Story Time With Stephanie and Ransom
Do you ever feel frozen with fear? It’s human nature to feel fear and that’s okay. What matters is that you have strategies for managing fear when it surfaces.
Fear often shows up when you’re moving into a new stage of your life or you’re stepping outside your comfort zone. You may have fear brewing inside of you right now.
I bet that if you sat down with a piece of paper and pencil you could easily come up with at least ten things that cause you to be fearful. It could be anything from moving to a new city, riding your horse again, losing your job, the stock market crashing, and the list can go on. The point is, it’s different for each of us.
When you have horses in your life it’s common to experience fear – it happens to all of us.
As a horse guardian, what matters to me is that my love for horses is stronger than my fears. Having horses in my life and putting my horses first are far more important than allowing fear to get in the way.
Depending on your situation, I believe you have to ask yourself an important question…
Do I choose to conquer my fears, take action and move forward or do I allow them to dictate my life?”
The majority of fears can be overcome by utilizing some strategies and exercises and especially by you taking action. I believe that if you’re an action-taker then you’ll make it work and be able to overcome most of your fears. It may be a gradual process, but at least you’re taking action.
Usually even the smallest of actions can make a world of difference in your life. If you actually take action it will cause change and that change could get you that much closer to conquering fear.
Although there are many different forms of fear, I’ve noticed that when it comes to the subject of natural horse care, often times, the fear of non-conformity and how it relates to horses arise.
What is Non-Conformity?
As an equine enthusiast, there may be times you choose to take the road less traveled. What does that mean?
It means that you may decide to not conform to what is considered “normal” in the horse world. This can be a fairly difficult road that, by its very nature, will cause fear to surface on multiple occasions.
So what does non-conformity have to do with horses?
If you have decided to take a natural horse care approach, then you will run into those who think you’re crazy and that’s putting it lightly.
It can be difficult to go against the grain of what everyone else is saying is the right way to approach your horse care when, in reality, what is considered normal doesn’t line up with how our equine companions are designed.
The horse is a special creature that I believe was designed and created especially for us. The horse is a beautiful gift, and she offers us so much more than what we could ever offer in return.
Since you care about your horse, you want to do what’s best for her. However, if you truly believe that mushy stuff I just wrote, then more than likely those statements alone can cause normal horse people to look at you like you’re off your rocker.
Think about this for a moment. I write about natural horse care and publish it for the world to read. If you think there’s no fear in pushing that publish button, then think again.
If you’re at all surrounded by those who are conventionally minded, then your core values and beliefs as they relate to your horse, will be challenged.
Not only that, but the fear of doing something different than your friends, different than what some expert with lots of letters after her name may tell you, or different than those at your boarding facility, can be intimidating.
Here’s a common example where confidence can easily turn to fear:
You can become discouraged and give up, or you can brainstorm to come up with some ideas so you can apply your newfound knowledge.
One solution is to reverse the roles of the situation just described. Meaning, the boarding facility is the one implementing natural horse keeping principles, but the boarders are against it.
I recently did a coaching session with someone who is in that situation. In this case, the fear of non-conformity can also arise. Although she is establishing a facility that’s in the horses’ best interest, she is still considered outside the norm.
6 Strategies for Managing Fear
There are several action steps you can take to help you with the fear of non-conformity and fear in general. It’s not a subject to be taken lightly, and I know it can be a struggle to deal with especially when it comes to horses. That’s why I cover it more in depth in my book, Guiding Principles of Natural Horse Care.
For now, consider a few of these strategies to help you manage and move through some of your fears:
- Become an action-taker. By taking action, even the smallest of steps will help you find courage and gradually build your confidence, so you can reap the benefits.
- Protect your confidence. It can take a long time to build confidence, but you can lose it in seconds, so protect it at all costs. Many times that means listening to your fear carefully since it’s also your friend.
- Obtain more knowledge. Becoming more knowledgeable will build confidence. This power can help you make more informed decisions that are in your horse’s best interest and your horse will love you for it!
- Surround yourself with like-minded people. Be careful who you surround yourself with. That includes online (on the Internet) as well as offline. Just like the old saying goes… birds of a feather flock together. This is very true. Just be certain you’re not flocking with the wrong birds. This may take a little more effort on your part, but it will be well worth it. Surrounding yourself with others who have the same core values will build your confidence and provide you with plenty of validation. Often times you will need to find this online depending on your situation and where you’re located.
- Make a decision, don’t stay on the fence. If you’re caught between normal and natural then that’s a tough place to be. Most of your friends are still normal; they think you’re crazy but they don’t say it to your face. I would ask myself, “Are they really my friends?” Your new friends are awesome to be around, but your old friends make fun of them in your presence. All I can say is go read #4 again and I would recommend getting new friends.
- Set great examples. You can’t completely avoid those who don’t share your same core values when it comes to horses, but you can still be true to your horse when you’re around those individuals. Continue to be a non-conformist and set great examples. This is usually the only thing that will cause people to start asking questions out of sheer curiosity. A word of caution, only give them just enough information. Too much too soon will cause them not to be curious anymore.
The fear of non-conformity and how it relates to horses is a real issue. Do your best to not allow fear to get in the way and use the strategies I shared with you to take action and move forward.
Keep it soulful,
P.S. If you’ve been wanting to learn powerful concepts for a healthy horse in a way that’s broken down into bite-sized, easy to understand steps, then I hope you swing by to sign up for the early bird list for our course, Natural Horse Concepts. I look forward to seeing you in the course. Thanks so much for stopping by Soulful Equine; I’m really glad you did.