Updated: Aug 14, 2020
Welcome to this weeks edition of Take 5 things, this week we learn from Sophie Green a mindset coach. Often it is not our physical ability that holds us back from our dreams, but our mental ability and mindset.
Hi, I’m Sophie, the founder and owner of Evergreen Coaching. I am an equestrian mindset coach working with riders from a broad range of disciplines. I work with lots of different horse riders and I think that mindset is often something which is not given enough attention in the industry or people know they should do more of it, but think it’s a bit ‘fluffy’. Being a rider myself, I really understand where they are coming from as that used to be me. However, when I started mindset work and realised just how powerful it could be, I started to wonder why on earth I hadn’t been told about it earlier. I was frustrated with all of the things I had struggled with for so many years, which actually could have been resolved simply with some
mindset work. I also wondered how successful I might have been in my riding by now, had I started this work earlier, but hindsight is a great thing and we really mustn’t dwell on these things. So my message to you, don’t wait! Get started on your mindset now, because success is 80% mindset, so without it, you’re going to struggle.
So, what are my five top tips for success?
1) Understand what mindset actually is
Whenever I talk about mindset, people seem to think that I mean you should just walk around trying to be super happy all the time. It’s not like that at all. We are all human and even the best masters of mindset still have their wobbles. So what does it mean? It means that you have the tools and strength of mind to be hit by challenges and know what to do next. It means that you can see the positive aspects of something negative which is happening. It means that you are no longer overwhelmed by something which you previously wouldn’t have coped well with, and it means that once you get past the dark times, you can see a light at the end of the tunnel.
A mindset coach can help you with a variety of techniques to use when you are faced with challenges, so that you have the tools to deal with your own struggles, even when you are not sitting in front of your coach.
2) Create a morning routine
I’d say that one of the first places to start with your mindset, would be to introduce a morning routine. A lot of people (including myself to start with), say that they do not have time to do a morning routine, but you really do. We are not talking about a full hour of meditation, yoga and chanting (although if that’s what you enjoy then go for it!). My morning routine lasts 20 minutes max., but it’s all down to personal choice. Here’s what I do:
Go for a run or walk the dog - I don’t do this every single morning and I certainly wouldn’t push yourself to do this if it’s not your kind of thing. I only do it because otherwise I get up 5 minutes before I need to leave the house (not quite 5 mins, but might as well be!) and end up rushing around with no time to do the rest of my morning routine, so I make sure I try and give myself something else to get up for. (This isn’t included in the 20 mins mentioned above)
Speak out loud or write down everything I am grateful for- These really vary every day. At first I just wrote down the same thing every day like ‘I am grateful that my car gets me from A to B’, but I realised that I really wasn’t feeling those gratitudes, yes I was grateful that my car did that, but I was just writing what I thought I should be. I now basically just wait and see what comes out of my mouth. What do I really feel that day? One day I said ‘I am so grateful for all of the new life I am seeing in my garden’. That is such an ‘un-me’ thing to say, but it just came out and I realised that is genuinely what I felt.
Speak out loud or write down at least 5 affirmations- These are things that you want to tell yourself, but perhaps previously haven’t believed. For example, if you think that you are rubbish at the dressage phase of eventing, your new affirmation might be ‘I am an excellent dressage rider’. Again with your affirmations you really need to believe in them for them to work and you need to get those little negative thoughts out of your mind. Really immerse yourself in how it would feel to achieve these things. If you go out and win your next dressage competition, how would that feel? When I first did them I just kept saying things like “I am successful, well I’m not, but I’ll just keep saying I am”. No, no, no, what it should be is; ‘I am successful, end of!’. When those little negative thoughts creep in, I literally tell them to get lost. (See tip 4 below, what you believe is what you can achieve!)
Journaling- There are four main parts to this: A) Write down the event and your interpretations of it. B) What are your beliefs around the event whether they are rational or irrational. C) How you feel and how you reacted/would react? D) Think about how you would react/feel differently next time which might lead to healthier consequences.
Listen to a 5-10 minute guided meditation- You can find these simply on YouTube or there are free apps. I am really picky about these, if the persons voice annoys me or they say something I don’t quite resonate with, I end up just not listening. However, it can get boring listening to the same one every day, so spend a bit of time going through a few and seeing which ones you like, and keep them in a list. I like ones which talk me through picturing myself somewhere to remember great feelings, or envisaging abundance in my life.
Listen to an upbeat/powerful song- This just finishes it off nicely, I either dance around the house like a mad woman or I put my headphones in and just shout it out! Do whatever works for you, but I find this just brings real joy to my morning and really wakes me up!
Don’t forget that a morning routine is unique to you, so you don’t have to follow what everyone else does. Some mornings I just pick two or three of the above, you just have to find what works for you.
3) Make it a long-term habit, not just a phase
It’s really easy to just work on your mindset once and then think it hasn’t worked because you haven’t seen the results yet. Working on your mindset is not a one-off action which guarantees you results, it is a lifestyle change which is long term. You need to be consistent in your messaging to the universe, but let me be clear; this doesn’t mean it should be a chore or something you have to do. Once you start to recognise the power of your mindset and the results that come from that consistency, you really won’t want to stop with your
4) What you believe is what you can achieve
What you really need to get your head around is that your subconscious and the universe have no understanding of what is real and what is not. You process so many thousands of thoughts per minute, your brain has to work out which ones are important to you or not. Therefore, if you are thinking negative thoughts for the majority of the time, your subconscious assumes that is what you want it to provide you with. You might have heard about the law of attraction (it’s a Universal law, just like gravity!) which states that positivity
attracts positivity and negativity attracts negativity. Well, if your main thoughts are negative, guess what the universe is going to give you? Yep, negative things, like bills mounting up, car breaking down, a fall from your horse. The trouble is you actually, without knowing it, asked for this. Start truly believing in success, and success is what you will achieve.
5) You can be grateful for/affirm things in the future
I used to think that I could only be grateful for things that have already happened. But remember me saying before that your subconscious doesn’t know what is true or not? Well why not try being grateful for something that hasn’t happened yet. Your subconscious thinks it has already happened and therefore supports any actions which would get you to that point.
This also works when you are envisioning something. For example, when I feel like I am lacking confidence, I close my eyes and imagine what it would feel like to walk out on stage, with my favourite dress and heels on and absolutely nailing a speech to students at my old University, with me bubbling over with confidence. Some people like to look back to times they felt confident, but for me, the feeling of confidence is a new thing, so I like to look at future me. When you are imagining that situation, make sure all the senses are at play.
What would it feel like? What would you hear? What would you see? Does it bring a familiar smell? Is there a familiar taste? Perhaps you can imagine sipping that champagne when you come out of there and celebrate! Try using a vision board to collate all of the things you are dreaming of achieving. When you look at each one, imagine what it would feel like to have
it, or be there. Imagine jumping clear round your dream cross country course. Imagine the sound of people cheering, the smell of the hoof oil you’ve just used, the taste of champagne when you celebrate your round and the sight of everyone’s beaming faces when you get to the finish line in first place. Keep those feelings in your mind and don’t let go until you achieve it.
So, there you have my five top tips. I could go into so much more detail, but it would just be overwhelming! I’d love to hear from you, let me know what you thought of this blog, and tag me and EquiNation, we would love to hear what your favourite take-away from this blog
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