Got Skid Skills?
If 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 to “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:
CRASHING INTO THE WALL.
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 means …
- 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, 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: 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!)