In addition to unhooking from your own unhelpful thoughts as discussed in my last post, it is also important to be able to unhook from those limitations that are sometimes imposed on us by other people. It is really easy to buy into other peoples opinions and I think it is a really important conversation to have as it is something that affects us all to some degree.
One thing I find really helpful is to remember whose opinion I actually value and whose is unwanted. If I am paying someone, or I ask someone for their opinion then those are opinions that I am more likely to pay attention to however these people aren't always right either. It is totally fine to receive an opinion (wanted or not) and not agree with it. I know I used to - and sometimes still do - get really caught up in what other people think, I would hook into the story and then I would take ownership of it like it was some precious and holy thing. I would forget that just because someone thinks something, that doesn't necessarily make it right!
Once I began to realise this and I began to notice other people confidently backing themselves with their ideas and thoughts then I started to realise that if it’s okay for them to back themselves, then it’s okay for me too - even if that meant disagreeing with some things that I once would have held onto! At this point it didn't really matter anymore what other people thought but it mattered what I thought and that I live to my own values not anyone else’s. Over time this has become easier and easier for me to be able to do and I think it has really reflected in my riding too. My mind is now clear when I ride, therefore reducing the limitations that had once existed. I am less likely to become consumed about what people might think or say when I go and compete because they don't know my vision and they don't know my journey or goals. So it doesn't really matter to me at all that others might not understand it, because I do. This has been huge for me because I had once let my anxiety around these issues become so huge that I didn't even like friends watching me ride, I even found it difficult to focus in lessons! I was terrified, and I don't use that word lightly, of what other people had once said to me and what they might think of me.
Now I really try to embrace the fact that the only approval you really need comes from within. If you are happy and okay with what you are doing and how you are going then that is the only thing that actually matters. You are the only one who sees your entire vision for where you want to be and how you want to get there. It is a constant work in progress for me but it is one of the most liberating things to be able to lighten the mind and because of this I can ride with joy and a happy heart which really benefits both myself and my horses.
Of course not all opinions are negative and that is wonderful and something that I want to discuss next- ruminating in the positive!