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Success on the Fly: Difficulty

Posted: Wednesday, Dec 19th, 2012

Chris Waugh

My sister, Janet, and I shared a pony named Rocky in our youth. She was a great rider, but I was intimidated by him and Rocky knew it. One day, he ran away with me. I still remember screaming and flailing my arms in panic. Soon after that, we sold Rocky. Janet got an Appaloosa horse, and won awards with her horsemanship. I got a car.

Decades flew by. My husband and I went to a dude ranch in Arizona for some heat and change of scene. Regarding the horses, I planned to go on a walking ride to see the desert once or twice, but mainly I intended to hike and relax by the pool.

I enjoyed that first walking ride. In fact, I felt like a real cowgirl. Impulsively, I announced that I would take the loping test, so I could go on a loping trail ride. Then I called my sister and asked her how to lope.

During the test, I panicked. It was Rocky all over again. I wasn’t screaming, but I was certainly flailing. I failed the test. The wrangler suggested I take an intermediate lesson, so I did. My performance there, too, was also embarrassing.

Overnight, I wondered about my motivation. I hadn’t really thought about getting back into the saddle since those Rocky days. But now I felt a strong urge to conquer that fear. The next day, I signed up for a fundamentals class, and followed that up with another intermediate class. I can’t say I performed well, but at least I didn’t panic.

The following day, I signed up for another loping test and passed it! I immediately took a loping ride. It was still intimidating, but it thrilled me as well. I had a big grin spread across my face as we loped...not a good idea with all that dust kicked up. I signed up for a second ride.

It took me more than 40 years to get back in that proverbial saddle. I didn’t really conquer my fear, but I feel like I faced it. And that felt good.

Overcoming the roadblocks in life can be tremendously rewarding. Try these techniques to face the difficulties in your life:

• Expect some difficulties - too often we are blindsided by them.

• Challenge the rationale of the fears that bother you.

• Reaffirm the control you have over most areas of your life.

• Instead of imagining the worst, think of a more likely outcome.

• Imagine how great you’ll feel if you conquer your difficulty.

• Act as if you feel confident. Really, it helps.

You won’t surmount every obstacle. Decide if a difficulty is a challenge to your growth, or find a way around it.

Chris Waugh is a business consultant, author and speaker who “lends wings to your success.” Visit ChrisWaugh.com or Facebook.com/chriswaughonthefly for more.

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