August 24, 2020

Get Back Up On The Saddle – I Still Believe In You!

You were riding so well, everything was going smoothly… until BAM! You fell off the horse, and suddenly your confidence is shaken…

Life gives us smooth rides… we’re checking tasks and goals off our lists, we’re keeping up with the household chores, we’re strengthening relationships and everyone in our life is doing well.

Then the ride gets bumpy… we’re not feeling well, the dishes in the sink are piling up, kids are having meltdowns, and our lists of tasks and goals get put to the side because life is overwhelming…

Suddenly we get thrown off the saddle, on to the ground… we’ve lost our job, our future looks bleak, a loved one gets sick or passes away, the whole house is a mess and we start to doubt our self-worth…

Which scenario sounds most like your life right now?

The Moment My Niece Fell Off Her Horse & Taught Me A Valuable Life Lesson…

Clark was leading Addie around the backyard yesterday, on her pony ‘Pippin’. Pippin got spooked by the cat and hopped up, causing her to fall off. Her Mom quickly came to the rescue to pick her up, and without skipping a beat said “Ok, Addie. You have to get back up on the horse.”

Why should you get back on the horse after falling off, and how does this apply to every day life?

From ‘Confident Horsemanship‘ they say “Even if you’re not physically injured, a fall from your horse can leave you feeling emotionally shaken. And it can damage your horse riding confidence. Falling off your horse has more impact mentally as well as physically than most other sports. “

What can shatter your confidence is having a sense of no control, falling can come suddenly without warning, as was the case for Addie. Getting back on your horse restores your confidence, and the relationship with your horse. It’s a way to ‘take your power back’, and can be seen as a metaphor of such.

Watching my sister in-law so quickly come to the aid of her daughter Addie was symbolic of how I imagine a loving Heavenly Father, or an angel of ours coming quickly to help pick us back up when we make a mistake and fall. The encouragement to ‘get back on the horse’, is a loving reminder that we can pick ourselves back up and try again – as often as we need to, restoring our confidence that we are capable of progressing, growing, repairing ourselves (our confidence) and pressing forward – regardless of the circumstances or mistakes we make.

I often catch myself feeling really badly, and repeatedly criticizing myself when I say or do something that contradicts what I believe deep down to be true – or the right thing to do. For example, it could be as simple as choosing to eat extra sweets when I know I need to be working towards building a healthier body… or catch myself after a conversation I had where I was criticizing others, when I so openly preach ‘Be Kind’ online as part of the business I am building, and countless other instances where I know I should be ‘doing better’.

I fall often. The only thing I am perfect at – is being imperfect. But I want to do better, and be better; so I’ll keep ‘getting back on the horse’, and restore my confidence. 

5 Ways We Can Get Back On The Saddle Again

1) Forgive Yourself

“According to psychotherapist Ashley Eder, LPC, “Self-forgiveness is accepting responsibility for our actions both compassionately and seriously, while also cradling the hurt part that was acting out.”

She noted that it’s saying to ourselves: “I am sad that you acted this way. I can see where the impulse came from, and I’d like to love you instead of shaming you for this…

“Compassion is the basis of forgiveness,” Eder said. Compassion takes practice… compassion provides us with a healthier way to cope. It fosters our health and well-being. It inspires and encourages us.”

How to Forgive Yourself and Why It’s Important” – Psych Central

2) Embrace the Imperfection

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

Oscar Wilde

The world needs YOU, not the you that feels like you have to be like your older sibling, your parent, or someone else who ‘seems to have it all together’. The unique and beautiful YOU that is messy, real, raw, and irreplaceable.

We were born different than our brothers and sisters because we were destined to make change. We were born with a divine and unique soul to stir the hearts of those we meet and lead by example for others to be inspired, moved, and comforted.

Somewhere out there in the world, there is someone who sees something beautiful about you. That something could be the very thing you feel is a flaw. Just as a butterfly is incapable of seeing the beauty of its wings, you too have gifts and strengths that you are incapable of seeing, that inspires others.

“Be the Change You Wish to See in the World”

Mahatma Gandhi

Have you ever wondered if the single purpose of our mortal life here on this earth is to learn how to embrace differences in others, and accept our own?

Are we overcomplicating this life? Are we keeping ourselves too busy to notice that life was always meant to be far more simple?

I challenge you to learn to embrace the imperfections – learn to embrace your individuality – and soon you’ll find a new level of confidence you’ve never felt before. 🙂

3) Let Your Morning Routine Symbolize A ‘Reset’

A morning routine is a simple no-fail start to your day. It helps provide direction, it gives you an immediate ‘win’ for the day, and reminds yourself of what is really important in life. If life becomes overwhelming – your morning routine reminds you to simplify. If you start to feel like you’re getting behind, or failing, allow your morning routine to symbolize a ‘reset’, a ‘do over’, a ‘let’s begin all over again’. With a morning routine – you always have control. You hold the pen that writes the script for your day, week, and month ahead.

Remember, there is no such thing as failure – only feedback. Revise, rewrite, and start again – as many times as you need to.

Becky Cooper

4) Simplify Your List of Goals

“Goals also help align your focus and promote a sense of self-mastery. In the end, you can’t manage what you don’t measure and you can’t improve upon something that you don’t properly manage. Setting goals can help you do all of that and more.”

“The Importance, Benefits, and Value of Goal Setting” – Positive Psychology

I’m sure many of us could write a long list of ways we feel we need to improve – but we must avoid setting ourselves up for disappointment by attempting to tackle everything all at once. Write that list of everything you feel you need to improve on, projects you want to get done, goals you want to achieve… and then write it again – but cut it in half… and then write it again, breaking down that second list in half once more.

Be realistic. Focus on a list that you feel you cannot fail at – set yourself up for a win.

“…over a decade of research of laboratory and field studies on the effects of goal setting and performance… found that over 90% of the time, goals that were specific and challenging, but not overly challenging, led to higher performance when compared to easy goals or goals that were too generic such as a goal ‘to do your best’…Clarity is important when it comes to goals. Setting goals that are clear and specific eliminate the confusion that occurs when a goal is set in a more generic manner.”

“The Importance, Benefits, and Value of Goal Setting” – Positive Psychology

“…why does writing your goals help? It’s an important thing to know; after all, it might seem like a lot of extra work to write something down when you can just as easily store it in your brain, right?…

Encoding is the biological process by which the things we perceive travel to our brain’s hippocampus where they’re analyzed. From there, decisions are made about what gets stored in our long-term memory and, in turn, what gets discarded. Writing improves that encoding process. In other words, when you write it down it has a much greater chance of being remembered.”

Neuroscience Explains Why You Need To Write Down Your Goals If You Actually Want To Achieve Them” – Forbes

5) Reach Out To Your Support

When we get hurt, we search for help. When we fall hard, isn’t it wise that we seek help to make sure nothing is broken or seriously wrong internally? It may not look obvious on the outside that something is wrong, but just because you can’t see it – doesn’t mean that it isn’t broken.

Support can look like a trusted friend to confide in, a trusted member in your family, or professional help like a therapist or doctor.

From personal experience, these people I’m listing below have helped me through various periods of my past, and present, that I’ve needed assistance in learning how to re-establish my confidence in ‘getting back on the saddle’. They may be able to help you too:

Nadine Kennington Cooper, Sandy UT, specializes in NLP Therapy: (801) 205-0386

Laura Nielson Denke, Los Angeles CA, specializes in LMHC & LMFT Counseling: (206) 789-1011

Dr. Mark Chamberlain, Salt Lake City UT, specializes in addiction recovery: (801) 564-7566

There are countless other options available, one of which is Amen Clinics. Dr. Daniel Amen has several clinics worldwide. I’m currently taking a Mental Health course that he offers, and hope to be certified in the near future as a Mental Health Coach. He specializes in brain trauma, and focuses his practice on brain scans (physically looking at the part of the body that is in need of treatment, and thus getting a more accurate and proof of diagnosis). Visit his website to learn more about what services his clinic provides that might help you or your loved one:

If you or a loved one is feeling suicidal, or you may feel they, or you, might be a danger to yourself, please call 911 or reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255…

About the author

Becky Cooper, Certified Brain Health Coach. Often times we find ourselves in need of support in accomplishing life, health, and mindful goals. It takes a great amount of courage to recognize that you can’t do everything alone— we sometimes need someone to help us be accountable to what we truly desire to accomplish in life.  It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child; I feel it takes a tribe to help raise each other [up]. This is at the heart of what I do. 💚  I have found life to be easier when I accept that I am a 'work in progress', and that's enough. While I continue to learn and progress, taking life one step at a time, I can invite others along my journey and help them too; teaching them what I have learned, and encourage them. In December of 2020 I completed the Brain Health training course directed by Dr. Daniel Amen, graduating with the official certification as an Amen Clinics Certified Brain Health Coach. This not only has helped me learn valuable solutions to help myself heal, but also help others who feel the same way as I do; others who are also in search of healing.Read More...

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