Springboards, not Roadblocks

Meet Jennifer Griffith, Mindset Mastery Honors Graduate! One of my first interactions with Jennifer is when she responded to one of my newsletters, which featured a story about “Flip Chicks”:

After seeing the article in my newsletter, she wrote me and said:

I’m DYING! This is my cousin Lisa! And I’m meeting with her tomorrow. I had no idea she was a Rare Faith participant, and I’m so happy that she is.

Moreover, I’m meeting with her SON to discuss my own “Portal to Genius” idea that has come to me in the past month. Now I won’t have to worry about explaining my process, and I know their whole family is already understanding the principles. It’s too exciting for words.

I can’t believe it. I mean, I can. Because believing is seeing. You posted this on the perfect day.

Thanks, Leslie.


A few months later, Jennifer applied for graduation from the Mindset Mastery program. She was already an accomplished novelist, with a long list of published titles, before beginning her Mindset Mastery journey.

But after experiencing the loss of her mother, writing had become a struggle. Soon you’ll see how she used her experiences to enrich the content of her novels, and move out of her writer’s block.

As always, I had some questions for Jennifer:

Q. What was your experience with the Phase 1 experiment? (The “inconsequential goal”)

I had several [inconsequential goals], including:

  • seeing a “loud” suit on a man (and I ended up seeing about 50 when I went on a trip to another country);
  • seeing a cardinal (ended up seeing Kurt Warner movie and his “Cardinals” jersey, laughed at that);
  • seeing plaid socks (saw some in a store, but wasn’t sure I wanted to count that, and then a couple of days later, someone was wearing them a few rows in front of me at church–argyle plaid!);
  • needing to find my passport (used the principles, took a few hours, found it–plus some unexpected bonus finds, so great);
  • a golden retriever (my cousin randomly posted about her dog on social media, which she has never done before or since, in 14 years of being her friend on Facebook);
  • wanting to see some cute stickers to send in the mail to my Japanese friend (happened across some in a notebook that I randomly opened);
  • wanting to see an orange Karmann Ghia car (was standing in a back yard of a friend and saw one dead in a field two lots down, which place I’ve been past/near at least a thousand times and never seen it there before).

So, yes, I learned to believe the principles work! Even yesterday, when I was looking for some tax papers, and could NOT find them, I kept feeling guided to a certain area in my house. Finally, I looked inside a taped-shut box (we are remodeling) and there they were, six inches from the area I had kept feeling drawn to search.

It’s just so amazing how the principles work for things that do and don’t matter.

The cardinal was the biggest stretch. I’ve only seen one in real life once in all my years living in the town where I live, so when I saw it in a movie instead, I just laughed. The plaid socks were, at first, less of a stretch, but I went back to it, really wanting to see some in real life. When I spied them on Brother McBride’s ankles, it made me so happy.

Oftentimes we set an intention or goal, only to realize that we were not clear enough, or left out some details. Technically, Jennifer achieved what she set out to: to see plaid socks. When she saw them in the store, she had a choice whether to consider her goal achieved or not.

It would not have been “wrong” to consider that success. However, what she actually desired was to see someone wearing plaid socks. So she got clear on her vision, and then achieved it. Excellent work, Jennifer!

The Karmann Ghia was probably the biggest stretch. Volkswagen hasn’t made that model of car for decades. I wanted to see one in that color because my parents talk about having one before I was born, so seeing one would feel like a little “gift from heaven,” since I lost my mom last year.

The paint job on that junker in the back lot was no bueno–just patches here and there–but some of the patches (among the blobs of Bondo) were, indeed, orange. I grabbed my husband’s arm and said, “Karmann Ghia!” interrupting his conversation about pecans with his farmer friend. Just delightful. This exercise made me so happy.

There is joy in creation! From the small, inconsequential goals, to the big ones.

Q. What was your bite-sized Phase 2 “difficult, meaningful, or important” goal?

I wanted to outline two entire Christmas novels to later write and publish the upcoming holiday season, and I wanted to do it by March 31.

Q. What happened?

This was tricky for several reasons. One, the timeline was short, as I set the goal at the beginning of March, and I had a family vacation planned during a big chunk of the middle of the month, during which I would have zero time to work.

Two, last year, I lost my mother to stomach cancer right before the Christmas season, in the midst of writing my holiday releases. From that, I was experiencing some residual traumatic feelings, and I knew I would need to push through them, or just plain get a BUNCH of Unseen Help, as Christmas books are the main source of my income. Every time I tried to begin thinking about this type of book, I emotionally shut down or my arm started hurting.

When I returned from my trip on March 22, I still had no ideas. I spent a couple of days catching up on details, emails, and other work. Still no ideas. However, on the morning of the 28th, I woke up with not one, but two ideas. And after I had outlined them, I got another idea quickly. Straight from Heaven!

In addition, two MORE ideas came for non-holiday books, and I outlined them as well. (As of April 12, I had completed writing one of those non-holiday books. An entire book, in just a few days!) By March 31, I had not two but six novels outlined, and my whole being felt lighter and ready to move toward the next bite-size piece of my goal.

(Here’s an image with the six books I outlined and have released or put on pre-order, thanks to the Mindset Mastery course, five Christmas stories and one creepy romantic suspense novel. LOL)

From TWO outlines to SIX! This is a classic (and often recurring) theme among our Mindset Mastery students. We set our goals, take action to fulfill them, and then God surprises us with more than we originally asked for.

(If you would love to experience the joy and excitement that Jennifer is referring to, take a look at our upcoming Guided Mindset Mastery schedule here.)

Q. What was your experience facing a fear from assignment/lesson 18? How effective were you at being able to think truth in spite of appearances?

First, I’ll paste what I typed in my workbook for the question in Lesson 18:

“I will think truth in spite of appearances. In this case, I will believe that my writing can be BETTER because of my life’s experiences. Rather than getting dull or flat or cumbersome for my readers, it can become richer because I have gone through the death of my mother, and I now have more depth of soul, which means my writing can have more complexity and more resonance.

“Instead of worrying that it will be flat, I can trust that it will have layers and beauty that wasn’t there before. I choose to take action in real life by creating a cast of complex characters whose fictional lives are loaded with the feelings and emotions that I now have had the opportunity of experiencing. I’ll begin an outline of a story that will have the rich, satisfying depth of character that I have long wanted to write. The challenges of last year can be a springboard instead of a roadblock. They can take my skills to new heights and open new doors for me.”

Take note of some important words that Jennifer wrote: She was “trusting” instead of “worrying”; “choosing” to take action; refers to the painful experience of losing her mother as an “opportunity”; and considers her challenges a “springboard” rather than a “roadblock”.

Choosing to assign these kinds of meanings to struggle is exactly what brings us closer to our goals, instead of struggles taking us away from our goals.

The result of thinking truth in spite of appearances for me was this: I was able to outline three books that I *know* will be better books than I have written in the past. The characters are full of layers and light and shade, and their conflicts are relatable and compelling, while at the same time I know these stories do contain the light-hearted tone that I was wishing to still be able to achieve.

One of the books is complete! The other I’ve only finished half of chapter one, but it’s got lilt. I was longing for “lilt.” And I know this came from Unseen Help, because it had been months of grueling toil with poor results. I’m so grateful for this challenge and for the “attitude training” (mindset mastery?) I have learned from this particular lesson.

She is grateful for this challenge. Challenges strengthen us and teach us things that we would not otherwise learn. It really is all in how we choose to think!

Q. Did you experience a Terror Barrier Breakthrough during the course?

Yes, I did! At one point in the course, I had a strong impression I needed to alter directions for my method for reaching my short term goal. The gut feeling I had was that my plans would not get me to my goal on the timeline I was seeking. And I have a definite, righteous reason for seeking my timeline.

As I pondered, a brand new, wholly unfamiliar, but what felt like an ingenious idea, surged into my mind. I turned it over for a few days, and it kept me up at night and woke me up in the mornings.

How can you know if an idea is Divine inspiration, or linked to your next right step? When it keeps you up at night and wakes you in the mornings! Jennifer is on the right track!

It’s an invention, and it’s scary but amazing–and I needed to send an email to someone who owns the intellectual property that I’d like to license for this idea. Sending that email was absolutely the terror barrier. I typed and re-typed it with my heart in my throat pounding like a high school marching band’s bass drum. My finger hovered for a full minute over the “send” button.

I haven’t felt like that since I was a teenager trying to decide whether to get up and bear my testimony in sacrament meeting. But I hit “send.” Then this huge sense of relief and excitement came. I haven’t heard back. It’s been about six days (but who is counting), but since then, I have written two other “scary” emails and experienced similar terror.

I have a strong feeling this plan WILL work, whether the people I contacted respond or not. But I love that I have branched out and been able to keep moving my feet through that barrier and into the unknown!

That huge relief that Jennifer felt AFTER she had hit the send button is what you experience on the OTHER side of the terror barrier….the other side of the fear. Breaking through the terror barrier takes action. It’s AFTER that action step that the relief and calm is felt the greatest. Jennifer also demonstrates that whether or not the people on the receiving end of her action step choose to take action, SHE kept on moving through her terror barrier. Well done!

Q. What would you tell someone who is facing their fear right now?

This is a timely question. I have a child who is plagued by fear. She is the sweetest, most darling and amazing and talented and most Mary Poppins practically perfect young woman. But fear is her constant companion. I think what I might do is to have her sit down with me and watch the Stickman video from the Foundations course, and ask her what she thinks.

The ability to realize that your thoughts are not YOU, and that just because you THINK something doesn’t mean it’s TRUE is very powerful. I hope she will find it empowering.

I believe that if she can separate her fear from herself, she will expand and grow and become everything the Lord wants her to be. When I signed up for this course, sharing principles of success and mindset with my older teen children was my number one motivation. I really look forward to sharing the Stickman with my daughter next week when she returns from college.

Sharing what is learned in Mindset Mastery not only offers tools to empower others, especially our loved ones, but it continues to empower ourselves. Thank you Jennifer for sharing; we look forward to hearing about additional successes down the road!

Months after she graduated, Jennifer had another update to share. I’ll add it to her concluding comments:

I’ve had some truly AMAZING miracles take place in my life since beginning this course. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

It’s so neat to look back and see all the amazing changes that have come to my life since taking the Mindset Mastery course. I have had MANY occasions to use the “keep calm and see what happens” tack. My daughter has overcome so much of her fear, that this summer, she has struck out on her own and is living in different state, working at a brand new job with people she’d never met before–and having the time of her life designing something for a molybdenum mine’s SAG mill as a mechanical engineer. She has found power in Mindset Mastery, too. So, so happy about that.

If you are interested in reading some of Jennifer’s many published novels, check out her work at https://www.amazon.com/stores/author/B001JOY0A2/allbooks

Do you have a story to share? Click here to let me know.
Want to learn the Fundamentals? Click here to get started.
Ready to MASTER the principles? Click here to take your skill to the next level.
Have a problem to solve? Join us for a 3-day Genius Bootcamp.

Leslie Householder
Latest posts by Leslie Householder (see all)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.