“Be Yourself - Everyone Else is Already Taken." - Oscar Wilde
Authenticity is all about being the rider you know in your heart you have always been destined to be. It does not come from your ‘stars & stripes’ in riding. It is not defined by your title, position or role.
Authenticity comes from your being and the rider that you are. The authentic self is the YOU that can be found at your absolute core.
Horses love to spend time with you when you stay true to your authentic self. And being with horses also gives you a clearer sense of who you truly are.
But sometimes we've been taught by our parents, teachers, spouses, friends, and other riders, that it's more important to be liked and to fit in than it is to be who we truly are. Inconsistency will affect our horses and can create imbalance, so it's important to stay true to our authentic self.
How can you stay true to yourself? Here are a couple of ideas:
1. Risk to Be Yourself
Dare to be YOU
Some riders are too concerned with what others think of them. If you are constantly concerned about how others view you, if you said the right thing, or behaved appropriately, you'll forget who you truly are and what matters most in their life.
Don’t manipulate your personality to seek approval or to avoid disapproval. This masks your true or authentic self. And that will affect the relationship with your horse!
In order to be real and true to yourself, it's important to let go of fears about what others think. Instead of trying to fit in / be nice / agree with everyone, how about taking a risk to be yourself / stand out from others / and have your own opinion! Horses go where they find sincerity and authenticity.
So these thoughts might be of some help:
- Who you are is good enough.
- Don't wait for approval, don't avoid disapproval.
- We are all different and it's okay.
- Stop comparing yourself to other riders. YOU are an original.
- It's your life. Your Horse. Your Choices. Your Actions. Do it your authentic way with no regrets.
- Trust yourself. Think for yourself. Act for yourself. Speak for yourself. Be yourself.
- Fitting in is a short-term strategy, standing out pays off in the long run.
2. Take Care of Yourself
You can do great things with your horse if you feel good.
If you feel good, there's a much bigger chance that the togetherness with your horse will feel good.
Taking care of yourself can make you feel good and is a sign of self-respect. Feeling good and self-respect will influence the relationship with your horse positively. So here are some tips to take good care of yourself:
- Eat well, sleep well, drink plenty of water, care for your body, exercise, and breath properly to stay physical in balance.
- Be aware of your thoughts and the influence of your thoughts. Stand guard at the door of your mind and choose your thoughts with care to stay mentally and emotionally in balance.
- Take time each day to connect with your true self, whether it's through meditation, contemplation, prayer, or a walk in nature, to center within and to get in tune with your unique spiritual self.
3. Be Present
Live fully NOW!
Horses live in the moment. They don’t think about the past or future. They don’t obsess over the past or worry about the future, they live in the moment.
Being authentic requires a genuine sharing in the present moment. Direct experience is always in the present.
Let go of the past, it's over. Let go of your worry for the future. Let go of other's expectations. Just be present.
Simply being in the moment and showing up as your true authentic self is the best you can do for your horse!
4. Deepen Yourself
Learn, Grow, Widen, Deepen
Knowing yourself is the beginning of good horsemanship. Authentic riders know themselves intimately: they know their weaknesses and play to their strengths. From there, they will learn, grow, widen and deepen:
Strive for constant and never-ending improvement in everything you do. No rider is perfect and every rider is a work in progress, therefore do not seek perfection but seek for becoming a better version of yourself.
And than: dare to dream impossible dreams. It is from our dreams and imaginations that great things are born:
- Live into a grand, authentic vision of who you can become.
- Know with crystallized clarity what you want and don't want.
- Stop compromising you dreams to please others.
- Live into your highest authentic self.
Authenticity is all about taking the road less travelled, and doing, not what is easy, but what is right. Don’t walk the path of least resistance. Remember: One who walks in another's tracks leaves no footprints. Take the path less traveled and make a difference.
5. Share your gifts
Make a difference!
Authentic riders genuinely care about their horse and other riders and spend their days not only developing themselves but also developing the riders and horses around them.
Part of our authentic mission in life will be to share our gifts with as many horses, riders and other people as possible:
- Empower yourself with knowledge to find your unique value and offer that to the world!
- What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.
- Discover your true passion and take your talents out into the world!
- Be like the sun to your horse: the sun gives away all it has to the plants and the trees. But in return, the plants and the trees always grow toward the sun.
Embrace Your Uniqueness and Be Your Authentic Self!
Being authentic, real and true to yourself is the ultimate freedom! And the more riders that honor their uniqueness, speak their truth, and live life authentically, the more that will feel safe to do the same.
Remember: like attracts like, so those who enjoy being real will be drawn to your unique magnificence!
What's your way to stay true to your authentic self?