What Kind of Attention Do You Want? Are You Focusing on the Wrong Things? — Womanhood Unwrapped

Elisabeth Gioeli Thomas
6 min readMay 26, 2022


I’ve been struggling with a personal problem for the past two months. While typically speaking, I feel inspired to write a post every month; since January, I’ve been stuck and struggling with writer’s block!

Part of it began when I was in a severe ski accident over spring break. I broke my hand and was bruised and banged up from head to toe, and for almost two months, I labored to use my right hand, which also happens to be my dominant hand! I blamed a lot of this psychological struggle on my injury and fell into a depression.

But then my hand began to improve, and I could type again, hooray! Yet, I still felt no inspiration or interest in writing. That’s when I realized that the block had started before the accident. In fact, I hadn’t had an idea or felt pulled to write a new post since January, and so I could no longer blame the depression and creative block on my hand. I felt a little stumped if I’m being honest. What was the issue?

That’s when it hit me. I have been hyper-focused on monetizing my blog and gaining momentum through a traditionally-accepted route. This led to a constant social media vigilance as I tried to grow my audience. And while, in part, this tunnel vision had paid off and the audience was growing, I had lost sight of the key reason I write content for and about women. The reason that set me down the path of launching a blog and working on featuring and interviewing other women professionals and mothers was to help others, not gain notoriety.

It was the shake-up and wake-up call I needed and led me to reassess my motives and goals concerning the attention I am trying to gain in life and through my work.

When I realized that I was focusing on the wrong type of attention for the wrong reasons, a couple of questions began to bubble to the surface:


When I realized that I was focusing on the wrong type of attention for the wrong reasons, a couple of questions began to bubble to the surface:

What is motivating you?

Do you want recognition for yourself or for others?

Whatever the reasoning, I realized that I needed to start checking in with myself during moments of uncertainty and make sure that what I think is motivating me and my actions are following a couple of core values:

  1. Is it supporting me mentally?
  2. Is it enhancing me physically?
  3. Is it helping others?
  4. Is it making me joyful?

Whatever the reasoning, I realized that I needed to start checking in with myself during moments of uncertainty and make sure that what I think is motivating me and my actions are following a couple of core values:

Here’s the irony in all of this; in today’s world of social-media-driven community, it’s easier than ever to lose sight of your goals and motivations in search of the next “like,” influencer status, or fan club. It’s easier to compare yourself to your colleagues, friends, family, and peers. Unfortunately, none of these motivations will help you find joy. It might make you feel “successful” in a disconnected and fake way, but where’s the joy? In fact, studies show that the more you seek attention by comparing yourself to others, the less likely you are to feel satisfied and happy. Read this article from Entrepreneur for more on that topic.


It’s too easy to lose the motivation that first inspired you to accept a job, launch a podcast, start a new venture or make a significant life change. At the beginning of something new, all of the inspiration and motivation are fresh and front-and-center, but as the newness wears off, it’s common to become distracted by what I like to call the “chatter.”

Chatter can be a colleague piping negativity into your ear, a friend constantly telling you what you’re not doing instead of praising you for what you are, or online peers doing something different and seemingly more impactful than you.

This noise can cause you to lose inspiration and forget the end goal. If and when this happens, it’s essential to re-ground oneself and be reminded why you are doing what you are doing!

I’ve started asking myself the following when I feel down or overly obsessed with the wrong life aspects:

  1. Have I accomplished one thing in the last month, 6-months, or year that I am proud of?
  2. Am I making decisions that are in line with my goals?
  3. Are the people around me supportive of my efforts?
  4. What about this makes me feel motivated and inspired?


This is the question that I recently had to ask myself. Who do I want in my world?

I’m increasingly aware that despite my best efforts to surround myself with people and experiences that are authentic, kind, and honest, all too often, I put weight into the in-authentic and icky-feeling people and things. Like the person on Instagram who doesn’t make you feel better when you view their posts or interact with them, yet somehow you can’t stop engaging. I am now trying to remember that I can just stop, unfollow and move on!

Disclaimer: I’m not suggesting that you narrow your view or only surround yourself with “yes” people. That’s a systemic problem right now, in my opinion, and diverse perspectives are critical to ethical and educated decision-making. But sometimes, the person who makes you feel bad isn’t presenting a different perspective. They are either overtly or passively putting you down for the sake of it. Or maybe they are smothering you with their viewpoint and toxic behavior, and that, my friends, is when you may want to remove them from your world.


If you are continually feeling bad about yourself or judged by those around you, maybe it’s time to reassess your friends, followers, and yourself to determine who you really want in your world. It is okay to take a break from a relationship. It’s okay to set a boundary that ends a relationship. I try to follow the rule of three: Is it necessary, is it kind, and is it honest.

Some might not understand, and others might outright get angry at your need to protect yourself from that which is not serving. Still, you know what, if they do lash out or act unsupportive of whatever it is that you are giving up, or moving on from, then you have to ask yourself, “were they really worth it anyway?”

In my experience, those who REALLY love and support you also fully understand and support your lifestyle, choices, and needs. Don’t forget that.


I’ve found that where I focus my attention and where I gain attention from are truly interconnected. I recently read a quote from Henry David Thoreau that sums up how I am starting to focus and channel my time, energy, and personal awareness; it goes, “Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.”

Consequently, I will fill my time with things, people, and efforts that make me internally happy, and I know in my heart that the “success,” recognition, and credit for my actions and work will come — in the time and in the way it is meant to transpire.


Tell me more about how you are finding your flow between success, and happiness in the comments. What have you learned?

Contact Womanhood Unwrapped for guest blogging, and interview opportunities.

Originally published at https://womanhoodunwrapped.com on May 26, 2022.



Elisabeth Gioeli Thomas

Founder of the the Womanhood Unwrapped blog. A platform where women can find content that related to their lives and tell their stories.