How Your Addiction to Attention is Holding You Back

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Photo by Ani Kolleshi on Unsplash

Attention is addictive by nature. It’s normal to want it.

But it’s far too easy to spiral into an unhealthy addiction to it.

Being addicted to attention is a crippling weakness, and it could be holding you back from a lot more than you realize.

The reason for that is because when we feel unwanted, unloved, or simply bored from lack of attention from those around us, we become blinded.

Suddenly, we can see nothing else but our apparent isolation. Our brains conjure up an image much more dramatic than reality, but it feels real enough.

Focusing so much on the lack of gratification we feel we’ve received lately, we are prone to missed opportunities. Our time management skills seem to take a sharp decline, and we can’t focus on anything else until we feel we’ve gotten the attention we want — usually from who we want, too.

Again, it’s normal. Many of us define our value, importance, and relevance on the opinions or interests of others. (Social media is a popular siphon of getting the good stuff, those oh-so-gratifying ‘likes’).

Something incredibly important that we often fail to realize though, is that the majority of value others would see in us doesn’t happen until we see it in ourselves.

We typically treat other human beings the way they treat themselves. We tend to mirror how they think or feel about their own self-image.

For example, someone who respects themselves greatly will send out a kind of signal to others that lets them know they won’t tolerate certain behavior. The others receive the signal.

More often than not, they take heed to it.

Other people will more quickly and easily be able to spot your value if they can see that you’re aware of it yourself.

Self-worth is like a beautiful necklace we adorn ourselves with proudly, yet humbly. And the response you will get from that is admiration and respect, both of which are much longer-lasting than attention!

So how do we do this? How do we break our addiction to attention?

The answer is simple: by keeping in mind that your value is not defined by others. It is defined by yourself.

It can also help to remind yourself that you are on your OWN path. A little alone time is okay. Like everyone, you’ll have your ups and downs, wins and losses. Exciting times, and stressful times.

Change what you can in order to be happy, but accept what you can’t. That’s where true happiness is born. The gratification we all feel from fleeting attention is just that — fleeting, temporary.

If you aren’t receiving the kind of attention you want right now, whether long-term or short, remind yourself that you cannot control life. The way to peace is acceptance, and that means accepting everything. It’s a practice, and it takes time. And practice.

And trust me, the more you achieve this within yourself, the more people will be drawn to you. This time though, it will be the right kind of people. This time, it’ll be your people.

Written by

Born writer + passionate traveler + yoga instructor = content on travel & adventure, mental health & mindfulness, goals & motivation, love & magic ✨

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