It’s the Thoughts That Matter

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Tanja Mitton Equestrian Mindset Coach

How much of your life and riding is influenced by your thoughts? The answer is, much more than you think!

I have recently undergone some major changes in my personal life and, naturally, when big things happen to us, our mind goes into overdrive. As the changes unfolded, I found myself thinking about certain things over and over again. It was like my mind had a life of its own and it was controlling me. And it wasn’t only the thoughts that had taken a hold on me, they also controlled the way I felt – my emotions. 

I had moments of panic and anxiousness, there was a lot of fear because there was so much uncertainty. 

At the same time, I discovered that I could go from being in a state of total stress and worry to complete happiness in the blink of an eye. And I noticed this generally happened when someone else pulled me out of my thoughts.

I realised that all the fears, all the anxiousness and all the panic, was not actually real, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to escape them so easily. I started to recognise that I was in control of the way I made myself feel. Well… in theory anyway!

Since I am a mindset coach and I have been telling everyone else the exact same thing for many years, you are probably wondering why it took me this long!  

I have to be honest here and admit that, telling others what to do when you are not emotionally involved is always easier. Nevertheless, mastery only happens when we concur ourselves.

My journey, which I will share with you in more detail some other time in another book, has made me realise just how much of a slave we are to our thoughts, while at the same time, it has also taught me how we can overcome our mind. 

Let’s talk about you and your riding. What is your mind telling you? What is the story that is playing in your own ‘head movie’? 

Most likely, it is not just the story of your horse, the story of the rider that you think you are (or that you think you are not). It is also the stories of your past. The things that happened a long time ago, the things that were said to you by others.

As you tell yourself your story, you will probably find it repeats itself again and again. Now that you know this, you can start looking for clues of what will happen before it actually happens. I know this all sounds a bit crazy but let’s face it, our mind is a bit crazy. 

So, how do we escape? 

The answer might surprise you… You have to want to escape!

Too many times we want to stay right where we are because it is comfortable, familiar or we just identify with that person so much that we don’t want to give her/him up. 

Often, it seems just too overwhelming to change because we feel that let out of its box, the past would swallow us up and it would be too much to deal with. I understand, I’ve been there.

The good news is that you don’t have to open the box wide and deal with everything at once, you can choose what memories to let out. 

Now, if I asked you to pick out just one thing about your riding, what is it that has been holding you back? 

What pattern keeps repeating itself, over and over again?

What is the part of you – the rider – that you hate and that you want to change?

Escaping doesn’t start by taking action, it begins by understanding. After that, the right action will follow automatically. It is what leads to making good decisions. 

Too many riders make the same bad choices over-and-over again. They buy a horse, they ride, it doesn’t work out, they sell, and they buy another one.

Or they address the issues they have with their horse, they commit and do the work they need to do, they achieve the great outcomes they’ve been working on for so long, and then they stop. 

Whatever pattern it is, don’t judge yourself, just identify it. 

When you realise what it is that you do then follow it back. What’s behind it? When did it start and where did it come from? What emotions come up for you? Is it a way to prove to yourself that you are not good enough?

I encourage you to think and to ponder.

I have become a master of pondering. I have been doing it daily for the past two years and I am amazed what I have unearthed. 

If you have been a slave of a mind that tells you that you are not good enough, the first step is not to tell yourself that you are good enough, but instead, to ponder long enough to discover why you feel that you are not!

In the last two years I have learned so much and it is time for me to share what I have learned. So please, take a moment and let me guide you, so you can become the master instead of the slave of your thoughts and mind, and you can enjoy your riding to the fullest.

Come with me on a listening journey. I have a Podcast, Tanja Mitton Untangled, that will help you to ponder, and it will help you to become more aware. It is free and it is all yours to listen to, whenever and how often you choose to. This is my gift to you, please take it.

Happy riding everyone!

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