The 2 x 4

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” -Max Planck

You could walk across a 2×4 board on the ground without falling right? But what if this same 2×4 board is placed 10 stories high, across two buildings? Only a few of us at best would even try to make it. Why? Because of the fear of falling. The focus would be on falling and the consequences of falling instead of walking across the board.


When we are challenged, we often focus on the negative result that could happen. When we are competing, taking a big test, giving an important presentation, etc. our focus is often on how hard it is or what could happen if we don’t do well. Instead, we need to change our focus on what we need to do in the moment.

Focusing on distractions, sets us up for failure. Focusing our eyes on the next step or what we need to do in that moment gives us a better chance of success. Focus on the 2×4, not on falling.


  1. What distractions are preventing you from success?
  2. Often, we overlook the small actions like, practicing gratitude, meditation, breathing, etc. But these small things are what will help us stay present in each moment. How do these small actions play a role in your ability to overcome distractions and adversity?
  3. How can you and/or your team use this message to help you?


This story along with 29 others can be found in “Challenger Deep Stories, Fables, and Lessons to Help You Rise Above Adversity”

Tami Matheny is owner of Refuse2LoseCoaching. She is a Mental Game Coach and Author. Her books include: “This is Good” at:, “The Confident Athlete: 4 Easy Steps to Build and Maintain Confidence”, “Challenger Deep,” and “The Confidence Journal”. All books can be purchased online at Amazon. For group discounts or signed copies contact

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