The Stories We Tell Ourselves

Tag: Horse riding

We all go through life accumulating experiences, memories and beliefs.

Mostly the effects of everything we have done and everything we have experienced are pretty much unconscious. We act in certain ways because that’s the way we’ve “always” acted. We believe certain things “just because we do” without giving it any, or much, thought.

On a more conscious level, we tell ourselves stories about the things we have done and the things which have happened to us and it is these stories which can have a profound effect on how we think, feel and behave in the present.

The stories we tell ourselves become our beliefs about who we are and what we are capable of achieving.

These stories can begin with seemingly minor comments from a teacher or another adult which we heard as a child, perhaps a comment from a friend, or just somebody we encountered, about our body/ability/appearance. We often take these onboard and they can unconsciously become our beliefs about ourselves.

Of course, some of these beliefs might be ones which help us and give us the confidence to achieve our goals and that is good. However, others can become what is know as “self-limiting beliefs” which aren’t nearly so helpful – in fact, they can be quite the opposite!

Some examples of self limiting beliefs might be:

  • I have to be perfect all the time
  • I’ll never be able to achieve my goals
  • I can’t do “X/Y or Z” because I’m not good enough
  • If I don’t control “everything” then something bad will happen
  • I’m “unlucky”
  • Everyone else is “better” than me
  • And many many more……

The trick is to become aware of the stories we tell ourselves and note the behaviours associated with them.

Where did these beliefs come from? You may or may not have an actual memory of this but you might well have an idea or feeling about it.

Have a think about times when these beliefs have actually been shown to be incorrect or false.

Spend some time challenging the beliefs and working out an alternative.

Practice and reinforce alternative, more helpful, behaviours. The more often you do this the more likely you are to succeed in changing your beliefs.

Remember that this process isn’t always easy and seek out some support if you need help along the way. My training in TimeLine Therapy ™ is a great way to help you to get rid of your self limiting beliefs. Just give me a shout if you’d like some help with this.

Make sure that your beliefs about yourself are ones which help you to fulfil your goals.


Tag: Horse riding

Recently, a group of Nepali climbers have successfully scaled the mighty mountain K2, the first time this has been achieved in Winter and the first time without oxygen – an astonishing achievement. K2 is the second highest mountain in the world and is only 200m shorter than Everest. It is widely considered to be the World’s most challenging mountain.

The leader of the group, Nirmal Purja said “We are proud to have been a part of history for humankind and to show that collaboration, teamwork and a positive mental attitude can push limits to what we feel might be possible,”

You can read more here.

There aren’t many people who will ever accomplish such a phenomenal feat of skill, endurance and teamwork but in our own ways we each have mountains to climb.

I love the above quote about teamwork, collaboration and a positive mental attitude and all of these things are really applicable in the equestrian world aren’t they?

As riders, working towards achieving our goals and fulfilling our dreams, there is definitely an element of all of the above.

Without the positive mental attitude that Nirmal Purja talks about we are likely to get stuck at the first steep incline on our journey to our own mountain summit!

Sometimes things trundle along in the right direction without giving us too much of a challenge but frequently we will encounter obstacles which mean that we do need to dig deep into our skills of determination, endurance and positivity in order to be able to take the next step.

Each rider will have their own challenges so whether that’s having the confidence to hack out alone, coping with a tricky horse, qualifying for a championship or reaching the next level of competition remember the words of the brave Nepali mountaineer and you will reach your mountain top.

What’s YOUR mountain? I’d love to hear about it and if you need some help with climbing YOUR mountain then just get in touch.

The mighty Dolomites in Northern Italy

Tag: Horse riding

A recent FaceBook post seemed to strike a chord with a few people, and It’s something I need to be aware of personally, so I thought I would expand on it a little.

Be proud of your achievements.

When a new client comes to see me for their initial consultation session, or when I meet riders at talks and clinics, I ask them what they do, or wish to do, with their horses. I have lost count of the number of times riders have replied “Oh, I am JUST a happy hacker” or “I ONLY ride at home” or “I ONLY jump little fences”.

So my mission is to get people to drop the “I JUST….” and “I ONLY…..” When you qualify your achievements and the activities you enjoy doing, in this way, then you are telling yourself that what you choose to do is unworthy of celebrating and therefore you will come to believe that, as a rider, you don’t deserve praise or that you are “less” than other riders. This is simply not true.

Each of us makes choices about what we do with our horses depending on our lifestyles, other commitments, experience, the horse we ride, confidence levels and a host of other variables and we don’t need to justify that to anyone. The only thing which we must do is to look after the welfare of our horses, everything else is a choice.

Now, if you describe yourself as ‘Just a happy hacker” but actually you’re an “unhappy hacker” or you’re saying that you do one thing but actually wish you were doing something else, then that is another matter completely. It is part of my job to work out, or to help you to work out for yourself, how you can learn to expand your comfort zone, be happy and content with what you choose to do or to push yourself to compete at a more advanced level and I certainly enjoy the challenge of helping a rider to fulfil their goals.

You can apply this to all sorts of areas of life as well as riding. So no more “I ONLY have a small business” or “I JUST run a couple of kilometres” etc etc.

Let’s all agree to DROP THE “I JUST….” AND “I ONLY…..”!!

Whatever you choose to do, do it with a smile.