

    The worry habit can be a major distraction, however I do like your suggestions. Another thing that works is to set aside a short period of time for worry and then let it go the rest of the day.

    • Hi Cathy…Now you have me wondering if I should go back to a paper planner calendar…I’m not certain I really like all the notifications that pop up when I’m doing something…I’m pretty easily distracted! 🙂

  • I don’t know how you do it Elle, but once again your timing is impeccable.
    Distraction # 2 – “negativity and poison” , was the focus of a conversation a trusted friend and I had not even 4 days ago. I was describing a situation and he stopped me mid-sentence to say ” Joseph, you have to cut this off and get rid of that client, he will suck the life right out of you”. And now YOU with almost the same words . . . Alright, I’m listening !
    Write on, Elle !

    • As always, it’s good to hear from you Joseph. It seems like you’re getting the same message from different sources. The question is, are you listening? 🙂

  • Beautiful post Elle. I think worrying too much is what affects me the most, especially with my children. So whenever I start worrying about them , i try to focus on the positive side of every situation and just give my full trust and confidence that they will always be safe and will always make the right decisions. Thanks for sharing. Great Read. 🙂 love it.

    • I know just what you mean Sherill…it’s so easy as a parent to get caught up in our fears and desires for the children. How awesome that you can move into the place of ‘knowing’ that they will be well. What a wonderful gift you’re giving them. 🙂

  • Hi Elle, I read this article and at the first headline I thought you would talk about physical clutter. I remember that when I was younger I felt the need to clean everything around me, because I felt that otherwise I couldn’t concentrate. I was being unproductive just by doing this. You are also right about the mental clutter. You start thinking about different stuff and it gets to you. Everything about planning, time setting, deadlines might be also stressful and unproductive. Being positive is the best option, but sometimes you just can’t. It’s how life is

    • Hi Samuel…funny, I still need to keep my physical space relatively uncluttered…otherwise it feels totally disharmonious and uncomfortable. Mental clutter is probably a precursor to physical clutter…so keeping a handle on them both is what works in my life. Interestingly enough I have a new post with a new perspective on stress which I’ll post later this week. Stay tuned! 🙂

  • Love this article Elle, I worry a lot about everything, as you rightly said “Worry is like a false alarm that rings when there isn’t a fire in sight”. Now I don’t worry much because when I look back I see all things I worried about was well handled. Thanks.

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