Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. ~ Thomas Merton

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Don't Try, Just Do It

I will never forget the lesson in which I first heard these words: Don't try, just do it.

I was taking periodic lessons from a natural dressage instructor.  He had laid out a pattern for me to ride and when he'd finished giving his instruction, my reply was, "I'll try."  And that's when I heard those words.

How many times, in doing something with our horses, do we try?  We try to get out to the barn more often, we try to follow the Patterns, we try to be more creative, less demanding, more provocative, less critical.

If I asked you to try to tie your shoes, that request would seem silly.  Of course you can tie your shoes.  You don't try, you just do it.  But if I asked you to do it with one hand, would your reply be to do it or to say, "I'll try."

You see, buried in the phrase I'll try is the acceptance of failure.  Think about it.

Saying "I'll try" is the precursor to saying "I tried."  I'll try to get to the barn three times a week leads to I didn't get out there at all but at least I tried.

Don't try, just do it.

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with failure.  And there's nothing wrong with fear.  Failure can be the gateway to amazing discoveries.  Fear is the mind protecting the body.

I'll try is not about failure or fear.  It's about the fear of failure.

The fear of failure stops us from moving forward.

I've been afraid.  I've failed.  I'll be there again, no doubt.  But I don't want to be afraid to fail.  Being afraid to fail keeps me in the arena.  Being afraid to fail keeps me walking endless, boring circles.  Being afraid to fail keeps me from being a partner and a leader.

I have experienced amazing things with Cricket over the last year and even more so over the past several months.  In large part because I've finally quit trying.


Tina said...

Awesome post, Lisa. Good stuff to chew on! ;)

Tina said...

ps~ I'm totally tying my shoes one handed next time! ;)

samihob said...

Great equestrian blog - why not come and post it at hay-net.co.uk and Equine Social Blogging Network for more to follow? Be great to have you there!

ChristinaPJ said...

Just stumbled on your blog - kind of knew you had one, since Anna Mae had mentioned it on a couple of occasions, but I never pursued it. LOVE this post - saw myself in every word!

Lisa said...

Christina - glad you liked it. This is just my corner of the web where I post miscellaneous ramblings from my journey with my incredible mare, Cricket.