A few years ago,when I was doing my coaching certification program, I wrote this short article on the wonderful lessons found in children’s literature. These lessons can be applied to any part of life, including riding. I thought I would share this now. If you ave favorite quotes from children’s literature I would love it if you shared it in the comments below. Enjoy!
“You’ve always had the power, my dear. You’ve had it all along.”
– Glenda, the good witch (The Wizard of Oz)
I have seen this quote a few times when someone shared it on Facebook and each time I read it I love its simplicity and how it is really what the coaching relationship is all about. I like it so much I have it saved in my business folder as I want to use it as part of my coaching model or power tool.
It was just shared again recently and it made me think about how many profound quotes there are from all types of literature that relate to coaching. Though coaching has not been a formal practice for many years, wise literary minds from history often pondered on life’s purpose and our potential if we just tap into it. They write great life lessons with their words reminding us that we need to be authentic and if we are, we have all the power we need to live our best, most wonderful lives.
What intrigues me the most is that authors of children’s and adolescent literature often send out the message to children that they should be true to themselves and that they have all they need to live an amazing life. This interested me so much that I went on a search for more quotes. Here are a few:
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
“Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”
“The Moment Where You Doubt You Can Fly, You Cease For Ever Being Able To Do It.”
“You have plenty of courage, I am sure,” answered Oz. “All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.”
― L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
“The things that make me different are the things that make me.”
– A.A. Milne
Those are just a few of a myriad of profound, coaching related quotes from children’s books. Winnie the Pooh is full of them. So much so that Benjamin Hoff wrote “The Tao of Pooh” (a favorite book of mine) using “Winnie The Pooh” to explain Taoism to Westerners.
Children often get these wonderful messages from the books they read (that is if reading is a priority in their young lives…). Unfortunately throughout life they also get many different messages that create negative underlying beliefs. They are told to become someone they are not and often do so in order to fit in. That is unfortunate. But that is where our role as a coach becomes important. We have a mission to remind our clients of those beautiful messages from their children’s stories and that they can live their most authentic, best life.
I would recommend to anyone who reads this, to Google quotes from their favorite children’s stories and listen to the messages they deliver. Read the “Tao of Pooh” and see the simplicity and beauty of the wisdom of all of the characters in the book.
You will find when you do, that…..
“You’ve always had the power, my dear. You’ve had it all along.”
Change is not easy to do.
Recently I decided to make a reasonably big change with my business and redo my website. I will not only be getting a new design and updated content, but I will be adding some new offerings and updating old ones. Yesterday, as I was thinking about creating this new blog post and thinking about the topic, the idea of making change came to me. Change is not easy to do.
Sometimes recognizing a need for change can really require deep personal work.
Often the biggest block to making a change is in recognizing the need for change. For me it was deciding that, though my website was updated only a couple of years ago, it is in need of a revision to keep up with the changes with my business and the changes in marketing. That was not too hard to do. But sometimes recognizing a need for change can really require deep and honest personal work. That can be the case with a need for changes in all areas of life including in riding. Maybe there is a deep fear of something, a need to always be perfect, a stream of negative self-talk or maybe an unwillingness to take responsibility for success. Whatever it may be, you first need to acknowledge what is blocking progress and then make a plan to create some change in your life.
It often seems easier to just stay the same and stay in that proverbial “comfort zone.”
Then the hard work continues. Because as much as we may want to move forward and do things differently, it often seems easier to just stay the same and stay in that proverbial “comfort zone.” That has been something I have been dealing with since I decided to change my website. It is going to take me time and money to get this done. I could just as easily leave it alone and keep doing as I have been doing. Life in the short term would seem so much nicer. But without that investment of time and money now, I will not make the progress I would like and keep growing my business. That could be okay too. It is a choice I made to make this change and it could as easily be a choice not to.
What do you choose and how is what you are doing now serving you?
I often ask clients who ride with me the following questions when they struggle to make a change and become resistant to doing so. “It is your choice make the change. What do you choose and how is what you are doing now serving you?” That puts the responsibility in their hands and makes them really think about where they are and if they want to make a change. Usually they decide they do and they begin to take action. That is when a plan is made with strategies to help them move forward and benchmarks created along the way. As their coach, I help them with the accountability part and I support them when there are bumps in the road. It is hard work to create a change in your life, your riding or your business/career. But it is well worth the effort. As I write this I am reminding myself that all of this work on my website will be well worth the effort as well. So, I am off to continue my hard work on that. I hope to be able to share it with you soon! What do you want to change and what is your plan? I would love to hear all about it!!
I was feeling stuck and the creative juices did not want to flow.
This spring was long in coming in the Northeast and between that and being very busy in March and April (a good thing!) I got somewhat behind on my blogging and social media posts. It wasn’t so much because of a lack of time, but more because I was feeling stuck and the creative juices did not want to flow. I did do posts and even weekly quick tips and kept plugging away at things, but nothing really inspiring came to me, particularly for my longer blog posts. I sat with this “stuckness” and tried not to worry about it too much as forcing something to happen just wasn’t going to work. Beating myself up for this wasn’t going to serve any purpose.
Focused on taking care of me and doing things that filled me up with joy.
What I did instead was to focus on taking care of me and doing things that fill me up with joy. The main thing that does that this time of year is working on my patio garden. It becomes my outside office for the summer. It is filled with beautiful flowers and lots of color and it helps to recharge my soul. It did just that! Low and behold I am now motivated and wanting to write. In fact, I am starting to write a book around mindful riding filled with my quick tips and suggestions for a more mindful and focused life on and off the horse. I realized that during this stuck time lots of things were brewing in my head and I needed just to get away from worrying about producing things. As I took a break, took care of me and let go of forcing my creativity, ideas began to come together and I now feel recharged.
Sometimes plateaus are reached and riders can feel stuck and frustrated.
As I was thinking about this I thought I would share it with you as this can happen in riding and training as well. Sometimes plateaus are reached and riders can feel very stuck and frustrated. They may feel that no progress or learning is happening. In fact, it is in these times that real learning and creativity is occurring. When frustration is replaced with patience and self-compassion wonderful things can occur. You will suddenly realize you have reached another level in your riding. So, next time you feel stuck and frustrated be kind to yourself and take a break from trying so hard. Keep moving along but don’t try and force results. You will be pleasantly surprised how eventually self-growth and positive things will occur. Be patient.
Do you aspire to be perfect in everything you do?
What type of successes have you had with perfection? None, I am sure, as perfection is really not possible. But the aspiration to be perfect is driven by a lot of good intention. Someone who wants to be perfect is always trying to do well. But often they are also stuck in place, because in trying to be perfect, they never take any chance that may prevent that perfect outcome. Striving for perfection also leads to a lot of frustration, since the goal is unattainable. That frustration then prevents learning from mistakes. Mistakes are perceived as reasons for self-judgment instead of opportunities for learning and growth
How can you maintain your desire to do your best work and move past the need for perfection?
Shift your perspective to doing just that, your best work on that day. Each day and situation is different and as long as you are doing your best, you will get the best outcome for that moment. Then look at your outcome, without judgment, and analyze what went well. Focusing on the positive aspects of an outcome will help you build on the positive for next time. Then look at what you would like to change and learn as much as you can. Get a better understanding of any mistakes or missed opportunities, focusing on what wasn’t working and what changes could be made, letting go of any blame or regret.
How can you maintain this practice?
As you go forward, apply the new changes and repeat the same cycle of doing your best, building on what is working, adjusting what isn’t without blame or judgment, and learning and growing. When you feel the need for perfection welling up, don’t beat yourself up for it. Just sit with it, be aware, let go and try and shift your perspective. Even this practice is not perfect. Nothing is. Learn from what works and what doesn’t, hold yourself with compassion and let go of self-judgment. Your will begin to feel a great sense of freedom and peace each time you do so.