Have you scared yourself today?

Over Father’s Day weekend I did a cross country jumping event at Fort Tuthill. I’ve never done anything like that before except one practice course at a local barn that has cross country, but it’s small and enclosed. I admit I was pretty scared to a real event in the wide open forest considering almost exactly a year ago I was pretty close to death from a horse accident in the forest. My son my daughter and my husband were with me and very supportive. My daughter kept telling me you’re doing a great job which was extremely sweet but stressing me out because I did not want to think or talk just ride. I asked her if we could just talk later because I was so nervous and my son says to me well do you have to do this…? I said to him of course I don’t have to do this but I want to do this! Sometimes we do hard things, even when they’re scary and if we push through to the other side we usually feel really good about the accomplishments and it no longer seems so scary. This also reminded me of a little girl I was teaching vaulting to last week. She is special needs, it was her first lesson and she didn’t have horse experience. Vaulting is scary for most even with horse experience the first time! So I was honored to be able to give her, her first lesson. During the lesson she kept telling me “it’s hard it’s hard”! To which I responded…. of course it’s hard but you can do anything, and anything that’s worth doing is usually a little bit hard. Later her mother told me that her daughter loved her lesson and thanked me for pushing her.

Why are we afraid to do hard things, why are we afraid, to be afraid? I think the two driving forces is fear of failure and fear of pain. I was going through the cross country course on my horse jumping over fences and even wondered why am I doing this? Most of you know I have always been passionate about animals and especially horses. There is a tremendous respect and partnership you have when you sit on top of a 1500 lb land mammal and ask it to fly. I don’t need to win, I don’t need to beat anyone, I don’t even care if I am very good….I do it because I love it regardless of outcome failure would only be not doing it. Sometime when we are scared I think we need to go deeper versus backing away. When my daughter, her dear friend and myself were in a horse accident in 2019 it really rattled my cage. It was hard for me to ride at all, so I decided to start vaulting logical progression right…. you’re afraid to really ride a horse so stand on their back and jump off instead. However, I pushed through that fear to the other side. Now I’m back riding, I’m jumping, I am vaulting even teaching vaulting so maybe it really was a good thing. Maybe it’s good to push yourself beyond your limits to stretch yourself I’m not saying you need to do something that’s dangerous or something that you don’t know how to do or something without preparing. Preparation, planning, and practice is what keeps you safe, but fear is normal. Put the fear in perspective though are you afraid of failing pain, both? Fear is just another thought thing in your head we talked about before https://www.thesshh.com/thought-things/ they might be valid but they might not, so replace them with positive thoughts instead. Don’t let them control your outcome because chances are you have experienced both pain and failure already in your life and chances are it will happen again so do what excited you or inspires you and do it regardless of outcome. I was listening to a podcast the other day with two of my favorites Andrew Huberman and Tim Ferris and this question came from that podcast…. We have all heard the cliche “what would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?” well duh there’s about 10 million things I would do if I knew I couldn’t fail. That is just a silly question that really is pointless to ponder…the question they proposed though was “what would you do if you knew you were going to fail?”which is interesting to ponder. If you have to do something but no matter what it’s going to fail what would you pick to do, because whatever you picked, you would be doing it because of the process not because of the outcome. That speaks volumes because chances are if you’re doing something because you enjoy the process you’ll do it 100% and you won’t fail and you wont be scared anymore.

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