One of the most common problems we can face in riding and in our lives is being afraid to step out of our comfort zones and try something different. It is so easy to say “what if”? What if I fail? What if I look foolish? What if I get hurt? What if? What if? What if? It can go on and on. Yes, all of those “what ifs” can be?possible, ?but more than likely they won’t happen. The real “what if” to ask ourselves is “what if” I don’t step out of my comfort zone? What opportunities will I miss? In what way will I stop growing? What possibilities will pass me by?

Take a chance and try new things. Take that chance to fail. I am not saying take chances without some reflective analysis. Some chances are just too dangerous and risky to take. But many aren’t. So analyze the choices in front of you and then step outside of your comfort zone and take some risks. ?Be honest with yourself. ?Are you choosing not to take a chance with something because the risks far outweigh the potential benefits or is it because you are afraid to fail? If the latter is the reason, sit with your fears and then push through them to take the chance. Take the chance to grow and succeed in new things.

A great example of this in riding would be taking the chance to show in a more competitive environment. If you know you and your horse have the skills, abilities and preparation to safely compete, go ahead and show. You may not come home with any ribbons, but you will be competing with quality company and begin to learn from them and rise to that level of competition. By getting outside of your comfort zone you will grow and improve and that is the real measure of success. Eventually, you will also probably start bringing home ribbons. Those ribbons will have more meaning as you will know you pushed yourself outside of your comfort zone and faced your fears. You will know that you have opened yourself and your mind to learning new things.

Give it a try. Don’t settle for staying in “the small pond.” No matter what you do, venture out into the “bigger waters.” You will be a success regardless of the outcome as you will have tried new and different things!