What’s the Opposite of Distraction?
My vision for AIM Co. and this community of MAMA SAID Blog readers - is that through our mothering we see in ourselves the potential that we see in our children. And it’s THAT vibe that I’m bringing to today’s post. 

I think so often we’re hard on ourselves when we feel we’ve made a mistake as parents - yet we forget to celebrate the moments when we totally kick ass! So take a moment right now and think about a mama moment that you’re proud of. When you were exceptional and feel that feeling and hold on to it through this post - because that’s the vibe we’re trying to generate as our default setting. Okay let’s shine on.

I’m finally feeling more like myself again! Ever since getting back  from my  ten day family road/camping trip out to Long Beach on Vancouver Island  and also right before dropping our first born son off at his freshman year of college.  I’ve been struggling with my energy level and mindset. I was super irritable, inpatient with myself and others, feeling a sense of disconnection and trying SO hard to be my own hype girl and just not feeling it!

Sometimes even when you know what to do - you don’t actually WANT to do it. I swear to God recently every time I tried to listen to a podcaster  I love - they were talking about imposter syndrome!. I didn’t want to fucking think about imposter syndrome. I had no energy to deep dive into my shit. Even though, when I’m feeling low vibe - I KNOW I should be open to the messages coming from those who I regularly look to for inspiration. The fact is KNOWING isn’t DOING.

When I don’t do the things I KNOW I should do. Thats when accountability comes in. But there’s also this part of accountability that involves ME - accepting that I’m getting in my own way, and being determined enough to ask for help. I’ve been at this personal growth journey long enough to just freaking ask for help when I need it. Sometimes it just takes me longer than it should to do it. So after sharing my current mindset with one of my purpose partners, I finally realized what was going on.

It’s this ultra crazy time when as a mother I’ve started to look at my oldest son in a new way.  His current journey - is his own! It’s time for me to trust and witness and accept. But when a lot of how I identify as a person is found through motherhood, I started to feel like an imposter in this new role . You see I didn’t say my identity resides in being a mother - (I'm still a mother even though he’s at college) what I’m starting to understand is that part of my identity and my own empowerment journey comes through motherhood. The act of mothering. The SERVICE of mothering. The voice and intuition of mothering. The bearing of motherhood. It's no wonder I’ve been feeling low vibe. I’m grieving the loss of a part of myself that I love dearly.

Having the opportunity to explore all that out loud with another mama who is on her own life growth path was SO good.  I thought about my progress as a podcast host, blogger and business leader, and realized that I’m in a significant period of growth right now! And I’m pumping the fu*king brakes. Because it’s scary as hell and I KNOW I have to let go of the part of myself that feels safe. The girl who makes excuses, and has doubt about my ability to follow through, and who knows that without follow through I’m UNRELIABLE. and it’s like UGH DAMN gut check. I don’t want to be a person you can’t count on!

So you know I needed the mama magic I’m about to share. I have this in me. I have what it takes to become the vision I have of my future self.  It’s all in me. Sometimes it comes to me through words I speak to my kids  and this is one of those times. A moment when I caught some magic that I thought I REALLY needed to integrate into my own beautiful freaking life.

In typical Tanya Malcolm fashion I’m overthinking the fu*k out of this!! But it starts with a worry I had. What my son’s path means about me. No - it’s actually worse than that. What my son’s path, makes other people think about me. I’m not playing this is really messed up. I’ve been worrying. Intensely about it. 

Is he going to be a good roommate? 
You know all the important things, hygiene, kitchen skills, housekeeping, attitude and organization. 

Is he going to be able to solve problems for himself?
Lost keys, dead phone, missed bus, no food, stuff left behind!

Can he handle student athlete life!?
Coursework + practice + travel schedules + team and school commitments! 

Will he buy more hand soap when he’s out, change the trash cans regularly, do his laundry consistently. 

So, yeah. I’ve had some worries floating around my head for the past month. And I’ve come to the conclusion. It’s quite possible that I haven’t done a good  job at preparing him for adulting.  

Now let me just unpack that a little bit - so I don’t get a bunch of messages from you guys about everything I’m awesome at.  Because - I actually already did the deep work on this, and how fu*ked it is that I’m worried about what y’all think.  What you think doesn’t actually matter for me in the context of my life.  I mean - really all those worries I just listed aren’t about my son. They’re about what people will think about how I raised him.  Theres a quote for this… how's it go again? What other people think is none of my business. I don’t know who said it. If you know that hit up my DMs on Instagram @tanyamalcolm and let me know!

Moving my son into his dorm room was when I discovered that I could have shared so much more grown up shit with him, than I did before the short time we had together unpacking his belongings into his new pad! By short I mean like an hour.

Of all the things I wanted to remind him of, and introduce him to even.. there was  one topic I KEPT circling back to.

Leave yourself enough time. 

First of all - let me just preface the rest of this post with some parenting real talk. Most of the time when I’m frustrated with my kids it’s because I’ve got an expectation that I’ve created in my mind, about what how they’re showing up in the world says about me and my worth as a mom. But when I unpack that -it’s so clear how totally unfair it is to my kids. I need to stop doing that. You need to stop doing that. 

But - dang it. I’m still working on that one! 

Okay - so there we are unpacking kitchen supplies, dividing up club packs of ground beef into smaller portions and taking about meal planning and all of a sudden I’m in a flash back to this summer  - he’s just left for work, I yell out the door to him DON’T SPEED! I come in to the kitchen and it’s an explosion of teenage boy makes food! And just like that I’m back in the college dorm kitchen and  I’m residing in that unfair place and instead of continuing to offer helpful adulting advice my tone changes and I’m like “you can’t be leaving a shit show in the kitchen for your roommates if you cook eggs before class in the morning.”

You have to Leave yourself enough time!!!

...and example after example of what an inconsiderate roommate he’s going to turn in to if he shows up the way I as his mama tolerated in our home life. 

“You need to start getting ready to go somewhere an hour before you need to be there” 

Leave yourself enough time. 

That’s it!  It felt like mama magic! 

I am ALWAYS leaving at the last possible minute. I’m consistently coming home to a disaster bc I left in such a hurry, I ALWAYS FUCKING SPEED to arrive on time. There’s NEVER any room for error in my life because I literally blow through my life like a tornado. 

I'm in this constant heightened state of being because I always feel like I’m running out of time. Literally right now I keep looking at the clock because it’s 12:15 and I have to be at a dentist appointment at 12:50 and I’m not even sure how long it will take because it’s some big work and I have to pick up my daughter from school at 2:45, and then it will be on to the next thing! Etc etc. 

What this really comes down to…is being a reliable person. Not only to others. But more importantly to OURSELVES. 

So there’s a couple of behaviours we need to turn into habits to really kick this “always running behind” shit to the curb. No this isn’t about to be a time management lesson. But I will share one thing I learned from my current personal development book  W1NNING The unforgivable race to greatness by Tim Grover. 

He says "Stop managing time. The unforgiving race does not want you to manage time, cuz if you manage time, you're not focused. It wants you to manage FOCUS. Manage FOCUS; and when you manage FOCUS, you use all of your time. When you are managing time, you may still get the end result, but it's not going to be the end result you want. Manage your FOCUS, otherwise, you WILL run out of time!" - Tim Grover

Every time I listen to the statement in my personal development book "W1NNER" I’m reminded about what I want for myself. These last few days have been all about FOCUS. It's challenging to FOCUS, but it has been the catalyst for getting back to feeling like myself again! I am a winner. Best start behaving like one.

So think about what that means for you. What would managing your focus actually look like on a daily basis. 

I was listening to the Sunday Jump Start Podcast last weekend and the host Jess was talking about the book she’s reading and it made me ask myself  what’s the opposite of distraction? Is it Attraction? That’s what I thought. Well apparently if you read Indistractible - How to control your attention and Choose Your life by Nir Eyal you’ll learn that Distraction stops you. It is anything that stops you from achieving your goals. It is any action that moves you away from what you really want. Where as traction leads you closer to your goals. Distraction and traction is movement. Distraction is anything that moves you away from your goals, where as traction is anything that leads you closer to your goals. It is an action that moves you towards what it is that you truly want. 

That means the opposite of distraction is traction. You know that shit you’re trying to gain! 

I’m going to focus on focus & traction now, but Jess goes on to explain many more ideas from the book that I loved - you should go hear more of them when you'er done here on the  Sunday Jump Start podcast. 

Just when I was about to start exploring my constantly out of time anxiety my personal growth practice offered me two learning opportunities to shift my mind from going down a deep dive into trying to slow down time! To recognize that I get distracted and lose focus - usually while simultaneously multi-taksing! Oh my gosh. I love my path right now!! 

Paying attention to your focus and your distractions means when you start a task. Your are intentional about your focus. Really, you have two tasks the thing your’e doing and staying focused. Open your laptop, manage your focus. Send an email, manage your  focus, move  your body, manage your focus. 

Get distracted? Say out loud  - I’m losing traction. Bring back your focus. But not before naming the distraction and the feeling it gives you. Here!. I’ll give you an example. I had to visit the Sunday Jump Start podcast for this episode - And now I know all about her blog and offerings - when all I really needed to know was an episode number for my show notes. I did reign it in. I noticed. Being intentional about my focus is new for me too okay! I said I’m distracted. I said I’m losing traction. I thought to myself - manage my focus.  Then I named the distraction. Funny it was attraction. I RESPECT Jess and her work! I’m attracted to entrepreneurial women who are ahead of me!!! It made me feel excited, hopeful and inspired. Then I was back recording more.  Of course I’m giving you a feel good example, but I could have just as easily been distracted by corona virus vaccine messages and evoked a feeling that doesn’t serve me. The point is no matter the feeling you get from your distraction, it’s better than feeling fear and doubt about whatever the thing is you’re supposed to be doing that’s gaining you traction and keeping you a reliable person!!! That’s why we allow ourselves distractions. They feel better than the risks we have to take to grow.

The truth hurts am I right?! I share my experiences with you because I know what it feels like to want more for yourself, and I know that the mama in you, can help get you there. You just have to tune in her and trust her power! I can’t WAIT to hear what you think about today’s episode! If you want to continue the conversation about managing your focus and gaining traction I invite you to join my brand new Facebook group All In Mama. You’re going to love it! The online space for mama's who want to connect with other women embracing motherhood as their superpower! I’m going to go live lots for q&a’s I’m going to do giveaways and of course we’re going to expand on episodes of the podcast and blog. It’s kinda like when you download an audio book and theres a bonus workbook pdf.  But it’s a free community - that comes with my blog!

Join my FREE Group Today!


Leave a Comment