August 18

Self-Focus vs. Self-Confidence

Self-Focus vs. Self-Confidence

By Deborah Johnson

August 18, 2023

Deborah Johnson, Elon Musk, focus on others, healthy mindset, healthy self talk, imposter syndrome, negative self-talk, podcast, self compassion, self confidence, self focus, Warren Buffet

Both self-focus and self-confidence involve a focus on oneself. Both may have strong internal beliefs about themselves. Whenever starting a new business or through a time of transition, it becomes fairly easy to spend time with self-focus. There are bills to pay and customers to serve. Much of this may sound like just self-focus, but a certain amount of focus to develop self-confidence is necessary to sell and move forward in life.

I’ve worked in the area of the arts for many years and there is a lot of necessary self-focus within promotion. This is especially true for individual artists and actors because a certain amount of self-focus is necessary to exude the type of self-confidence needed in order to get hired. But merely spending time with self-focus and self-promotion can develop into an unhealthy narcissistic attitude. In this article, we will cover four healthy attitudes of self-focus that will exude self-confidence.

Women at Halftime by Deborah Johnson Self-Focus vs. Self-Confidence with Greg & Deb 8-22-2023
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One: Self-Compassion

Acknowledging our imperfections and weaknesses with kindness and support is extremely important in maintaining healthy self-talk and self-confidence. Imposter syndrome, negative self-talk and victimology have become a huge part of a negative self-focus and have become the subject of many best-selling books. Those negative attitudes have even become a badge of honor for some, gaining popularity on social media.

There is nothing wrong with experiencing some negative thoughts and doubts, but if they become all-consuming, that’s when an unhealthy focus on self takes over. Journaling consistently with reflection, thankfulness and gratitude really help to break free of some of the cycle of negativism. 

Two: Self-Awareness

To prioritize self-awareness is to understand our strengths, weaknesses, values and emotions. One of the most important steps in establishing a strong purpose at any stage of life is to define and affirm core values. I’ve written a full chapter about core values in the appendix in the book Stop Circling. I encourage everyone to review or establish a record of their values.

Core values provide a solid foundation on which to build a life and business, as they are both connected and include both our foundation of faith and character. As we age, our basic values may stay the same, but how we manifest our values in living life may change slightly with the use of our time and energy. Giving ourselves the permission to take breaks and use our time differently is a healthy mindset we should all adapt. 

Three: Self-Care

Prioritizing self-care should be part of our daily routine. This includes nourishing our bodies with nutritious foods, getting regular exercise, getting enough sleep and setting time aside for relationships and activities that bring joy and satisfaction. (Download free goal setting worksheets)

Goal Setting Worksheets

When losing weight or any other area of self-care becomes a consuming focus at the exclusion of relationships or other important part of our lives, it becomes an unhealthy characteristic of self-care and self-focus. Balance and moderation can be applied to most every area of self-care including exercise, body sculpting or other areas of body focus that can easily become consuming if out of balance. 

Four: Self-Empowerment

Lifelong learning is a huge area of self-empowerment as knowledge is power. It doesn’t matter what stage of life we are at, keeping the mind active with learning, reading and adventure stimulates the brain, memory and even retention. Even though my husband sold most of his financial business, he reads constantly to keep up with the market and often is a great resource for colleagues and friends, though he does no investing outside our personal investments. 

One of his favorite phrases is that people read too much and think too little. Most of us retain only 10% of what we read, if that. However, if we spend time thinking and mulling over what we have read, that percentage quickly rises. For those in business or sales, taking the time to reflect on what worked or didn’t work can have a huge impact on self-confidence going forward. 

Warren Buffet, one of America’s most successful investors, still dedicates 80% of his day to reading. His advice to everyone is to keep learning. Elon Musk read voraciously growing up and after he read all the books in the library, started to read the encyclopedia. Few people have minds like Musk, but his habits for learning are admirable and some are replicable.

Application: Focus on Others

Our path to adopt a healthy self-confidence fuels our ability to reach out to others. This applies to all sorts of relationships including marriages, business colleagues and personal friends. The more confident we are in ourselves, the more confident we are in extending kindness, clear communication and opportunity to others. With self-centeredness comes an inflated worth of self-worth and expectation. 

It is never fun to enter a conversation to hear someone talk merely about themselves and all their awards. Many times those individuals need validation and admiration, but unfortunately there never seems to be enough. Healthy self-confidence brings assurance and the ability to reach out to others. Care for yourself to care for others.


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Acknowledging our imperfections and weaknesses with kindness and support is extremely important in maintaining healthy self-talk and self-confidence.

deborah johnson

Thought Leader, Keynote Speaker, Author

If you are interested in growing and learning, check out our online courses here: Online Learning

1,090 words

Deborah Johnson

About the author

DEBORAH JOHNSON, M.A., creator of Hero Mountain® and former president of Los Angeles National Speakers Association, is an international award-winning music artist, author, speaker and National Media Commentator. She also hosts the popular podcast "Women at Halftime." Deborah provides tools to create your ideal lifestyle and work at mid-career or during the halftime of life, getting unstuck. You can live your second half fulfilled, focused and free! Up for multiple GRAMMY Awards and spending over 20 years in the entertainment industry, she's an expert on how to constantly reinvent yourself in a gig-economy. She is also the recipient of the Women's Economic Forum Exceptional Women of Excellence Award. Deborah is the author of multiple books, over twenty albums and musicals and speaks and performs in both live and virtual events.

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