How To Focus On Yourself And Not Others: 21 Effective Ways (2024)

Focusing on yourself is not selfishness, it’s an act of self-love. Yet, when you’ve always focused on others, it can seem selfish.

Living your life solely to please others may not bring you much personal joy. Over time, you might feel drained, even a little lost.

Let’s dive right into it.

How To Focus On Yourself And Not Others
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Here are 21 effective ways to help you shift.

1. Inner Strength

Doing things for people for your own agenda usually comes off as needy and desperate.

By bending to other people, they may like what you do for them, however, they may not like you on a deeper level because they sense weakness, a lack of confidence and personal power in you.

You can achieve inner strength with time and using many of the tips below. So keep reading!

2. Build A Strong Relationship With Yourself

Until you’re clear on who you really are, it can be tough to be clear about what you want from life – your values, needs and goals.

Think about what your values, needs and goals in life are. Happiness is a direct result of being clear about those things for you. It can help to allow curiosity to guide you.

3. Meditate

Meditation allows you to sit in stillness and reflect on what your desires and priorities are. It gives you clarity to take forward action steps.

4. Go After What You Really Want

Sure, it’s helpful to carefully weigh the insights and guidance from loved ones when making big decisions.

The difference between considering guidance from others and letting it sway you from what’s important to you can become blurred.

So be sure you’re following your dreams and not just those of another person.

5. Apply Self Compassion

Caring for others with compassion is a wonderful trait and gift. It can also give you bursts of happiness. However, you might be forgetting about yourself.

Be sure your self-talk is also compassionate. Don’t rely on others for that. You are your first responsibility. Think about what you think about.

6. Practice Self Care

Choosing self-care practices that meet your needs can make a fundamental shift.

Everyone has basic needs that play an important part in overall health.

Neglect your needs and you’re probably not getting what you require to recharge.

7. Start Journaling

This is a great practice for self-identification and self-care. Through meditation and journaling, you can discover your inner voice that may otherwise go unheard in your day-to-day living.

8. Spend Time On Activities You Love

Spending time with your partner is great to increase your bond, although everyone needs to allow for the pursuit of their own hobbies too.

Make free time for activities you love and relaxation to go a long way toward helping you avoid burnout and stress.

Focus On Yourself
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9. Avoid Comparisons

Comparisons can be problematic because they distract you from what really matters to you.

You might end up working toward something you don’t necessarily want, simply because you think it might resolve your dissatisfaction or stress.

For example, ask yourself, who (or what) brings you joy? What do you feel grateful for? What would you like more of? Less of? Where do you want to be in 10 years?

10. Know Your Values

What qualities you value most can help you refocus your attention on who you are and who you want to become.

If you value community, for example, you might look for ways to share time or resources with your community.

Identify your values then you can explore ways to incorporate them into your life in meaningful ways.

11. Cut Out The Non-Essential

Maybe it seems to you that only those who do a lot have a great life, and are admired by others.

If you take a closer look, you will see that this is not true. Most successful people focus on doing just very few things that they do well. 

Too many projects or commitments can leave you feeling overwhelmed, unproductive and not in control, without enough time on your hands.

Take stock and decide what’s realistically doable for you. 

12. Prioritize Your Commitments

At this point you have a list of what you can handle well. Now decide what’s number one and so on.

This includes priorities for your sense of well being to recharge, otherwise you won’t have enough of yourself to gift to others with.

13. Communicate Your Priorities To Others

As soon as possible, when accepting to help or take on a project, make sure to specify if another project may conflict, at times.

Make it clear that the quantity and quality of your involvement may vary depending on how intensive your number one commitment becomes.

14. Set Boundaries And Learn To Say No

Know your boundaries. What is the point that happiness begins to be replaced with a less satisfactory feeling?

Free yourself up from activities that break those boundaries. You’ll feel much better about yourself and in control of what you can do.

Be realistic and honest with yourself and know it’s okay to tell a person when something doesn’t work for you.

15. Check In With Yourself Regularly

Take a moment to reflect before automatically agreeing to something. Tune in to what your body is telling you.

If your body gives you an uncomfortable signal, it’s a sign that it’s not right for you. Listen to that feeling.

16. Avoid Self Obsession Or Idleness

Focus on anything to the point of obsession can lead to idleness. This leads to unproductive ways.

They’re simply more ways of avoiding the inner needs of your emotional self.

To feel happiness and stay healthy, make time to focus on things that truly bring you more joy and contentment.

17. Limit Social Media Time

If you find yourself scrolling for hours a day, it’s probably time to rethink those habits. Fill that free time with something that benefits you and that you value.

This way, you won’t feel the urge to open Twitter and you’ll be doing something with benefits for you.

18. Search Out People With Similar Goals

Connect with other people who are also working on the same goals to prioritize their mental health and well being.

Share successes and struggles to support each other through difficult hurdles and have fun.

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

19. Mind Your Own Business

Let others do what they do. Realize you don’t know all the details of their lives, their inner thoughts and struggles.

Send them love and wish them the best. Let them go so you can focus on yourself.

20. Set Daily Reminders

To help yourself out of the habit of focusing on others, set reminders in your phone or on pieces of paper to do just that.

21. Build Your Understanding Of Self Worth

You are just as worthy as anyone to give yourself the compassion, self care, time to recharge, etc.

Remember that. Learn to rely on yourself for those things and you’ll soon see others give those things to you more too.

What Happens When You Focus On Yourself?

The most wonderful things happen!

  • You remember who you are
  • You feel more sure of yourself
  • You like yourself more
  • More inner stability – less emotional roller coaster
  • You’re more attractive to others
  • Less self sabotage
  • You have more of your needs met
  • You get through a loss a bit better
  • You sleep better
  • More free time for yourself and your loved ones

This is your life. No one else will live it for you, so use these tips to focus on yourself first, then you can give more to others.

How Can I Concentrate On Myself And Not Others?

Be clear about what’s important to you, and what’s not. This keeps your integrity intact.

Then learn to say “no” when a request doesn’t line up to fall within the priorities of your day. It can be said with kindness and in a way that others can support.

This is also related your job, you set the priorities that allow you to do it well.

Stop comparing yourself to others. Comparing leads to good vs. bad judgments about yourself or others.

Finally, it’s time to be aware and release a negative or judging inner voice. Self-compassion will help you have a more positive inner voice. 

How Do I Focus On Myself And Be Happy?

Once you cultivate a better relationship with yourself, using the effective ways above, you’ll automatically feel happier.

Of course, when things happen in our lives that are difficult and shake our world, we tend to fall back on habitual ways of dealing with it. 

Let go of the negative aspects that tend to leave you with stress and with a lack of energy. It will naturally lift your perspective on your life and how you feel about yourself.

Be your own best friend and process your emotions so you can free them up and let them go. Your mental health improves and you feel happier about yourself and your life.

How To Focus On Yourself
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How To Focus On Yourself And Not Your Relationship?

Being a couple is awesome, although you might find that you lose your own identity while focusing on the two of you as one.

It’s important to keep your own interests and a level of independence.

  • Spend time alone to be with yourself
  • Keep up with your old friendships
  • Maintain a hobby
  • Exercise
  • Stay focused on your own goals

Nourish yourself while in your relationships and communicate well with your partner. Feel free to talk to them about everything, of course, but especially about the things you need to do to feel like you.

How To Focus On Yourself And Not Him?

Learning to love yourself is an ongoing process. Even if you’re in a partnership with someone, you can still learn to focus on yourself.

Even if you already feel you love yourself, you could always love more.

Here are some tips:

  • Maintain a degree of space, time alone and independence
  • Remember you create your happiness, not your partner, friend or anyone else
  • See in yourself what your partner sees in you
  • Rather than seeing flaws, think of them as areas where you could grow
  • Be free to forgive yourself
  • Show yourself love; be kind to yourself

When you feel secure, confident, and good about yourself you feed positive energy into the space between you.

How Do I Move On And Focus On Myself?

The end of relationships can be such a challenge and moving on, especially if it was a long one, can take a lot of getting used to. 

You’re grieving the loss of the life you had envisioned with another person. So you may feel lonely and unsure about how to move forward on your own. It will take time but that’s okay.

This is a new day, however and it starts and ends with you. 

Don’t try to look for a new partnership right away. Be patient with remembering who you are and what your values and priorities are.

Connect with friends or family relationships you may have distanced from to focus on your partnership.

Start journaling for self reflection. Write in your journal what you’re truly grateful for. Write down affirmations that feel true for you.

Related: Is Talking To Yourself Bad? 16 Scientific Reasons Why It Isn’t

How To Focus On Yourself As A Woman?

Many women look around at other beautiful, successful women and wonder, how they do it. 

How do they manage to feel so good? What am I doing wrong?

This could affect your mental health leading to depression or anxiety. Caring and loving yourself first are key to feeling better about yourself and your life.

  • Don’t compare yourself to others – everyone is unique
  • Don’t place importance on other peoples’ opinions – form your own
  • Allow yourself to make mistakes – you’ll learn more that way
  • You are valuable because you’re here
  • Let go of toxic influences in your life
  • Process your emotions – don’t hang onto them
  • Be open to possibilities
  • Trust yourself
  • Be grateful for the simple things

How To Stop Focusing On Others And Focus On Yourself?

By focusing on 5 different areas of your life you can meet your needs.

  1. Physical 
  • Physical activity or exercise
  • Healthy nutrition
  • Good sleep
  1. Emotional
  • Love yourself
  • Allow feelings and emotions
  • Intimacy with others
  1. Inspirational/Spiritual
  • Time in nature
  • Pursuing passions and fun
  • Creativity
  • Meditation
  • Community
  • Service to others
  1. Occupational/Intellectual
  • Time off – vacations, breaks, sick days, etc.
  • Understanding why you’re doing what you’re doing
  • Learning new things
  • Discovering new interests
  1. Personal
  • Actively taking time to relax
  • Indulging in pleasures
  • Maintaining a routine
  • Journaling
  • Maintaining and forging new relationships

Focus On Yourself, Not Others, Quotes

“In order to move on, you need to stop focusing on their life, and start focusing on your own life.” – Sonya Parker

“Focus more on yourself, then you will not get time to watch others… Always find happiness in everything, then you will not be sad anymore… Spread your love and smile as much as you can, the more you share, the more you get.” – Abinaya Ponnusamy

“The only way to succeed is to not worry about what anyone else is doing.” – Anonymous

“Focus on loving yourself instead of loving the idea of other people loving you.” – Anonymous

“An outstanding love doesn’t come from two half-fulfilled people coming together to make one whole, complete life. Outstanding love comes from two whole people coming together to share and enhance their already full and beautiful lives.” – Pia Scade

We’ve been conditioned to believe that focusing on ourselves is selfish. However, it isn’t as self-centered as it sounds. In fact, it’s one of the best things you can do to remain healthy physically and mentally.

Now that you’ve soaked in ✅ all the information from this article about focusing on yourself and not others, spread it out to your friends and family. They might benefit ✅✅ from knowing this, as well.

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About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.