Focus Off the Ick

You know how when something icky happens and you get that pinch in your stomach and your mind starts replaying it over-and-over-and-over-and-over again? In each replay, of course, you get to be the hero. You speak your truth! You take a stand! You say what needs to be said!

But you don’t feel any better. The pinch is still there. Your mind, fatigued and stretched thin from the non-stop churning, continues to play the now-warped-film-reel of your life, but nothing makes sense anymore.

I caught myself the other day, in the throes of my own mental-madness. It wasn’t pretty and I felt it in every cell. My best self was hiding in some dark corner, cowering. What was left was a grumpy and despondent shell (feeling sorry for yourself is exhausting!) Until I noticed.

Oh! The magnificence that is our mind!

Over the past decade, I’ve learned so much about how powerful focus can be. It can alter your experience of yourself, change the way you show up in the world, and transform your results. But like a toddler running off into a busy street, it needs to be guided and nurtured. Left to its own devices, our minds will focus on all the stuff that’s not going to serve us. All the things that deplete our power. All the ways we could fail.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been able to bring my best under those circumstances.

Like magic, I started to feel better. More in control of my destiny for the day.

So when I caught myself, I realized that in order to turn it around for the day, I needed to shift my focus. Shift it off of myself, off of the ick, and on to purpose. What is the impact I wanted to have outside myself? What action could I take to achieve what I call my Super Objective? Like magic, I started to feel better. More in control of my destiny for the day. The feelings dissipated and, as I shifted my focus on actions I could take to make an impact, they were replaced by ease and grace.

Confidence comes from knowing you can count on yourself when you need it.

Look, there is not a perfect person on this planet. You’re going to have days when you’re up against it. It’s how you recover that matters. Do you stay stuck in the ick or do you get your better self out?

Your brave unfolds one situation at a time.

©OnStage Leadership


Kimberly Davis
Kimberly Davis
An expert on authentic leadership, Kimberly Davis shares her inspirational message of personal power, responsibility, and impact with organizations across the country and teaches leadership programs world-wide; most notably, her program “OnStage Leadership” which runs in NYC and Dallas, TX. Additionally, Kimberly teaches for Southern Methodist University’s (SMU) Cox School of Business’s Executive Education Program's Transformational Leadership Program and their Latino Leadership Initiative. She is also privileged to teach for the Bush Institute’s WE Lead Program (empowering female leaders from the Middle East). Kimberly is a TEDx speaker and her book, Brave Leadership: Unleash Your Most Confident, Authentic, and Powerful Self to Get the Results You Need, is the 2019 winner of the Benjamin Franklin Silver Award for Business and Career; an Amazon Bestseller in Business Leadership, Business Motivation, and Self-Improvement, and Motivational Business Management; and was named as the number one book to read in Inc. Magazine’s “The 12 Most Impactful Books to Read in 2018,” with a cover-endorsement by best-selling author Daniel Pink.

SOLD OUT! JOIN OUR WAITING LIST! It's not a virtual event. It's not a conference. It's not a seminar, a meeting, or a symposium. It's not about attracting a big crowd. It's not about making a profit, but rather about making a real difference. LEARN MORE HERE



  1. Kimberly, you are so amazing. You nailed it — again — when you said, “You’re going to have days when you’re up against it. It’s how you recover that matters. Do you stay stuck in the ick or do you get your better self out?” So. Very. True.
    And, you don’t just encourage us not to stay stuck, but you remind us HOW to do that — by focusing on our Super Objective. Yes, yes, and yes! I am SO grateful for you. Keep shining brightly, my friend!

  2. Kimberly, well put. You’re right that our brave does indeed unfold from actions.

    Actions we can handle just one situation at a time.

    And that’s enough. Even when it does not feel so. Because in the action we grow when we bring our best self as best we could for that moment.

    I do strive to bring my best self. By doing so, I get opportunities to gain better skills.

    Even when it’s from the reflection after an action I take that I want to do better with next time!

    No perfect persons on this planet indeed.


  3. I so love your gift to explain complicated topics in such a simplistic; still powerful way dear Kimberly Davis! It resonates so much… The last few months were very challenging after discovering some traumatic truth. More than I could have ever recalled– not even during my darkest moments just before reprogramming my old f*cked up subconscious– I catched myself trapped in imagined scenarios where I was expressing my anger in the nastiest ways.

    My extremely hurt inner-kid had such a hard time to eventually accept the atrocity of the discovery (first step of the grieving process). Interestingly, only 20% of the frustration was triggered for my own violated needs. The remaining 80% were coming from the damage inflicted on other abused parties, and my purpose & fire to empower whoever I either knew all my life or had the privilege to meet somewhere on my path, so that they could see where they are, and realize they can take their power back from their unhealthy ego’s prison.

    Unfortunately, I didn’t see any satisfying result. On the contrary, I rather deserved a smear campaign and being gaslighted by those for whom my heart was broken, and I sacrified my required self-care period. More to the point, even our most noble intentions can sometimes be fruitless whenever they miss context. In my case, it was how ready the abused folks were READY and WILLING to be saved in the first place… I was aware of this at a conscious level and even was silly enough to write about it a few time ago. My favorite lesson from those challenging times was realizing I still had my ‘rescuer’ pattern to re-write in my subconscious program! My gratitude is simply limitless for all the events coming at the right moment to teach me what I needed to be taught!

    Thanks again for this brilliant essay my friend and thank you Dennis J. Pitocco for the continuous commitment to greatness!