For almost 15 years, I was a working student.  The trainer that I worked for had a story about me that she used to tell over and over again.  And, she used to laugh as she told it.  Although at the time I didn’t quite see the humor in the story, and I winced every time I heard it, I see some value in that story now.  A little hard for me to believe that I am actually going to blog about it, but here I go.

I was having a lesson.  I can remember the horse, a beautiful thoroughbred named Music, and it was a sunny spring day.  We were working on an exercise in getting the horse to move through at the trot.  I heard, once again, the words from my trainer: you’re trying too hard!!!

I remember the reaction I had.  The burning feeling of tears coming didn’t last very long.  It graduated into tears incredibly quickly.  I had been at one of the corners leading to the short side of the arena.  My instructor was sitting on one of the barrels that lined the fence on that short side.  I threw my reins down, stopped in front of her and sobbed, “I just don’t get it.  It doesn’t make any sense.  If you want something bad enough and you really, really try for it, you should be able to get it!!!”

Although I’m not sure why she used to tell that story so often, I can see some value in it now.  Because now, I understand the reactions in our body when our minds get tight with the struggle of doing something the RIGHT WAY.  In addition, I understand another element of trying too hard that has to do with mindset.  If we have to try really, really hard to get something or somewhere, way down deep we have a doubt that we can get what or where we want to be.

That doubt widens the gap.  Creates a  huge gap from where we are to where we want to be.  Our self-doubt draws our focus onto the gap, instead of onto our goal.  Since what we think about we bring about, we bring more and more of the gap into our experience.

The way to help alleviate this phenomena of trying to hard is to first of all recognize that it is happening.  As is so often the case, awareness is the first step.  Then, to examine our self-talk.  find where the negative, gunky core beliefs are surfacing.  From this point, find some evidence to refute those statements.  The key to refuting the negative beliefs is identifying a thought that we feel better about when we repeat it.  For example, instead of, “I’ll never be able to….” a better option could be, “I am working my way toward…..”.  Without even having a specific goal in mind, when I repeat those two phrases, I notice quite an internal shift.  The second feels much lighter and I am left with an emotion I would label optimistic or hopeful, that I can attain whatever goal I might be reaching for.  Whenever we catch ourselves slipping into telling ourselves the “I’ll never be able to….” we can switch to the newer version.  The more times we think that newer version, the more likely it is to become our new core belief and give us a greater chance of achieving our goal.

A way that we can help ourselves stay away from trying too hard is relatively simple.  For me in my life, it isn’t always easy.  And, I am working toward achieving my goals with ease.  I am working toward achieving my goals with ease.  I am working toward achieving my goals with ease.   😉

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