The Single-Focus “Trap” of Depending on One Thing to Provide Happiness.

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Think of someone who is starving. They have gone a long time without eating, and have spent all of their time and energy thinking of nothing but how desperate they are to get a chance to eat, and to satisfy their emptiness and need. Once a plate is finally put in front of them, they become so frenzied to be filled… that they shove it all in as fast as they can, without taking time to taste or enjoy it. Eating too fast makes them sick, and results in bringing the food back up….so they do not get to benefit from having eaten it. This is what happens when you depend all of your happiness on only one thing. Once it finally is placed in front of you, it is very hard to control yourself, and leads to mistakes. However, if you spread your focus to other things, activities, and people (and work on personal goals and improving yourself)….when that plate is set in front of you, you will not be empty, and thus will be able to slowly eat it, savor it, enjoy it—and fully digest it. It also will help prevent you from from trying to grab something that is actually bad for you due to desperation to “eat” anything (just how we grab junk food, and other bad things that may taste good, but in reality cause harm, and do not have the nutritional value that we need). When you already are “filled”, you will have better judgment in what is truly healthy, and good for your honest well-being— and in what will help achieve the ultimate goals that you have for yourself.

A common issue I often see while helping clients is that people tend to get locked down on a single focus. They will decide that one thing (or person) is what they need to be happy, and nothing else matters. They ignore other things and people around them, and do not see the need to work on anything within themselves. They become so sure that their item of focus is the one true solution to everything. It usually is anything BUT their solution.

I would be lying to say that I have not been caught in that mental trap myself. Likely most of us have at some point. The problem I see though, are those who repeat it over and over… make the same mistakes etc… because they do not learn, do not want to see, or maybe do not want to be alone in the dark with their own selves per say. They get stuck in a place where they cannot grow, and cannot truly be happy (in a sustained way) either. Most often when I see this, it involves relationships… either a specific person of desire, or just simply really longing for someone to swoop-in, solve everything, and finally give them the happiness that they long for. However, once someone does finally come in? They are so desperate, and so out-of-control with need due to having put their focus on that desire for so long….that they usually sabotage it in some way for their own selves, or make desperate choices and mistakes.

Desperate people often try to push and move things too fast. I have seen many ladies with the issue of not being able to wait to actually get to know the man, and to allow the relationship to fully develop. Within only a short period of dating someone, they have to press the big questions (ask the poor guy if he intends to marry them etc…), and it usually destroys things, even when the man otherwise had been interested. It is essentially skipping past important steps (including truly getting to know the person), and not having the patience to determine whether they are even a strong enough match for marriage potential. Some instantly tell men (that they barely know) that they love them, that they are their soulmate etc…and many think that pushing for physical intimacy will quickly secure things, regardless of skipping important steps, and missing deeper crucial elements. They try to “love bomb” them to convince them that they are perfect for them, and thus should quickly jump into commitment (they want to cinch the relationship fast, rather than get to know the person–often because they are more in love with the idea of someone loving them, than the actual person themselves).

Some people are so desperate to be in a relationship, have someone love them, have someone fill them….that they are willing to disregard very negative things, or to hand themselves over. They will ignore blatant issues, make excuses for negative behaviors, and make big sacrifices…. in order to cling-to, and attempt to make the situation work. It reveals a lack of love of self when people drastically change, or go against their own selves in an attempt to make something work that otherwise is not a correct fit for them— it is like rolling, and twisting around to force yourself into jeans that really are too small. Desperation causes impatience, and people will make-do with, and try to force themselves into what they can immediately find/ get, instead of waiting for what truly aligns with, and is good for them. It is all the more destructive when two people with the same desperate/ impatient inner need get together—neither of them are grounded enough to rationally address, and recognize the negative patterns, and missing elements. They both are at risk of rushing in, and creating something built out of fantasy, and desperation (which can promote an unstable euphoria for those who think they have found their solution). It is essentially a bomb, and a match forming a relationship. Eventually the inner issues that cause the manic rush, and the very things they want to ignore…. are what will “blow-up” the relationship……often resulting in dire consequences.

When it comes to focusing on a specific person, it results in similar issues and responses. After having to contain themselves for so long while thinking of nothing BUT that person… if they finally get a chance, they tend to go way over-board, or instantly break down in needy emotional displays. Stunts and manipulation tactics sometimes are used to try to push/ force things to develop, because their inner need does not have the patience to let things grow in an organic way. Typically, what is most needed is patience, calmness…..and being able to show that person that they are in a stable, balanced, self-loving place (in order to not scare them away again with red flags, and to be able develop a healthy relationship). However, someone who is overly-focused on someone being the solution to their emptiness and problems often cannot restrain their frantic, unhealthy need for very long… and will turn to “love bombing”, ultimatums, or drastic manipulations to try to force/ break-down the other. Their methods tend to disrespect the other person’s feelings, needs, wants, boundaries etc… In reality, those kind of behaviors and tactics do not denote truly loving someone. Instead, it reveals that someone is very self-serving, no matter what they claim, or how hard they try to convince people that it is due to passionate love. It is due to a passionate need to be loved, validated, filled….or to even create an identity through attachment to another person.

When people get stuck in the single-focus trap, I typically try to guide them towards having more balance in their lives, and putting focus into their own selves, needs, and any unresolved inner issues that cause the sense of urgency. I explain that doing those things will make them healthier, happier, calmer, and help them to feel more in touch with themselves—thus when the opportunity does arrive again, they will be able to approach it on firmer ground (and also will be more likely to naturally gain the interest of the other person, and develop the relationship/ make choices in a much healthier way). I stress to them, “You have a wait ahead of you anyway, and you can either spend it making yourself miserable by thinking about nothing but what you want, and how you do not have it…. or invest that time in yourself, your friends, and activities that will make you happy.”

I sometimes give clients an assignment to help put things into perspective. I request that they sit down, and make lists of things they would like to do, places they would like to go, people they would like time with (friends, family)…. and goals they would like to achieve for themselves. So often simply thinking, and writing those things out, helps them to finally see how much they were putting off and ignoring because they were so locked-down on their narrow focus. I have had a couple people tell me they did not understand why they were crying, or so emotional… and the answer was because deep down they were longing for so much more than what they were allowing for themselves, (and to be healthy and whole)…that basically they were missing their own selves— and no one else can provide that. It all starts from within. If we truly want to succeed, we first have to nurture and prepare the ground we hope to plant the seeds in.

To be honest, I sometimes am not the best at taking my own advice. In my case, the situation of having locked myself on a single focus was well over a decade ago, so I at least learned from, and have not repeated that…. but instead, over a course of time I sort of failed to notice how far I had pulled myself away from the things that I love and need. However, once I became aware ( and of the reason behind it), I pretty much immediately set to work to changing it—and my own self( thus, I did take my own advice 🙂 ). I have already seen many improvements in myself, and simply working on achieving things in itself brings rewards, and opens my mind to more possibilities. No one else could do, or provide that from the outside ( not that I was looking for that, just making the point regardless though).

We cannot expect different results when we keep repeating the same methods and thought patterns. We also cannot depend on others to solve the issues within us, or to be the complete source of our happiness. We are responsible for our own fulfillment and identity.

Solve from within, love your own beautiful selves, and seek balance so that you can find joy from many sources… and of course, from within as well. ❤

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