Take chances, make mistakes. That's how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave. ~ Mary Tyler Moore Click To Tweet
Those of you who are familiar with me, know that I’m frank and honest, especially when it comes to my self-doubt and anxiety. Meeting me in person, you would never know that I struggle from time to time with confidence issues. Of course, that all blew up when I published Confessions of a Timid Rider and it became an Amazon Bestseller! (Shameless plug).
But here is the thing…in life I have a lot of confidence, until I don’t. Meeting me at an event or elsewhere I am friendly, positive, and sometimes a little too high energy (aka manic). The latter is because I’m probably nervous and talk too much as a defense mechanism. I tend to internalize my stress and worry.
The above being said, I am very upfront about my anxieties when necessary. I was terrified to start writing, and instead of something safe, I published a very personal journal entry when I started my blog. My hands shook as I hit that big blue “Publish” button.
My writing hit a nerve with many people in a positive way and it gave me confidence to keep going. But with my success the bar also rose, and rose, and rose. The more success the greater I feared failing.
I didn't realize I was so anxious until I started writing my thoughts down. Click To Tweet
With recent events in the news about depression, suicide, and mental illness I think it is incredibly important to talk about these things. I don’t mean in a woe is me way, but in a “you aren’t alone” way.
While I have never felt suicidal, I do know what it is like to lose a friend to suicide. I know that I worry for my growing daughters in a world that is so visible and confrontational. I know from personal experience what it is to watch my loved ones struggle daily with severe anxiety, dark thoughts, and self-medication. Social media is a huge asset to me in my work but I know better than most how things can be spun to look better or bigger than they are in reality. I stress to my children that everything in life has balance. For all the positive we see and celebrate in public, there is a darker opposite that remains quietly hidden away.
In the tight-knit equestrian world there is an amazing sense of community. The barn families and networks of people who feel incredibly passionate about horses never ceases to astound me. But there is a darker side as with everything. The side where people judge others for “looking like a sack of potatoes” or not having the right body type to fit in breeches (which are very unflattering by the way unless you are a size 2). It may not be overt and it may not be intended to be harmful, but it does hurt.
My book does really put my heart and feelings out for the world to see and to judge. That is the risk I knowingly took. It terrifies me that it will be used against me but I choose instead to hope that it will help others. That is the thought that I keep hold of at night when my confidence wanes.
My friend Rochelle of The Broke Dog had the brilliant idea to spark a conversation in a way that we know best- blogging! So please do visit the other blogs below and realize we all have our own story. We all struggle with something.
Me? I struggle with wondering if I am a good mother and wife. Do I spend too much time working or do my children see my ambition and drive as a positive? Am I a good rider, a good role model, and a good person?
Everyone has some level of anxiety. It is a biological imperative that prevents us from doing something dangerous. The trick is being able to discern between what is truly dangerous and what simply scares us.
What would you confess if you were brave enough?