By Margie Sugarman
I’ve been riding for 30-plus years and for the most part have not found myself concerned or nervous about the danger of the sport—until recently. I’ve become a mother, and since then there is a voice in the back of my head reminding me that if I get hurt it’s not just me who is affected. I know that the voice could cause more harm than good. How do I quiet that voice and ride confidently?
Your inner voice is free to say whatever it pleases—and that isn’t always a good thing. If you’ve ever taken the time to really listen to your inner voice, you’ve probably realized that it frequently focuses on the negative. Because that voice can be so loud, it’s important to be aware of its message and determine if the pattern it’s establishing is building a negative web. If you’re not careful, the web will entangle you and make it difficult to escape and move forward with your thoughts, actions and behaviors. It’s no surprise to find yourself feeling depressed, upset, annoyed and angry. You need to stop and shift the negative thoughts by countering them with positive ones.
Our thoughts have frequencies, and those frequencies impact our mind/body connection. High-frequency thoughts like those encompassing gratitude, peace and empowerment neutralize the low-frequency patterns of that negative voice. Techniques to stop getting stuck in negative energy patterns include doing something physical. When we move around and do something physical, we secrete chemicals from the brain that enhance our mood and “frequency.” Consequently, those negative thoughts and contrary ideas are stopped and replaced by positive higher-frequency thoughts and behaviors.
Another method to silence the negativity is to talk to a friend. Communicating about something positive that’s going on totally changes the frequency of your thoughts and leaves you feeling positive.
Besides addressing the cognitive perspective, however, is the reality of the possible dangers of the sport. Some fear can be healthy! This acknowledgement can help one retain a healthy respect for this sport. Do you have a good knowledge base? Do you have an independent seat? Do you feel secure on the animal you’re riding? Do you wear safety gear, like a properly-fitting helmet and safety vest? One must address the fear of the unknown by taking as much control of reality as possible. Your knowledge, what you’ve learned through your lessons with a qualified instructor, adds to your feelings of ability and, ultimately, control.
Think of anything you’ve done in life that can be dangerous: Learning to ride a bike, learning to drive a car or walking across a busy street in the city all can potentially lead to negative outcomes. Nonetheless, we ride a bike, we cross a street, we drive a car. Why? Our attitude is positive enough—our frequency is high enough—to support the endeavor because we’ve accepted the risk that’s been backed by knowledge.
Turn those questions around. Rather than focusing on the “what if this happens?” focus on “what if this doesn’t happen!” Make the answers to those repetitive questions positive. Protect yourself mentally as well as physically. Then, enjoy your ride!
If the voice in your head is causing you to fear riding, stop and shift the negative thoughts by countering them with positive ones.
Photo by Ruby Tevis