For those who follow me, you may have noticed an absence of my Monday Blogday blogs for a while… Or, maybe not – I’m not sure how many people read my own meandering thoughts, I write them to get my brain in line and thoughts in a row…
The ever rising amount of time I spent in front of a laptop, teaching and consulting online is in part to blame – I actually love teaching online lessons and it continues to amaze me, how similar they are to my being there in person, but still, sitting in front of a screen doesn’t give me the pony time I want – the most frustrating part of the lesson is not being able to give the pony an ear rub, or a sweetie out of my pocket at the end of a good ride. But, there’s been a lot more involved than that…
Big new projects require a leap of faith, don’t they? I’ve got a lot of new ideas drip filtering their way through the coffee pot of my mind, and procrastination and indecision have become even closer friends of mine than normal. As part of this procrastination, I was watching a webinar in which the host was talking about the differences between stalling because you genuinely are not ready to do something, and stalling because of the reasons that you’re scared to do it. I watched it twice – (no, not actual procrastination the second time – he really resonated with me, and I wanted to pay more attention…)
If there is something that seems to be taking forever to get going, sit yourself down with a piece of paper and a cup of coffee… Draw a line down the middle of your page and start writing… We’re going to slice through your procrastination… On the left of the page, list all the practical, real things that are holding you back in doing this – why are you truly not ready to take this task on? On the right, list all the reasons why this job scares you. Retrospectively, I’ve written my list about why it took me so long to agree to teach online, just to show you practically.
|What can’t I do / haven’t organized||What scares me|
|Create a paid Zoom account||Will I be able to see enough to make it worthwhile to the pupil?|
|Get head around hosting the zoom call||How will I talk through things like arena patterns without being able to walk through them on my feet?|
|Make sure the PayPal billing will work||What if my laptop has a tech issue?|
|Back up plan for a rider without blue tooth headset||What if smoke comes pouring out of my brain when I can’t get it to work?|
|Figure out Pivo to WhatsApp call||But, but, but…|
|Plan how actual, in person, clinics will work around having existing online lessons booked in||How do I reduce the risk of trying, to the pupil?|
|Buy better earphones and microphone|
Once you have a list of the practical issues, you have a concrete starting block, something to work through. I ticked the list, got it all working, and… Took the plunge. Once I’d done an hour or two, I saw that it actually makes me a better teacher because I have to find the words. I’ve always been slightly irritated by coaches who say – oh, hand your horse over, I’ll just ride the exercise / get him straight / make him forward, whatever the problem, because they’re there to TEACH the rider to do it, not show the rider that they, the coach, is the better rider. (A trainer said to me, many, many years ago, your trainer should be able to get a tune out of your horse, otherwise, why are you paying them to train you??) But, I found this with myself when I started to teach online – I couldn’t rely on adding an elastic band, or getting the rider to feel the contact of my rein – I had to find the words to talk them through it. And, it has made me more effective. The lessons are working, my “Arghhhh” nerves about it have gone…
I’m applying this to other projects now – why is my procrastination such a big deal – how much is a lack of preparation and how much is having the faith to take the jump. And it’s made me teach differently too. When a rider is struggling to achieve a goal, how much do we need to continue breaking down the practicalities, work through a checklist to make utterly sure that they have all of the tools in their toolkit and how much do they need to take the leap.
There is a movement coach who I love to watch, and I always think of one of his video clips. He has a client standing on the handrail of a staircase in a park. The client is way above him, and the trainer is on the steps, offering his hand as a supporting grip. He tells the client – I won’t be the one to let go of your hand – I’ll support you as long ass you need me, but your body will only find it’s own balance when YOU choose to let go of me and find the balance yourself… After a few failed attempts, the client lets go, stands vertically and finds his balance… they’d done the prep, they both knew he was ready, but the negative voice in his brain was telling him to keep holding on. Only when he let go, did the whole picture come good…
My technophobia is not under control, but it’s getting better. My chaotic, messy, jumble of projects are coming back under control, my to do lists are clarifying, and hopefully my Monday Blogdays can come back…
What’s going on with you and your pony that you’re procrastinating about? Can you get the help with the practical side, so that you’re left only with your “What-ifs” and take the leap that gets you where you want to go?