What is the thing you fear the most in your riding?
Is it that you are truly an awful rider? That you would never achieve your goals? That you would fall off and get hurt? That your horse would sustain a career-ending injury or life-threatening illness? That you would lose your income and not be able to pay for your horse or keep riding?
All of these are real and legitimate fears. The question is– what to do with them?
Not acknowledging fears can wreck havoc in our lives and riding. Sweeping them under the rug or pretending they are not there can cause us to act in ways that we might not otherwise act if we were truly ourselves. Unaddressed fears can lead us to become codependent on others, anxious, depressed, and even make career, personal and financial decisions we might not otherwise make if were were thinking with a clear head.
The thing about these fears, is that by giving into them, we choose to let them limit us. On some level, we believe they protect us and keep us safe from something. But is what they are protecting us from truly worth the trade off?
There was a several year period while I was in my 20s where I struggled to move my life forward. I was afraid to set goals, as I had not achieved many of the riding goals I had previously set and was bitterly disappointed. When I finally allowed myself to look at the fear and what would happen to me if it DID happen, I began to see that I would be OK even if my fears were realized. With this newfound assurance, I was able to set new goals and move my life forward.
What would realistically happen to you if those fears WERE realized? Is that potential outcome worth holding onto the fear for?