How To Focus On Yourself And Not Others: 30 Practical Ways

Article last updated on January 26, 2022

How often do you get caught up in other people’s problems? 

You can only truly respect yourself when you know how to focus on yourself and not others. In this article, I share with you 30 practical ways to help you achieve that.

Are you busy or effective?
If your revenue is growing at a snail's pace it's time for a reality check.
Are you busy or effective?
If your revenue is growing at a snail's pace it's time for a reality check.

In my opinion, there is nothing more important than having a great deal of self-awareness.

I think that the main cause of all our troubles is that we don’t have enough self-awareness. We are always trying to please someone else or fix something about ourselves that doesn’t need fixing.

We spend so much time focusing on what everyone else thinks about us that we forget that we should be focused on what we think about ourselves.

Focusing on yourself opens the door to a world of possibilities. It gives you clarity and helps you become aware of your strengths and weaknesses.

If you keep stuffing your mind with negative thoughts and other people’s problems and worries, then it won’t take long before they start affecting you too.

You’ll find yourself constantly thinking about them instead of creating a life for yourself.

This is why it is so important to learn how to focus on yourself.

1. Start With The End Result In Mind

The first step towards achieving anything is having an end result in mind. When you have an end result in mind, you are able to see things from a different perspective.

Focusing on yourself requires you to stop looking at everything through the lens of “what if”.

Instead, you must look at each situation as a stepping stone to getting closer to where you want to go.

When you start out by thinking about the end result, you create a clear vision of where you want to get to. This way, you can avoid wasting time and energy on situations that aren’t helping you get there.

When you have a clear vision of where your life is heading, you will also feel more motivated and inspired.

2. Don’t Just Sit There

Being a spectator means not doing anything. If you sit around watching other people do stuff, you miss every possible opportunity in your life.

By being a spectator, you are letting other people make decisions for you. You are giving up control over your own destiny.

Instead, you need to take action. Don’t just sit there waiting for someone else to give you permission to live your life. Take charge!

It doesn’t matter whether you are talking about relationships or career choices. Every decision has consequences. So you need to be prepared to deal with those consequences.

Sitting there and playing a victim is the biggest consequence of them all. It leads you nowhere. It leads you to a downward spiral of non-action.

It will make you lethargic, atrophy your brain cells, and make you afraid of taking any risks. When you focus on yourself, you will notice that being a spectator has zero upside.

3. Know That Everyone Has Their Problems

If you think that everyone is perfect, then you are living in a fantasy world. In reality, no one is perfect.

Everyone has problems. No one is immune to pain and suffering. Even the most successful people struggle every day. In most cases, they are successful because they have endured hardship. They have been knocked down and got back up again.

It is OK to admit that you don’t know what others are going through. It is OK to say that you don’t understand why some people behave badly.

You may not like how other people act, but you should never judge them. You shouldn’t assume that their behaviour is caused by something wrong with them.

You might find it hard to accept this, but everyone has flaws. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone does bad things sometimes.

So when you meet someone who seems to be acting weirdly, don’t automatically assume that they are crazy or that something is really wrong. Maybe they are just experiencing some kind of emotional trauma.

Maybe they are dealing with some personal issues. Or maybe they are struggling with addiction.

Whatever the reason, you should always try to see the good in other people. That way, it will be easier to release negative energy and give more attention to more productive activities.

4. Don’t Compare Yourself To Other People

As it relates to seeing the good in other people, don’t compare yourself to other people. Comparison is the thief of joy. It steals our happiness.

When we compare ourselves to others, we tend to focus on the negatives. We focus on what we lack instead of appreciating what we already possess.

We become envious of other people’s success and jealous of their achievements. We start thinking that if only we were as successful as they were, then everything would be great.

We begin to believe that if only we had their looks, talents, personality, intelligence, etc., then we could be happy too.

Comparison causes us to feel inadequate. It makes us feel inferior. It causes us to lose hope.

The truth is that every single person on earth has their own unique set of strengths and weaknesses. There is nothing special about anyone else.

There is no such thing as an average human being. There is no such thing as a typical person. Everybody is different.

Appreciate the qualities that you do have.

5. Stop Trying To Fix What Isn’t Broken

People love to fix things that aren’t broken. Just a second of reflection reveals that there isn’t anything that needs fixing. If you want to improve your life, stop trying to fix things that aren’t broken.

Don’t waste time worrying about all the things that you cannot change. Instead, focus on making positive changes in your life.

Focus on doing things that will make a difference. To give you a practical example, think of which 20% of activities are responsible for 80% of the results.

Most of us spend 80% of time that give us 20% of results, where we should do the opposite.

Fixing what is not broken is common because we are doing something that we’re used to doing.

6. Learn From Mistakes

Mistakes happen. They are part of life. You should embrace them because you will grow wiser and stronger. You will become better equipped to handle future challenges.

Your experiences will help you develop into a mature adult. Your mistakes will teach you important lessons.

You can even reframe the perception of mistakes as lessons, because that’s what they are.

They are opportunities for growth.

I always like to think of the example of a baby learning how to walk. Imagine being a parent and seeing your baby trying to walk and seeing it fall down over and over again.

What would you do? Would you just stand around and watch, or would you pick up the child and cheerfully say, “Good job!”

That’s how you should see mistakes. It is a chance for a new try.

7. Take Responsibility For Your Actions

Taking responsibility for your own actions goes hand in hand with focusing on yourself.

Your goals in life depend on you taking full responsibility for your own decisions.

It takes courage to admit when you’ve made a mistake. However, admitting your mistakes gives you the opportunity to learn from them.

But this also means acknowledging your successes.

Imagine how silly it would be to blame someone else for your failure while taking credit for your success.

Instead, we need an objective perspective. We need to look at our failures objectively, without any bias.

8. Don’t Underestimate Yourself

If you don’t value yourself, others won’t either. We often underestimate ourselves. This leads to feelings of inadequacy. This feeling of inadequacy causes us to feel less confident and more insecure.

But when you focus on yourself, you build confidence and self-esteem.

By taking action steps towards achieving your goals, you gain self-confidence.

Basically, with every action you take, you are voting for yourself. Self-doubt only comes from not understanding some parts of ourselves, and by making an actual effort, you are eliminating this self-doubt bit by bit.

That’s how underestimation is transformed into constructive self-confidence.

9. Think of Who You Are TODAY

The present moment is all you have right now. Don’t waste it thinking about yesterday or tomorrow.

Perhaps today you feel tired. Or perhaps you are happy. Whatever state you are in, you must accept it as it is. There is no point in regretting the past or wishing for the future.

We live in the present moment, and that’s what you can control.

If you feel tired, you can think of ways to energize yourself.

Accept that every day is different. Every day is a new experience.

It is up to you to recognize that and see yourself generating the best possible outcome.

This way, you will be able to enjoy each day instead of worrying about the next one.

10. Make Sure You Have a Plan B

My suggestion is to not obsess over the alternatives, but make sure you have a plan B just in case.

The reason I say you should not obsess over alternatives is because then you will allocate too much time and energy to finding alternative solutions, which is usually why the initial plan hasn’t worked in the first place.

You know the saying that “the grass is always greener on the other side”. The reality is that grass is always greener where we water it.

It is important to have a Plan B, but keep it at that, then refocus all your efforts towards Plan A.

11. Accept That Things Will Change

Life isn’t static. Things change constantly. Accepting this fact helps you remain flexible and adaptable. When things do change, you’ll be ready to deal with it.

When things go wrong, it’s easy to get discouraged. But if you can accept that things will change, you’re free to try something new.

Even if something is going well, there will be times when things aren’t so great. In these situations, you shouldn’t dwell on the negative aspects. Instead, you should understand that things will eventually improve.

Satisfaction with life does not come from success alone. It also comes from the ability to cope with failure. The key is to accept and learn from both.

12. Understand That Everything Happens For A Reason

You have probably had some situations where you felt like everything was happening for no apparent reason and you have seen only negative outcomes from them.

But then later, you realize that the situation had a purpose and it perfectly served its purpose.

I remember when I was doing a website design, I felt empty, like a cog in a machine listening to orders.

But that led me to the conclusion that beautiful websites with a ton of features do not matter at all if the business doesn’t have a solid strategy for business growth.

Which led me to this path of becoming a growth strategist and finally doing what I love to do.

It is incredible how paths cross and lead us to places we never thought we would be.

13. Don’t Fall Into The Trap Of Being Perfect

Perfectionism is a trap. There is nothing more sad to see than someone who wants to achieve greatness, but doesn’t take action. They procrastinate and wait until they are perfect before taking action.

But the problem is that perfection is a subjective opinion. So what makes one person think he/she is perfect? Another person may find them lacking.

As you focus on yourself, do not be afraid to show your work and what you are doing.

Perfection can be used as a disguise for procrastination and fear of other people’s opinions.

Don’t fall into that trap.

14. Prioritize Development To Develop Self Respect

Self respect is important because it helps you feel good about yourself. It’s also important because it allows you to focus on what you need to do to improve yourself.

Developing self respect means that you value yourself and treat yourself well. When you don’t value yourself, you don’t see how much you’ve accomplished or how far you’ve come.

This makes it hard to appreciate yourself and feel proud of who you are.

You want to set goals that help you develop yourself.

For example, if you want to improve your writing skills, start by reading books and writing every day. If you want to become an expert in a certain subject, read books, watch videos, and discuss it with people who know more than you do in this particular area.

15. Live By Your Values

When you live by your values, you do what’s right for yourself, and you don’t let anyone tell you how to live your life.

If you don’t live by your values, then you won’t be able to enjoy your life because you’ll be too busy worrying about what others think.

It is important for your mental health to live by your values.

The reason is simple. You will always be happier and healthier when you’re following your own rules.

If you see something wrong in your life that does not align with your values, then you should change it and see how you feel.

16. Think About What Matters Most

Focus on what matters most to you. If you spend too much time thinking about others, you won’t have any energy left over to do anything else.

If you focus on what matters most to others, you might feel guilty about doing things that don’t matter to you.

Spending time focusing on what matters most to yourself will allow you to get rid of guilt and worry.

The goal should be to live as a happier person than you were yesterday, and the only way to do that is through the conscious effort of living according to your values and thinking about what matters the most to you.

Just don’t fall into the trap of constantly thinking and not acting. That will lead you to the path of procrastination, constant rumination, and anxiety.

17. Get Rid Of Negativity

Negative people drain your energy and cause stress. They also make you feel bad about yourself.

If you surround yourself with negative people, you’ll start thinking negatively too.

Negative people tend to hang out together. If you see someone who’s constantly complaining, try to ignore them.

Instead, focus on what you need to do to improve yourself. You cannot change them.

For me, this was hard to accept because I wanted to help others in these kinds of situations, but when I reflected back on how hard it was for me to change, I understood it takes an internal drive to change.

I had to be willing to give up my old habits and thoughts and replace them with new ones.

Negativity can be in the form of negative self-talk, gossip, jealousy, envy, resentment, etc. To stop it, just notice how you feel afterwards.

Doing this will help you realize how negativity affects you.

18. Set Realistic Goals

If you set unrealistic goals, you won’t achieve them. You will feel motivated for a few days, but then when reality hits you, you’ll quickly lose motivation.

You shouldn’t strive for bigger goals. But you should set smaller goals first.

When setting goals, think about what’s important to you. What do you really want to accomplish?

Remember to set goals that are attainable and realistic, because if you set too many goals, you might feel overwhelmed or discouraged.

From time to time, take a look at your action items and how you are progressing towards those goals. This will keep you focused and motivated.

It is exciting when you reach milestones. When you reach one milestone, move on to the next. This way, you’ll never get stuck.

19. Listen To Your Body

When you focus on yourself, you feel good about yourself. When you focus on others, you feel bad about yourself.

If you spend too much time thinking about how others see you, you are ignoring what your body needs.

Your body tells you when you’re tired, hungry, thirsty, etc. It’s best to listen to your body so that you can feed yourself properly.

This means eating healthy foods, drinking enough water, getting sufficient sleep, exercising regularly, etc.

This will help you stay energized throughout the day.

But also, your body tells you when you’re anxious, stressed, sad, angry, excited, etc.

Don’t ignore these emotions. Instead, reflect and use these emotions to motivate you to act.

Ignoring our bodies can have huge negative effects on our health and how we perceive the world.

20. Don’t Follow The Crowd. Follow The Truth

Successful people don’t worry about what others think or say about them. They focus on what matters most to them.

You see, the crowd is seeking the same opinion as everyone else. The truth is different from person to person. So why follow the crowd? Follow the truth instead.

The individual is not seeking the same opinion; the individual seeks the truth.

So why do people follow the crowd? Because it makes us safe. We like being part of a group.

We all enjoy being around other people who share similar opinions. But there are times when we need to step out of the herd mentality.

Only when you know what you believe, only when you know what you stand for, will you be able to make decisions based on truth rather than the opinions of other people.

And only when you know what is right for you, will you be able to live a life that feels fulfilling.

21. Try New Experiences

When you try something new, you learn about yourself. It’s important to know who you really are so you can grow into a person you admire.

New things challenge you to think differently and change your perspective. When you do this, you discover what you’re good at and what you aren’t.

For example, I spent more time in nature. I went on hiking trails that were off the beaten path. I learned that I enjoy exploring new places. That beautiful stillness of nature calms me down.

I’m not sure if I would’ve discovered this without allowing myself to try new experiences.

Don’t just watch the highlight reel of some Instagram influencer or YouTuber, go out and experience the real thing.

22. Don’t Compromise Your Happiness

If you are unhappy, then you should do something about it. If you are unhappy because you feel pressured into doing things you don’t want to do, then you need to stop compromising yourself for others.

Unhappiness can be a great teacher. It shows you where you need to improve or change something.

The problem is that we hold back our emotions, hide them, and pretend they don’t exist.

So, we accumulate unhappiness and compromise ourselves over and over again.

It’s better to face reality head-on. Be honest with yourself and ask yourself honestly whether or not you are happy.

23. Surround Yourself With Good People

When you surround yourself with positive people, you feel happier and more motivated. Good friends support each other and help motivate one another to do things we might otherwise avoid.

Good people will not only point out your good qualities but also your bad ones. They won’t judge you. Instead, they will encourage you to work on your weaknesses.

They will tell you the truth, even if you don’t want to hear it.

They want you to be better, to succeed, and to achieve greatness.

Most people will just praise your strengths. They will never criticize your flaws.

You have to find people who will give you constructive criticism.

Surrounding yourself only with people who say good things and ignore your flaws will leave you feeling full of yourself without anything to show for it.

Appreciate people who are willing to tell you the truth.

24. Don’t Forget Where You Came From

Remembering where you came from can be a very powerful tool. We often forget how far we’ve come. We get caught up in the moment and lose sight of our past achievements.

But, by remembering where we came from, we can snap ourselves out of complacency. We can remind ourselves why we started working hard in the first place.

Reminding yourself of where you came from helps you appreciate all the progress you’ve made.

Have a mental picture of yourself as an empty canvas. Then fill it with everything you’ve accomplished.

Think about all the things you’ve done. Think about all the people you’ve helped. Think about all the things you learned. Then, think about how far you’ve come.

Whenever you feel stuck, reflect back on that canvas.

25. Be Honest With Yourself

If you’re struggling with something, ask yourself what you could do differently to fix it.

We tend to lie to ourselves. We convince ourselves that we can’t do certain things.

That we are too old, too young, too fat, too skinny, too ugly, too smart, etc. This prevents us from being able to grow and develop.

Instead of lying to ourselves, try asking yourself questions like “What am I afraid of?” “Why do I feel this way?” “Is there any reason I shouldn’t do this?”

By asking these questions, you’ll start thinking outside the box. You’ll start looking at problems from different perspectives.

For example, maybe you’re scared of failure. Ask yourself why. Is it because you’re afraid of losing money? Or is it because you’re afraid you’ll look stupid when you fail?

Maybe you’re scared of rejection. Ask yourself why. Maybe you’re afraid someone will reject you because you’re overweight. Or perhaps you’re afraid of rejection because you’re not attractive enough.

Whatever the case may be, once you realize the real reasons behind your fears, you’ll be able to overcome them.

When you stop lying to yourself, you’ll begin to see things clearly. You’ll understand what’s really going on.

26. Don’t Waste Time Worrying About The Past Or Future

Worrying about the past or future takes away from the present moment. It’s important to learn how to let go of the past and accept things as they are.

The present moment is all that matters.

It’s easy to worry about the past. For example, if you were rejected once, then you might fear it happening again. But, worrying about the past won’t help you move forward.

It doesn’t matter whether you were rejected yesterday, last week, last year, or even ten years ago. What matters now is accepting the fact that you were rejected.

Acceptance leads to liberation. What you do in the present moment determines your future.

So, don’t waste time worrying about the past or future.

The past is history, it’s not happening anymore.

The future is unknown, so it’s impossible to predict.

The only thing that’s left is the present moment. That’s where you have complete control. 

27. Put Pressure On Yourself

People often do things that are easy and comfortable for them.

The only people that go outside of their comfort zones are those who put pressure on themselves.

Pressure forces you to grow. If you don’t grow, you stagnate. You need to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Otherwise, you’ll never get anywhere.

When you stagnate, you slowly deteriorate. Your mind becomes duller. Your body gets weaker.

Without putting pressure on yourself, you’ll never achieve anything.

Saying to yourself that everything will be fine, but not doing anything about it, is just lying to yourself until you can no longer bear the obvious truth.

You must take action. You must set standards for yourself and grow. 

28. Don’t Settle For Less

If you’re going to do something, do it right. Doing things poorly is a waste of your time and energy.

Settling for less than you can do slowly develops into a mindset of mediocrity.

Mediocre people don’t strive for greatness, they don’t strive to live a meaningful life. Instead, they choose to live an unfulfilled life. This is a big problem.

That kind of mindset grows in all aspects of your life. You have to catch yourself if you are doing this already.

Setting a low barrier is a sign of laziness. There’s no real joy, real sense of fulfillment, or satisfaction when you settle for less than you deserve.

When you focus on yourself, you’ll find that there’s always more to give, not less.

29. Don’t Fear Failure

If you try something new and fail, you learn something about yourself. That’s called growth.

Failure is just a temporary setback. It’s not permanent. In fact, failure is one of the best teachers.

People tend to avoid failure because they don’t want to learn. They think that learning only comes with success.

But, that’s not true at all. Learning comes from failing. When you fail, you gain knowledge.

Failing teaches you how to succeed. So, don’t be afraid of failure. Embrace it as a teacher. Learn from it. Grow from it.

30. Don’t Wait For Someone Else To Help You

Doing things by yourself is hard. There’s nothing wrong with asking someone else to help you. However, you should know that other people have their own problems.

They may not have the same priorities as you. They may not understand what you’re trying to accomplish. And they may not share the same vision as you.

It would be better if you asked for advice from someone who has been through similar situations before.

It’s also important to realize that you cannot force others to help you. People will only help you if they feel like helping you.

If you wait for someone else to help you, you’ll end up waiting forever. Don’t let yourself become a victim. Be proactive. Don’t wait for someone else to change your situation. Change it yourself.


I think that the best use of your time is to focus on yourself and what you can improve, because the more competent you are, the more you will be able to help other people as well.

Issues in people stem from their not working on themselves. If you work on yourself, then you’ll be able to make a difference in other people’s lives.

In conclusion, I hope this has inspired you to say yes to yourself, and it would be great if you could share this with others so that we can inspire each other and this place will be filled with people who are becoming better versions of themselves.

Marko Matijasevic

Marko is performance-based growth strategist, focusing on business growth while maintaining a strong emphasis on authenticity in every individual he works with.