Excerpt From Book: Preventing Emotional Triggers
(This excerpt from my book references a technique I use to transition riders from their Old Rider Identity (how they are currently thinking and performing) into a New Rider Identity that I will design for them; because we don't get our goals, we get our identities. So our New Rider Identity is the equestrian rockstar.)
Sometimes we are not even aware of how creative we are when we make up stories about what is happening in our lives.
Here’s a funny story from one of my riders who complained that she would be totally ready, mentally, to get on her horse and go into ring and then suddenly something would trigger her on the way to the show ring. That trigger was just enough to “unseat” her (emotionally) in the ring and prevent her from performing at her best.
One day she was walking by a group of girls hanging out together by the ring at a big show. She said the fact that they didn’t like her bothered her so much it actually ended up distracting her when she went in to the ring to show. It made her feel both sad and annoyed.
I asked her how why they didn’t like her. Were these girls she has known for a while? She said no. She had seen them at shows in the past, but she didn’t actually know them.
“Well then how do you know they don’t like you?’ I asked.
“Because when I walked by, they didn’t say hi to me.”
“And that is the meaning that you give to that event?” I asked. “Why don’t you give it another meaning that would serve you better? Why don’t you tell yourself they are so thrilled to see you, they are absolutely speechless?”
She cracked up laughing! (Humor is the BEST emotional pattern interrupt!)
I continued, “I mean, as long as you’re being creative and making up crazy stories out of thin air …”
I uncovered that she had a global belief (a major belief about life that affected all her other beliefs) that people didn’t like her. How did this global belief that came from her “Old Rider Identity” affect her riding? She showed up to her riding (and life) like a human reactor always getting her feelings hurt or being pissed off.
That’s a very vulnerable and out of control feeling.
There are two choices when any “event” happens. We can psyche ourselves out or get ourselves psyched up in a good way. How did her global belief about people not liking her affect her relationships with her trainers and her teammates?
Well, we will always remain consistent with who we believe that we are as far as our identity and our beliefs. So, she stayed consistent with her behavior (stuck in auto pilot gear) that attracted that EXACT outcome to herself. Barn after barn after barn!
Because how do we behave when we feel everyone dislikes us? Defensive? Hurt? Withdrawn? A victim of people being rude or unkind to us? How well do we perform going into the show ring feeling like a disempowered victim?
There are two choices;
1. We can hunt down people, places or things and perceive them in a way that supports our negative stories and our limiting or self-sabotaging beliefs from our Old Rider Identity.
2.We can use those great hunting skills to find all the good that supports our new beliefs for our New Equestrian Rockstar Identity!
When designing her New Rider Identity as an equestrian rockstar, what new global beliefs would this rider have to hold in order to prevent being triggered by those types of negative reactions? Which ones would make her feel more empowered, more in control of her life, and happy?
She would choose the belief that everyone likes her!
Of course, she said to me, “But I don’t really believe that is the truth.”
My answer to that is always: Choose to believe whatever will serve you better. Your “truth” is whatever you decide that it is. Which one feels better?
It doesn’t really matter what the REAL truth is. Sometimes success is lying to yourself.
“I’m not big on lying and believing something that isn’t true,” she said. “I’m a realist, and I pride myself on placing a high value on integrity.”
“Great, so your Old Rider Identity places a high value on integrity and seeing things how they ‘really’ are, and then it attaches a rule that says, ‘never lie’ and ‘don’t believe.’ (These may be subconscious rules that she has programmed or coded into her brain.)
Problem is … realist don’t win. Believers do!”
So for this girl’s New Rider Identity, to show up in the ring as an empowered equestrian, she would want to place a higher value on the power of belief and preventing being emotionally triggered (which feels like being disempowered or out of control). And then she would want to place a lower value on NEVER lying to herself and being a realist.
Then we attached new rules for her New Rider Identity that helped direct her thoughts and behaviors to remain aligned with those new values.
Her new rule was that she must tell herself a “more fun story” (formally labeled as lying) when it serves her better to feel empowered and in control. Her new belief is that her truth is whatever she decides that it is. Or whatever she decides to create as her new reality.
Next, I worked with this rider to step into her new identity of an equestrian rockstar and to “act as if” when she showed up at the barn and her shows. She stepped into that new role and practiced a happier attitude and the corresponding behaviors because she made a decision to believe everyone liked her New Rider Identity.
Next thing you know, she started behaving and riding as if she as a well-liked equestrian rockstar. No more distractions that triggered her from that global belief and those values and rules attached to her Old Rider Identity. Instead of walking around as that rider with a core foundation that was shaky and vulnerable emotionally, she felt solid as a rock!
Now by the time she gets to the show ring, she is feeling strong and happy instead of feeling like a wounded victim that can be easily thrown off her game. No more avoiding other people that might trigger her.
In fact, she makes a point to walk around the show grounds with her back straight, her head and eyes up, and she walks with a strong, rhythmic pace that radiates impulsion and purpose as if she owns the place!
Because confidence is a choice and an action step.
And she then makes another decision based upon the power of believing; she decides to believe that her new equestrian rockstar identity can win.
Stepping into our New Rider Identity, and then choosing to reframe and to tell ourselves better stories, are very powerful tools I teach my equestrians to short circuit their emotional triggers. They learn how to code and rewire their brains by assigning a different meaning to things in their riding and their lives that is holding them back. Why waste all that work, training, money, and talent by allowing others to trip you up?
Why give other people that power over you?
This simple trick, which only requires the same amount of creativity as the “old stories” you were coming up with (but is actually more fun), can magically turn stress into joy, and it can happen at the snap of a finger!
But the REAL key is to shift and transition your core foundation from your old, struggling Rider Identity to your new, empowered Equestrian Rockstar Identity.
Copyright 2019: Elite Lifestyle Transformations, LLC