“Did She Really Just Say That?”

It happens to us all. Someone says something that for, whatever reason, unnerves us a little or a lot.

“Go out there and win!’
“Stop leaning.”
“You’re going to ruin that horse.”
“I can’t believe you just did that! Why did you do that?”

We may not even know why we’re unnerved. All we know is we feel some version of anxious and unstable. We lose focus and perhaps confidence. Often there’s a sense of emptiness. It’s as if we are obviously not only not with the program but in the worst scenario, we are hopelessly clueless.

I have a fun tool for you to use in these situations that will turn those type of comments around on their heels.

Be a translator. Convert the statement someone else said into its positive counterpart.

Only you can do this.

Actually it’s pretty easy with negative directives like, “Don’t lean”.

You just immediately tell yourself the replacement of what you will do next time.

For example, you translate “Don’t lean,” into”Sit still. Deep. Deep. Deep.”

If you don’t know exactly what to do with a negative directive, tell yourself, “I need to find out what to do.” And then take it upon yourself to get the positive action of what to do so next time you can make the positive translation for a “Don’t do _________ ‘ coaching directive.

“Go out there and win!”

The translation for this comment (which only needs to be in your thoughts,) “I am totally focused on my job. Winning is out of my control. Back to my job.”

“I can’t believe you just did that. Why?”

Any kind of “why” comment or question rarely has a positive answer. The natural reaction is “Because I must not be a good rider”. However, now you can be the translator.

Ignore the “why” and go right to the error and ask a solution oriented question in return. “What could I do next time?” Turn the “why’s” into concrete solutions by asking a “What” question in return.

“You’re going to ruin that horse.”

This is a statement that I would need to step away from. I would be gracious, but I don’t want to engage in conversation that is hurtful.

We are all on our own journeys. You are right where you are meant to be. You are doing the best you can. Your horse is your teacher. Is it true that you may need to consider doing some things differently? Maybe yes and maybe no. But your journey is what matters … and your joy. You will be forever learning. You are enough. No one is getting ruined.

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