Got Skid Skills?

focusing skills in deliberate creationIf sometimes it feels like your life is skidding out of control, or maybe just certain situations trigger strong fear that you feel powerless to stop thinking about, this story from Tony Robbins may help you control future skids.
One day in race car driving school it was time for Tony to learn how to handle it when the car skids.
Tony’s instructors said that when the car starts to skid, everyone’s natural tendency is to look at the wall. Which is not good, because the car goes wherever you focus. That’s why it’s crucial, they said, to look at the track, not the wall.
Their fundamental teaching was toย “focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear.”
Which Tony knew, since he’d been teaching this truth to his own clients for years. A no-brainer, right?
In theory, sure.
In real life, it’s a little different …
So they leave the classroom to practice it on the track. While Tony’s racing around at high speeds, the instructor initiates the skid and Tony is like a deer in the headlights staring straight at the wall.
All his training, all his wisdom is out the window as he focuses on his biggest fear:


Tony’s instructor has to reach out and physically turn his head to look back at the track. (That cracks me up every time!)
Once he was focused in a new direction, Tony naturally turned the wheel, which brought the car back on track.
Although there was a slight (and scary) delay between the time he shifted focus, turned the wheel, and avoided the wall. (Oh, that lag time, huh?! It’ll test a manifestor’s nerves!)
It’s no different for us deliberate creators.
We go wherever we’re focused. And often a shift in attention doesn’t result in immediate change. You gotta learn to ride it out with a right focus, trusting you’ll come out of it okay.
Which meansย …

  • When you’re headed out for a first date and you think, “He’s probably too good to be true,” that’s looking at the wall.
  • When you’re grumbling at work because no one appreciates the work you do, that’s looking at the wall.
  • When you’re worried your prospect won’t say yes to your offer, that’s looking at the wall.

We get back on track by redirecting attention toward what we WANT: great dates,ย appreciative bosses, happy clients, or whatever it is you’re calling in.
It’s how the system works. It’s reliable, although it takes some skills to navigate it successfully.
Next time you’re staring straight at your wall, maybe this metaphor from Tony will serve as your cue to refocus.
Having a wise and helpful passenger doesn’t hurt when it’s pinch time (good coaches are worth their weight in gold), to help you remember to train your attention on what you want rather than what you don’t want.
Even solo players, though, can create a habit of redirecting focus on what they want. And the more you do it, the more natural it becomes.
The good news is even if you’ve crashed into a couple walls already, it’s never too late to learn this game.
We’ll have new challenges, new fears, and new opportunities to feel the exhilaration of racing around our track, whatever that looks like for each of us.
Here’s the story in Tony’s own words (page 161) if you’re interested. Or you can watch the story here:ย The Secret to Life.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear what skids you’ve navigated lately, and what skills you used to maintain helpful focus.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts and comments. (I’ll share one of my reliable methods, too!)

  • February 20, 2011
  • Oh my word, Katie!! I’m emailing you next to see if you’ll let me share that story at GVU!

  • Katie says:

    Hi Jeanette – thought I would write about this one. About a six weeks ago my company told us we would not be getting our Christmas bonus’, something I count on every year. My hubby lost his job about a year ago and we’ve been fine, but that extra would have been great. For one night I started getting nervous about bills and the ability to pay. I literally had to push those feelings out and tell myself we’d be fine, we’d be fine. Well, about a week later I wrote in my journal “thank you for my big raise and for my bonus”. Even though I knew we weren’t getting one. The next day there were some expected layoff’s at our company. A week later my boss asked if I would start working full time (I could because my hubby was home for the kids) and I would get a $40,000 raise and my increase would be retroactive back to December which would be a sizeable check close to what my bonus would have been! It’s amazing!!! Thank god I didn’t let myself get bogged down in the no bonus sadness, it quickly turned around! And..once I get my retro check I will be joining GVU. Something I’ve wanted to do for awhile!

  • Oh, Julie, I totally missed that reference in the movie. I will be re-viewing it!
    Thanks for posting, girlfriend. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Juile B says:

    Thanks Jeannette. Great blog!!!
    “Always remember, your focus determines your reality”
    Qui-Gon Gin, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

  • Yes, it changes everything, Amanda. Good for you for noticing what’s up and owning your power to shift it.
    Here’s to the track! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Amanda42 says:

    Thank you! I just realized I’m in a skid. I’d let my old habits take over and focused on the potential unpleasant outcomes. Talk about looking at the wall! I’ll look to the track now – the awesome and exciting future, where things are going my way!

  • It does feel that way, doesn’t it, Nat? (That the entire world is supporting us.)
    Nice observation!

  • Cassie says:

    This is an awesome post. I have heard the metaphor about focusing on the space and not the trees when you are mountain biking, but I LOVE the race car driving metaphor. I also love that even Tony Robbins needs someone to turn his head once in awhile. Like you said, someone in the passenger seat whether it’s a friend, instructor or a coach is great to have. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Now that I think about it, the same is true in ballroom dancing. Look where you want your body to go.
    All these examples remind me that our world is truly supportive. Just be aware and you’ll be guided in the direction you need to be.

  • Ha! Nice to hear from you Natalie!
    Wakeboarding, huh?! You guys are all having so much fun – snow skiing, race car driving, and now wakeboarding!
    Kudos for all this enjoyment of life. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Natalie says:

    Same goes for wakeboarding. Look up and not into the water! haha. Btw, Hi (= been reading posts but could never decide on which of my thoughts for commenting so have never commented till now =P

  • Stacy, for REAL?!?!
    Omgosh, I LOVE that!!
    An intentional skid/drift for FUN! Way to turn scary/unwanted into fun!
    Huh. You’re making me want to spend time with a driver!
    Thanks for that, my friend.

  • Stacy @ Local Online Marketing says:

    I’ve been to a driving experience before (I didn’t personally get to do the driving but was with a professional) and there were a few track events/scenarios we got to ride along with.
    Ironically one of my FAVORITES of that day was the drifting – which is basically skidding – but intentional. It’s funny how the scary stuff can also be really fun when coming from a different angle/perspective.
    This post is a great and simple example of how to shift focus from what we don’t want. And it’s a bit reassuring that even the “greats” have their moments struggling with it too.

  • It’s the heart of deliberate creation, isn’t it, Nat?
    Thanks for reading and for posting. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jeannette, this post is such a great reminder. Focusing on what we fear can happen to the best of us. I know I’ve caught myself several times ๐Ÿ™‚ So practicing to shift our focus is so important.

  • Glad it hit home, Mandy. I’ve found this wall vs. track metaphor serves me really well; hope it does you, too.

  • Mandy says:

    Hi Jeanette,
    Yay, I get so happy when you have a new post! It’s like getting a present ๐Ÿ™‚
    This advice is incredibly relevent to me at the moment, and I can’t wait to try it out today.
    Thank you xo

  • Okay, Leslie, I’m laughing at how THAT metaphor might be translated to your bigger picture. lol
    I LOVE the “lower the gear” tip, too. In fact, that fits in perfectly with the next blog post brewing on how to manage overwhelm when we manifest too much too soon too fast.
    Thanks for chiming in, Leslie!
    And Nancy, I know what you mean! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Leslie Richter says:

    I was recently in my car skidding towards the ditch thinking I should get my seat belt off and ditch the car.(big lecture from the hubby after wards to stay in the car with the seat belt on).
    I was shaking in my boots what to do…didn’t want any harm to come to the car so I remembered to lower the gear in my car and proceeded slowly forward…most definitely looking at the road ahead where I wanted to go.
    Can’t tell you how proud I was of myself that I slowed down and kept looking ahead. Sometimes we just get more dramatic reminders to not let go of the wheel, know where you are going and to focus on that, not the ditch.

  • Jeannette, I love how us coaches will stop at nothing to help our clients *get it*, including racking up metaphors! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for adding another one to my list, and Thanks, Chip, for your contribution!
    Many blessings,

  • Ooh, that one works well, too, Chip!
    Good one. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • ChipEFT says:

    Great metaphor. I’ve always used downhill skiing in the woods–look at the gap not the trees. Good job.

  • That’s making me think, Cassie, that real life probably has LOTS of ways to show us this is how it works best. (To train your focus on what you want versus don’t want.)
    In Tony’s story, he goes on to share that after his instructor had to remind him to switch focus the first couple times it happened, eventually he got the hang of it.
    I think it’s the same with deliberate creation. ๐Ÿ™‚

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