Month: February 2020

Month: February 2020

Category : Uncategorized

Emotional strength isn’t necessarily constant throughout life but having emotional resilience will certainly help when dealing with those challenges, disappointments and upsets which happen to each and every one of us.

What are the characteristics of an emotionally strong person?

  • An emotionally strong person will see opportunities for learning when they make mistakes or encounter disappointments.
  • An emotionally strong person will be adaptable and able to handle unexpected situations without seeing them as a “disaster”
  • An emotionally strong person is able to assertively express their needs without apology but with sensitivity to other’s feelings.
  • An emotionally strong person will focus on finding a solution to a problem, rather on the problem itself.
  • An emotionally strong person can accept advice and constructive criticism without personalising it.
  • An emotionally strong person will move on quickly from unwanted or negative situations rather than holding on to them.
  • An emotionally strong person will take pleasure in success, both their own success and that of other people.

If you’ve read the above list and felt that you have some work to do on developing your own emotional strength then never fear. A few simple changes and lots of practice will help you with your own development.

Ways to help yourself to become emotionally stronger

  • Take some time to become aware of what’s going on in your own life at the moment and write down what is helping you and what is not helping.
  • Make lists of your personal strengths and your personal challenges. If you find this difficult then try doing it with a trusted friend or simply make lists of what you enjoy doing and what you don’t enjoy. Chances are that if you enjoy something then it’s a strength!
  • Spend time with positive people who care about you and remove yourself from situations of negativity.
  • NB if you are in a situation where you feel trapped or you are unable to escape then seek professional help and support.
  • Include physical exercise as well as emotional exercise, it’s important to look after your body and your mind.
  • Think back to a time when you overcame a challenge in the past. What resources helped you then and how can you use that previous experience to help you now?
  • Break down any problems or issues into manageable chunks and deal with them one step at a time.
  • Learn from mistakes and avoid generalising them or labelling yourself by your mistakes.
  • Be aware of emotional pitfalls and develop ways to either avoid them or handle them.
  • Ask for help. Admitting that you need help is a sign of strength and often the first step towards getting things sorted out.

Would you like a simple programme to help you to move from where you are now to becoming the rider you would like to be?
Just sign up here to receive your free Five Steps to Riding Confidence Framework.

Month: February 2020

Category : Uncategorized

I had planned to choose a few more of my favourites form my recent month of positivity posts but have changed my mind a little. I think it’s worth having a think about the real meaning of positivity, or at least my personal interpretation of positivity.

Sharing a positive day with friends

For me, positivity is a choice which means that I choose to focus more on the good things which happen in my life than on the bad things. A simple example might be to tell you about my horses. My younger girl, Luna who is the daughter of my first horse Judy, was going to be my show pony and I had lots planned for her. She was backed quite late and was showing a lot of promise however, she damaged tendons in her off hind when she was about 8 and hasn’t been ridden since. I was upset, disappointed and shed a lot of tears at the time but after the initial sadness I started to think more positively in that I had another horse to ride, Luna was paddock sound and could live a good life with me and I was in a position to adjust my plans and concentrate on different things.

I believe that a positive person will understand and accept that bad things do happen in life but will have a deep seated belief that they will take these events in their stride and work through them.

A positive person understands that it is absolutely normal to sometimes feel anxious, sad, lonely or angry and that these negative emotions are simply part of being a human being. A positive person won’t define themselves by the challenges in their lives, in contrast they will be prepared to learn from them and, in fact, almost welcome them as opportunities to learn and develop. A positive person will approach a new experience believing that they will enjoy it, learn from it and tackle it with energy and self belief.

A couple of years ago I was on a day out, a few things went wrong that day and I found myself listening to the conversations going on around me and the language people were using to describe the day. I wrote a blog post about it which you can find here “Was it Really a Disaster?
This short post shows how some people choose to focus on the few negative things which happen and to magnify them while others to focus on all of the many good things which happen.

I believe that it’s important to be careful about attaching labels to oneself as we do believe what we tell ourselves. So do take care to avoid describing yourself as a “nervous rider” or an “unlucky person” and instead, make a decision to work towards positively expanding your comfort zone so that you develop more and more situations where any nervousness you experience becomes manageable.

A truly positive rider will understand that they can learn from mistakes and again, will make a positive decision not to focus entirely on the errors which they make. This positive rider will be realistic in understanding that certain things will always be outside their control and will choose to focus on those things within their control and perform to the best of their ability according to their experience and that of their horse.

If someone has a significant mental health issue all of this can be a much greater challenge. Please do be aware of friends and family who may find it extra hard to live a positive life and offer to help if you can or encourage them to seek professional help if necessary.

In summary, I believe that positivity is a choice where we choose to focus on the good things in our lives, accept that unwanted things can happen, but know that when they do we have the inner resources to handle them or know that we can seek outside help when necessary.

Month: February 2020

Category : Uncategorized

I have recently completed a month of daily, social media, positivity boosting posts and promised to expand on a few of my favourites so here goes….

A rider who is anxious will frequently have a pretty small comfort zone and be fearful of all those things which they think might happen if they even put a toe over their comfort boundary.

Before I go any further with this, it’s useful to point out that there is no law which says you must ride outside of your comfort zone BUT, if you choose to limit yourself in this way then you will have to find a way to accept that nothing much will change.

You may well have already heard me saying how important it is to focus on the things which you DO want to happen rather than on those you are worried about and by learning to expand your comfort zone you can really put this into practice.

I’ll give you a personal example which shows this idea in practice….

Some years ago I had booked myself onto a riding holiday in a mountainous area of Italy, however at that time I was really worried about riding down hills and used to even jump off and lead my horse down hill if it was more than a slight incline! I knew that, if I was going to enjoy the trip, I would have to be a lot more comfortable riding down hills! So I set about expanding my down hill comfort zone rather than focussing on worrying about what I feared may happen.

Lo and behold, bit by bit, my comfort zone got a lot bigger and the holiday was a great success and involved some very steep hills – SUCCESS!

Can you think of an example of how you could apply this to your own riding?

We rode up and down these mountains, they were pretty steep but a lot of fun!

My next favourite is about not being fearful of making mistakes.

This is another example of how many riders end up restricting themselves and avoiding growth and development.

So many people feel that they will be negatively judged for making mistakes or for being less than perfect. It’s perfectly understandable to want to get things right and avoid mistakes but it’s really important to learn that making a mistake is simply part of the learning process and it is not a reflection on you as a person or as a rider.

A confident rider will most certainly still make mistakes, right throughout their riding life, BUT they will see any errors as an opportunity to learn and will not define themselves by those mistakes but will see themselves as a “work in progress”.

If you find yourself making the same mistake again and again then it’s most definitely time to review your training and your techniques. And if you find yourself consistently making the same mindset mistakes, which aren’t helping you with the psychological side of your riding then it’s time to make some changes there too.

My third favourite for today is the one I posted at the very start of the positivity month and I love it.

It can be applied to any area of your life and if you follow through with it then you open yourself up to so many exciting possibilities.

In any year many opportunities will come your way and I’m sure you don’t want to miss out. Of course, there simply isn’t enough time to do absolutely everything but do say a big YES!

There is so much fun to be had and so many lovely place to visit and people to meet and to find yourself regularly saying no will just lead to regret. If you do find yourself saying “no” but wishing you had said “yes” then it’s time to ask yourself why you are doing this. It may be that you need a little bit of help so that you can stretch out of your comfort zone into that world of opportunity, so just get in touch if you would like that help.

A confident rider will sometimes say “no'”, but it will be for a valid reason and not because of fear of the unknown or of what might happen but probably won’t. If you have a friend who you notice is frequently saying ‘No” to suggestions then why not gently investigate their reasons and, if necessary, suggest they seek out some help?

So see where you end up this year by saying “YES” to all the wonderful opportunities which come your way. I’d love to hear about all the things you are saying “Yes” to throughout the year.