I have a confession to make.....

I was feeding my horses, checking on the water, and generally mooching around the field, hanging out with them,  when suddenly my phone rang.   It was my long standing close friend and 'adopted' big brother Paul, one of the best Music Perrformance Coaches in the business.  I was delighted as it seemed such a long time since we had chatted.  Whilst we were chatting I found myself confessing something and it kind of came from nowhere.

I confessed that I was not afraid of failure....been there, done that, not once but several times.....I have broken through so many 'failures' to get to where I am today.

I was afraid to succeed!!  Wow what an admission.   I had been coaching equestrians for years, helping them overcome their fears, the mishaps and their failures and helping them grow and succeed in their endeavours and here I am admitting to my closest friend that I am afraid to succeed!

Paul Crick being the amazing 'big brother' close friend talked me through my feelings, exploring this confession that seemed on the face of it to come from nowhere.

I had locked away my inner champion, and allowed my negative self talk to get the better of me!  Have you been there?  

On the outside I was always smiling, inspiring my clients to achieve their own greatness, helping them find their own solutions and enjoying their joy as they smashed their goals and advanced to levels they had only dared to dream about.  On the inside I was riddled with self doubt, and sometimes even self hatred.   I wore a mask of being a butterfly, a high achiever, on the inside I was a caged caterpiller.

My own negative self talk was doing the most damage; sometimes if felt like I had a personal consultant inside my head reminding me of all my failures, rubbing in the hurtful comments that others had made.  Other days it felt like there was a committee in there telling me that I did not have what it takes; telling me that I might be able to fool everyone else, but I could not fool myself; that all the work I had done was a complete waste of time and that I should quit!

Despite my popularity and strong spirit I could not eliminate my inner turmoil, this negative chatter.

Whether you are aware of it or not you too have a conversation going on inside your head.  Now if you are thinking 'I do not have a conversation in my head; I don't  know what she's talking about!'   That's exactly what I am talking about - we all talk to ourselves.

How many times prior to competing have you sat on your horse's back saying 'I'm not good enough', 'I can't do this, I don't have what it takes'; 'please let me get through this without falling off.'  or  'what am I doing, I shouldn't be doing this'.

 We can talk ourselves into believing some pretty dumb things and out of doing great things as I'm sure you have experienced.   The truth is our lives are just a living, breathing manifestation of the conversations going on inside of our heads.

Now yesterday I talked about building muscles - one of the weakest muscles that I come across with horse owners and riders is the "I believe in myself" muscle!   In order to build this important muscle you need to become aware of your inner chit chat.   Do you talk to yourself as a loving friend would?  Or are you hard on yourself, critical and impatient, even verbally abusive?  Without this awareness you can't change.  Once you are conscious of your self talk, you can then learn how to stop the negative chatter whenever it rears its destructive and ugly head and bounce back - stretch yourself - be a rubberband girl! :)

So my gift to you today is to share a technique, one that I have shared with so many clients over the years and it works - its an extremely useful tool that helps you make the switch from negative self talk to positive and you can do it anywhere and at anytime, prior to your riding lessons, before competing, at work - anywhere.

I call it my secret weapon as it really does work!

To start, imagine that there is a CD player in your head; make it  dual one, the negative CD is on the left and the positive CD is on the right.  Got it, make it clear and as bright as possible!  

The next time you recognise that you are listening to your negative self talk, actually take your index finger and press the left side of your forehead; as if you are switching off the negative CD from playing.  Then with the same finger, press the right side of your forehead to start playing the positive powerful one.

Hey I know what you are thinking 'this is crackers and she is crazy!'  well you are not the first  - but this has helped me and so many others that I have taught this technique to.

The reason why it works is that by pressing on these spots on your forehead creates a physical cue for you to change your state of mind.  Its based on an NLP technique; Neuro Linguistic Programming which is the study of peoples' thinking, language and behaviour patterns.  In NLP using a physical action to trigger a specific state of behaviour is called anchoring.

This technique will serve as a physical reminder of your new commitment to listen only to the thoughts that serve you and move you forward in life.

As for my conversation with Paul, he reminded me that sometimes in life you need a close ally, or rocket booster friend that helps to keep you on the straight and narrow when it comes to boosting your 'I believe in myself' muscle - but that is another blog post, for another day.

Happy horsing around, Chanti x

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