Following are some fun insights from one of my Youth Webinars in April. The homework had been to create a poster;

A list of the people’s opinions of you and/or your horse that you have heard over the past month, and a creative way to show that you reject or accept those opinions and why. The opinions could be from a parent, instructor, teacher, friend or even an opinion that you might apply to yourself that you see on social media.

Before we reviewed the posters, we spoke again about our values and how important it is to remember the things that are important to us when interpreting people’s opinions. It was fun to review the values that we want to grow: fitting in vs being original, learning vs knowing, exercising, being good, being successful and so on. Also, to notice that the Fear of People’s Opinions could have an effect on what we think we should value.

Everyone was super honest about the things people have said. It was a great share. I was also impressed by how all the girls could instantly recognize why someone might mistake someone for being boring or unfocused and how they helped each other with this. They easily brought up that if someone does not know anything about horses, or whatever your interest is, and that is what you are passionate about, they may not share the same energy toward it. However, in the moment it is sometimes hard to process this, and instead, we may feel hurt about the opinion of us. We also were able to really talk about how the person with the opinion can hold on to their opinion, and we do not need to change it. We can reject their opinion of us, and we do not need them to understand that we do that. We just do it. We can invite them to join us in an activity that they first perceived as boring, so they can actually find out if it is boring or not, but we do not need to convince them in one way or another for it to create the simple fact that we are not boring.

It was also interesting to notice that some of the opinions were, actually, self-talk. This is something that we all need to work on. Having a bad opinion of ourselves is not healthy. So, we discussed creating a ritual of using better words, and explaining to ourselves that we are not anxious, we are mindful and then we can start acting more mindful and less anxious. If we value being mindful then we can grow that, if we do not value being anxious then we must not let our self-talk label us as anxious.

Another great discussion was about understanding that someone might label us or our horses as something, and we do not have to accept it, even though it may occasionally be true. If we have a horse that has a weak link, we can accept the weak link, but we can also work on it and improve it. Just because someone says it is a problem does not mean it cannot be improved. The same with us, just because someone says we have bad time management skills does not mean we have to accept that as part of who we are. If we value time management then we can work on building the skill of time management. If one allows them self to be labeled this way, then it will control them if I say okay, I accept that I have occasionally exhibited bad time management, but that is not who I am, I will be able to improve this.  I challenge you to create your own poster 😊 For me it was a great insight into where I am, where I want to grow and how I am going to create more healthy relationships and thought patterns. I hope you have fun with this! As always, send your questions through the website or to [email protected], I am looking forward to hearing from you.