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July 1988

Focus On Your Feet

I asked a friend of mine, who is a construction worker, how it is possible to "walk the iron" skeletons of tail buildings without falling.

"You have to focus on your feet," he said.

Later, I had the opportunity to test the axiom. I was on a balcony made of two-by-four slats, between which I could see the ground below. Walking on that balcony has always made me nervous. Sure enough, I found if I focused on my feet, instead of the distant earth, my fear disappeared.

Being a philosophical sort, I began to wonder if there wasn't more to this idea than just walking in high places. I asked myself, "How many other fears do I have that are the result of focusing on where I might end up instead of where I am?" The answer was, "Quite a few."

Certainly, my fear of failure was a result of projecting into the future. Fears of rejection, of people and social situations, financial worries--all of these. The more I thought about the ways I lose my balance, the more clearly I saw my problem. Now, when I begin to feel dizzy, I say to myself, "Diana, focus on your feet."

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