I grew up with horses — starting with casual riding, then playing cowboys & Indians (on real horses), and showing hunter/jumpers when I got older.
One of the first things that was drilled into my head when learning to jump horses was this: When approaching a fence, always focus on the other side. My mom (who watched hours of my riding lessons) constantly reminded me to look up and “throw your heart over the fence!” The reason for this advice, when you focus at the fence there’s a strong chance it will intimidate you. Your horse will feel your uncertainty and refuse the fence or take a quick left and deposit you at the bottom of it!
Over the years, I’ve seen the relationship between this concept of where I focus and how I approach challenges that come up. Am I focused on the obstacle, or am I looking past the obstacle to my desired (successful) outcome?
Think about yourself: When you’re focused on what’s not working, have strong doubts about making it through a situation, or believe that the mountain before you is just too high, you’ll most likely stop (or duck to the left) much like a horse who thinks, “If you’re unsure or scared, then I’m surely not going to jump this!”
By throwing your heart and focus to the other side of the problem (in other words, having the desired outcome in mind and looking past the challenges), you’ll build the confidence and the endurance to overcome whatever is standing in your way.
Right now as we go through this challenging coronavirus unknown, instead of looking ahead and replaying all the what-ifs – and believe me, there are a lot these – train yourself to look forward toward a positive outcome and future.
“Throw your heart over the fence and the rest will follow.”
Norman Vincent Peale