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Ruthanne Reid

Target Fixation

Today's topic: target fixation.
Target fixation is a process by which the brain is focused so intently on an observed object that awareness of other obstacles or hazards can diminish. Also, in an avoidance scenario, the observer can become so fixated on the target that they will forget to take the necessary action to avoid it, thus colliding with the object. (Source)

Ready to know how this applies to you? Read on.

The Question


What are you desperate to avoid?

Personally, I don't handle the unknown well. I tend to slide into what next? followed by flailing its general direction, and then possibly comfort food.

This goes on until I stop asking that stupid question and take the next step.

You know what you fear. Failure. Loss. Embarrassment. A change in the way valued people view you.


This is important. This might get you back on track to whatever plan, idea, hope, or dream you feel is slipping your grasp. Stop thinking about potential negatives and focus on your goal.

STOP.

Whatever it is, you need to stop thinking about it right now.

It's a double-edged sword, I know. On the one hand, we have to focus on what we want (i.e. psychotic persistence). It take an average of twelve years to make it in the arts. It takes a lifetime, sometimes, to establish a true career. HOWEVER:

  1. If we focus on that goal to the exclusion of all else, we are very likely to fail - or at least wreck our lives, often damaging the people for whom our goals made the struggle worthwhile.

  2. If we focus on the what-might-go-wrong aspect instead of the goal itself, the chances of messing up increase exponentially.


You often hear people say things like, "If you want to write, read." Or, "If you want to be a good artist, go see beautiful things." What does this mean?

Travel.

Family. (Note: this does not apply to crazy-makers. This means family you can trust.)

Friends (the kind who really support you).

Experience. (You don't have to be able to afford to travel the world, but you do need to know what's in it. We have the internet. Google a country you've never seen, and you'll be amazed what you learn.)

This sounds wild coming from someone as focused as I am, I know, but hear me out: make sure your focus doesn't come with blinders. Enjoy life. Work at being an unselfish person.

You'll find your goal within your reach sooner than you know.

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