I remember a time when I felt like I could do anything, learn anything, be anything. I would try anything. Maybe I’d read about it in a book or magazine, watch a DVD or How To program to learn about it, or do some research online, or just go ask someone for some advice and give it a try.
I remember having a partner who didn’t know one end of a screwdriver from the other, and I did lots of ‘handy’ things around the house. Nothing major, but I wasn’t afraid to try. Norm Abram was my idol, and he could teach me anything. I wanted to build, renovate, repair, renew… Once upon a time, my Dream Job was to ‘flip houses’.
And once upon a time I would have just ‘figured it out’ when I had a problem with my horses. I would have
just kept trying until we got it. I would have held on, or got back on, as any good cowboy does.
And now, for some reason, I feel like that’s gone.
I have come to depend on the expertise of others to the detriment of my own confidence. I no longer 100%
trust in my ability to do it right, or even just good enough, for that matter. Or even if I do, I hold back and let someone else take the lead.
Particularly on the ‘handy’ front, I know these efforts to ‘try’ have been surreptitiously thwarted by people who mean well, and who just want to get it done right, or their way, or a better way. I understand that their desires are not meant to hurt me, but they have undermined my confidence. The seeds of doubt are planted, and I hesitate. It happened slowly, and now that I’ve noticed it, I’m not sure how to go about getting it back without also having to perhaps hurt someone. “Yes, I know you can do it better, and faster, and ‘righter’, but I wanted to do this, I wanted to try, and I wanted to do it my way, and I wanted to do it now.”
Do I have the confidence to do that?
When it comes to horses, I know it’s a different story. Age, time out of saddle and a few horses who battered and beleaguered my ‘I can ride anything’ mentality, plus a few hard falls and big scares have left me wondering, not so much if I can ride, but if I should ride. Getting past fear and lack of confidence, no matter how thin that barrier might be, is still a bubble that’s hard to burst.
When training for the Blackwood Marathon, I was confident as a rider. In fact, I don’t doubt my ability to ride. I know I can ride a horse. I was driven to succeed at Blackwood, and desire and action overcame the paralysis that fear could have caused. Since then, with no driving force, I have not honoured the fear that I really felt and decided I was ‘done with horses for the time being’ and planned to get rid of TK, Recently, like just in the last few hours, I have come to accept that I still have fear, and I have to deal with it in a new way. This shows me two things:
- Action and goals can force me past the fear. “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” Even though I trembled *every single time* I mounted up, I mounted up anyway. Yes, every single time.
- If I honour my feelings, and admit I have fear, I can start to learn about them and figure out how to get rid of them. Ignoring them by getting rid of my horse only means that I am running away from them. A new horse will carry with it the same old fears.
Some advice I’ve read about overcoming fear:
- Build Confidence by Using Fear
- How to Build Confidence and Destroy Fear
- Overcome Your Riding Fear
- Overcoming Riding Fears
- Becoming a Confident Rider (Good steps! I like steps and processes.)
Well, what could have been a treatise on self-reliance, I instead took this big U-Turn and ended up facing my fear of riding and wanting to do something about it.
Hmm… not sure if I should post this, it’s a bit all over the place, and not what I expected to come out, but I will anyway. Next post will probably be me working though those overcoming fear steps.
What about you? Any fears? Anything you used to do but don’t anymore? Anything you overcame? How did you get through it?