I love to watch reining and that happened to be the first event of the week-long competition so we made sure we were there for that event. One of the challenges for our horse center is the variety of shows they host and the different arena footing requirements. The Hunter/Jumper competitions, dressage and other English events require a different footing than many of the western events. The reiners, in particular need a deeper, fluffier footing in order to be able to really dig in and slide. We happened to be there to watch the practice the night before and returned the next morning to watch the actual competition and immediately my husband and I both picked out a horse and rider that we thought were exceptional. As we watched the competition we noticed that most of the horses couldn't slide very well because the footing wasn't ideal for sliding, the exception was a gorgeous Palomino, the horse my husband and I both noticed during the practice session. This particular horse, during the competition, dropped down and slid beautifully. Later we happened to be talking to the girl's father and he said: "Well, we saw that the footing wasn't the best so we didn't let her slide him during practice so that the horse wouldn't realize that he couldn't slide well in that footing". Brilliant! The horse didn't know any better so when it came time for the actual competition it was business as usual, he didn't know he couldn't so he did what he always did, and beautifully I might add, the horse came in second.
I thought about it and I realized that if we all employed that philosophy in our own lives, if we just tackled our everyday challenges with the notion that "we didn't know we couldn't" just think what we could accomplish. So often that little voice in our head sabotages our goals, happiness and reality. The voice will never go away but what if we just listened to that voice without any personal attachment or validation. What if we just treated the running commentary in our head as nothing more than that, a simple voice in our head. Stepping away from ownership of that voice could help us all develop the courage to live our dreams without fear or attachment to success or failure.
The next time you hear that voice in your head listen but don't react. Be an innocent bystander and approach your life with one simple motto: "Don't let 'em know you can't!"
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