How often do you hear that little voice inside your head natter on and on about how you have no business training your horse. You aren’t good enough; strong enough; knowledgeable enough; big enough, small enough, skilled enough. Hearing this voice, I like to call her Negative Nelly, sucks you down to the endless pit of disbelief, self-doubt, no confidence, anxiety, and even fear.
In this blog, I want to address what I believe to be the biggest problem we all face when we want to build our confidence. If we don't get it in check will sabotage your relationship with your horse. And that is your mind.
Perhaps you have heard the native proverb about the two wolves, but in case you haven’t, here is a popular copy. The author is unknown to the best of my knowledge.
THE WOLF YOU FEED
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, "My son, the battle is between two "wolves" inside us all.
One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."
When the Negative Nelly inside your mind is endlessly picking away at you, creating doubt, self-loathing, uncertainty, anxiety, or whatever emotion she invokes, she -- the evil wolf, is being fed.
Maybe you’re sitting there thinking that’s a little extreme. It’s not like you want to hear those thoughts! While this may be true, it would also stand to be true that you most likely are spending more time arguing with this evil wolf -- your Negative Nelly -- then simply feeding the good wolf. If you were able to switch your focus onto the weaker good wolf, feed it, care for it, and help it grow; before you even realize it, that good wolf will be more powerful than the evil one. Your good wolf will be able to silence the evil inside your mind, pull you out of the tailspin of negativity, and help right you back onto your path.
Did you know your mind cannot tell the difference between real thought and imaginary? If you play mini-movies in your mind of unpleasant experiences in your life on repeat, your mind will keep your emotions stuck there. Imagining being humiliated at a horse show, getting bucked off, your spouse not supporting you, failing at everything you do, your mind will turn this little mini-movie into your reality because your mind will make this happen. You will self sabotage yourself into creating the very scenarios you do not want. This is The Law of Attraction.
Now, I could go into more detail about how perhaps, subconsciously, you might want these negative mini-movies actually to happen. Sometimes I think we find it enjoyable to play the victim, to be rescued, and in our mind, we can soothe our wounds when we imagine ourselves being wronged or neglected. But this is a perilous path to be on. You’re simply toying with the evil wolf. Teasing it. Giving it occasional scraps of meat, so it still survives.
I want to challenge you with this. Let’s starve that evil wolf into oblivion! Let’s feed the good wolf so often, and with prime rib steaks that it is so strong and fierce if another evil wolf even places a paw into the territory of our minds, it will soon be high tailing it out of there!
I know we will all come upon struggles in our daily life. Some small and some life-changing. These little evil wolves will be poking their noses in and testing the waters during these times of struggle… "is there anything to eat here?”
Choose to acknowledge the evil wolf, “Hey, sorry, dude...I see you there, and I see you hungry. I know evil is always looking for a foothold here in us humans, but I’m going to disappoint you. This new struggle is a challenge, yes, but I choose to face this head-on, head high, with as much grace, bravery, and know-how that I can muster!”
So, now that we have agreed to starve out that evil wolf, to put duct tape over Negative Nelly’s mouth, you might be wondering how you can plan to do this. How do you feed the good wolf? There are endless podcasts, videos, and books that can help you strengthen your mind and create a healthy, positive mindset. But I want to share with you some of my favourite ways to feed my good wolf.
Affirmations and Decrees. Yes, I said it. Some of you might be rolling your eyes; this again? Yes. This again! Why? Because there is a reason almost every successful human out there uses this tool -- IT WORKS! Here are some simple steps to get you started making your own personal life-changing affirmations.
Think of your end goal, turn it into present tense (as if you’ve achieved it) and make it positive. “I am confident at horse shows,” “I canter my horse,” “I gallop in hard to first barrel,” “I understand my horse,” “I listen to my horse,” “I am training my horse.” Avoid using verbs like can, wish, will as saying that your mind knows it hasn’t happened yet, and as a result, might not happen.
Your affirmation needs to create emotion in you. If you don’t feel anything saying your affirmation, your mind will not believe it's true; therefore, it will not make it true.
Aroma Freedom Technique - This form of therapy/meditation/aromatherapy changed my life. I cannot encourage you enough to give this a try. Our smell is the sense that has direct access to our amygdala, the brain's emotional/memory centre. This method uses specific therapeutic grade smells that actually cross the blood/brain barrier to gently locate hidden/buried/forgotten memories that have created these negative mindsets. This, alongside using proven therapy techniques, allows you to access them and diffuse their power, allowing you to start releasing the negative energy they stored inside your body. This isn’t magic; this isn’t diving back into a trauma; it's a gentle form of therapy to move through baggage. If you want to hear my personal testimonies, contact me!
Get friends that SUPPORT you. Perhaps you are blessed with an amazing circle of friends that encourage and lift you up; you always leave their presence feeling better! Unfortunately, many people have toxic friendships and, dare I say, family members. Who you associate with matters. It's said that you become the average of the five people you spend the most time with. If your friends are walking breathing versions of your Negative Nelly - avoid them at all costs. Find new friends who are on the same journey you are. You can love those old friends at a distance. There are billions of amazingly wonderful people out there, don’t allow yourself to be forever stuck surrounded by people who don’t want to see you succeed, thrive, grow, and shine your light to the world! And yes, I sometimes understand it's not always that simple, and if you are in this situation, don’t be scared to reach out to me. We can find ways to create healthy boundaries to help protect yourself from drowning in their ocean of negativity.
If either is carrying unnecessary baggage, self-doubt, limiting beliefs, and trauma, it only bleeds into the relationship creating a lack of trust, no confidence, fear and anxiety.
To be a strong, confident leader requires certain skills, most of all, mindset. We often forget about working on us and expect our horse to pick up all the slack. I have a guide I created that is all about taking those first steps.
Let this be the winter you empower yourself and transform your partnership!
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