I'm gonna let you in on a little neurosis of mine...
well if you've been in a car with me for any length of time...then you already know what I'm talking about...especially if I was driving through a hilly stretch of road.
I have a fear of losing control.
No joke you say....
But this fear translates itself in SO many debilitating ways.
The one that has reared it's head in my life concerns my fear of speed and steep windy roads.
Usually I can pray my way through it or concentrate on a song to make the time fly by....but this time everything seemed amplified as I was talking with my friend. Don't get me wrong, this is usually all in my head. On a bad day, if you were outside observing you might see me slow down and go all "Granny's driving" on you. But for the most part this is an internal monologue that I just happened to bring my friend into.
The greatest thing was that instead of humoring me, she decided to talk me through it, and we actually got down to the heart of the problem. She asked me, "What is it about these long curves that frightens you?"
"I just feel out of control, unless I slow down to like 40 miles an hour........I feel like the centrifugal force swings me out too far and I'm afraid of overcorrecting." (No joke, these are my thoughts)
And the best part was she completely understood.
Being an avid dirt bike rider she went on to explain how it's easy to feel out of control if you look at the road just in front of you. "You need to look way ahead of you, keeping your eyes focused on your destination. Your immediate path will remain in your peripheral, but you won't faulter on the little curves." I tried to shift my focus and, what do you know? It worked. She said, "It's the funniest thing. If I see a huge rock in the road when I'm on my bike, the worst thing I can do is concentrate on NOT hitting that rock. If I don't focus on the bump in the road then I automatically go around it. It's like your brain knows its there, and will compensate for that. But if you stare at it, then you're trying to figure out how to handle it. Our minds are much more powerful than we give them credit."
Since then I've had a MUCH easier time going down LONG stretches of hilly roads. It feels like I've overcome a HUGE mental roadblock. And the more I ruminated on this newfound skill, the more I've applied it to other parts of my life.
What immediate situation do you need to stop concentrating on today?
Just look up. Stop worrying about HOW you'll get there, and focus on the end game. You will never have control over how the road bends, but you CAN control how you respond to the curves.
Just don't look down.