Have you ever been REALLY SCARED? Has fear ever consumed you? I can say a big fat YES to those questions and today I share a fresh example of how our mindset matters and can totally alter the experience we are having.
This experience happened a couple of weeks ago. We were in Montana, we had been fishing the big whole River and were staying a few nights in the little town of Hamilton, Montana.
We had visited some hot springs in Jackson which was really fun and then the next day was kind of dreary. The cooler temperatures helped us make up our minds and go over a mountain highway called Skalkaho Pass. Skalkaho Pass would take us to a town called Phillipsburg which had some cool touristy attractions. We wanted to go sapphire mining!
We were on our way and before long were already on the Skalkaho pass road. We were winding up the mountain, it was gorgeous! The pine trees were lush and so green; it was candy for our eyes. We’re all just chatting away, having a grand old time; we’re talking about what we’re gonna do when we get to Phillipsburg.
We’re all gasping and saying things like “wow! it’s so gorgeous!” “wow, it’s such a gift to be alive and to get to experience these things.”
While I am looking at the amazing landscape my eyes suddenly realize that right outside of the car is the edge of the road and a SHEER DROP! Yes, you read that right – A SHEER DROP! It suddenly occurs to me that this road has got far skinnier than it was before, actually, it’s so narrow that it would be really hard to pass another car. In this instant my mindset took a 180 turn!
NEW MINDSET FILLED WITH FEAR
I’m in the passenger seat in the front with the sheer drop inches away from me. Suddenly, all of my joy and wonderment of having this amazing experience has died and crashed and gone forever because I am now holding on for dear life! All I can think of is “oh my goodness we’re gonna die!” and suddenly every muscle in my body has gone rock-solid and I whisper scream to Ben “Whoa! you’re really really close to the edge!” with a very strained facial expression.
For the rest of the drive, my mindset about the pass was negative and stirred fear inside of me. I didn’t want to repeat that experience of fear. I needed to overcome my fear.
After a positive time in Philipsburg we had to return back to our trailer and embark on Skalkaho Pass again. Nooooooo! I had to deal with this! I could not repeat the earlier experience of fear and stress. Instead, I decided to do the work and change my mindset because I know from many past experiences that mindset matters.
I thought, “okay Jessica, what can you control in this situation? Yes, there is a sheer drop and it is a small road so those things are not going to change, they’re staying the same. Now, what are you gonna focus on? If you choose to focus on what you did before you will get the same results, you need to create a new mindset.”
On the way there I chose to focus on the sheer drop, the skinny road, and how frightened it made me. What was the result, friends? The result was, I was filled with fear! Soooooo, this time I changed my mindset and focused on different things. I focused on the things I can control.
- I have plenty of data proving that Ben keeps us safe when driving. He has driven us in precarious places and kept us safe every time before. I can choose this thought, to be my focus.
- I can focus on where I sit in the car so Lucas and I sat in the back on the side away from the sheer drop.
- I can focus on where I look naturally I decided I would look at the book in the car or out of the window that looks up instead of down.
Choosing to focus on the things I can control had a night and day difference to this experience; it transformed my mindset and I was not stressed at all! I was not anxious! I did not imagine us all plummeting to our deaths and rolling down the hill in a very dramatic and awful manner! The craziest thing was the drive actually only lasted and felt like a 20-minute drive instead of three hours like it did the first time!
Both situations were exactly the same on the outside but my mindset wasn’t. When I changed my focus, it changed my mindset through the thoughts I had and also my actions creating an entirely different experience. See, mindset matters!
If you have a situation in your life that is sending you to emotional places that are not helping you live your life, deepen your relationships, and move towards your best self- change focus and it will change your mindset! Do the thought work and reap the benefits of greater joy, deeper peace, and memories you want to remember.
Mindset matters in living the stories you want to remember and tell!