EMHH Episode 23: Goals vs Results: Why the Difference Matters

Apr 21, 2022

If you’re like many horse people, you set goals. Maybe you have a goal to improve your horsemanship, compete at a certain level or explore a challenging trail.

And while goals can be useful, there’s a big difference between achieving a goal and getting the RESULT that you want. Overlooking this distinction
can lead to disappointment and frustration.

In this episode, I’ll walk you through the process of clarifying what RESULT you hope to achieve and how a simple, powerful mindset shift can help you get the satisfying outcome you dreamed of. Thank you for listening!

Want to get expert coaching on putting this into practice to help your horse - and yourself - have more flexible, balanced and confident movement?

Go to https://www.marydebono.com/joinhorse to join the waitlist for our online group coaching program, "Move With Your Horse."

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Hello, and welcome to easier movement, happier horses. My name is Mary Debono. And today we're going to talk about the difference between goals and results and why it's crucial that you recognize this difference, that you know, the difference between having a goal and wanting a particular result. Okay. So let me give you an example. When people join my community,

my move with your horse or happy, healthy horsewomen community, I often ask them what they'd like to improve. Like what's their goal. And a very common response is that they want to have for your hips, more flexible hips. They say, you know, my hips are really stiff. My hips are tight. That's usually a big issue for them.

And so their goal is to have more flexible hips. Okay. Very common. Another common one is they want to have more confidence. They don't want to feel so anxious or tense when they're with their horse. So those are a couple of common ones. And so let's use that as an example, let's use the one about the hips as an example,

so we can save like that. So goal to have for your more flexible hips, but we have to think about what does that give you? Why do you want more flexible hips for example? And a very common reason is so that I can ride my horse better than I can drape my legs around my horse in a way that my weight is distributed.

And, you know, I feel more secure in my horses, more comfortable, and I can have myself, you know, my position can be a lot better, a lot more effective, a lot more elegant, all those things. It could just feel better to me. So then you have to ask, why is that important to you? What are you getting from having that?

Now that may seem like a silly question. Well, Mary, of course, you know, riding better. Why do you need any more than that? But you really, to help you improve, to really get this in your nervous system, it's important to know why you want that. So for a lot of people, what they'll tell me is,

well, why do I want to ride better? Well, I want, and I'll ask them well, what is the feeling that being a competent, secure rider gives you and many answers are, well, I liked the, the fun that being, you know, riding my horse brings. I like the feeling of excitement, adventure, or like that deep connection that like moving as one feeling.

So again, I, I sometimes press them even more and say, well, what does that give you? And you know, then they'll, they'll ultimately usually come up with either like a feeling of joy. That's usually pretty common, or they'll say happiness or love or something like that. But in other words, it's, we, we keep like going up a level till you can discover till you can really feel like,

why do you want what you want? Okay. Now let's go back again to the, for your hip. So if you just have this goal of, I want more flexible hips, that can not only be, not that helpful, but it can backfire because for example, just say you have you come across an exercise program of some

kind or stretching or something like that that can help at least temporarily reduce the tension around the hip joints,

right? The muscles around the hip joints. Okay. That'll give you the sensation of more flexible hips, but unless your brain has learned to integrate that, that's not going to give you the results you want, which is to be a more skillful, secure, more balanced, competent rider. Okay. Which then we know why we want that is for the excitement,

joy, all that good stuff. So this is really important to, to chunk this down and to know why we're doing what we're doing. Because again, if you focus on something like flexible hips, you're not going to get the results because it could actually leave you more vulnerable to injury. Because if you even temporarily have the sensation of more flexible hips,

but you haven't learned to integrate, to use your pelvis in your back in a different way to support that, to go along with that, what can happen is that you can just have an injury to your hip or some other place, because it's not integrated into your whole movement repertoire into your self image. So in the work that I teach the Feldenkrais Method,

it's very much about integrating all the parts because the way the brain works, the way your, your whole system works is you don't move piece by piece. Like in other words, body parts don't exist in isolation, right? Your nervous system, your brain coordinates the movement of all the parts. Okay. And that's what creates healthy, functional movement. Simply focusing on one part,

trying to quote unquote, release it. Things like that can really backfire. So again, this is why it's important to, to ask yourself, why do you want that? So if you think about this idea of more confidence, we can, we can go to that example. Why do you want to feel less tense again? That may seem like a crazy silly question.

Well, because it feels better to be more confident. Okay. Now we're getting somewhere. What do you want to feel instead? What is the feeling you're after and confidence? You know, that's a funny one because what does that mean to you? That can mean different things to different people. So what is the feeling? How do you know when you're confident?

I'll put it that way. How do you know when you're confident? So think about that. How do you know when you're confident? Maybe there's an absence of something. So what is that feeling? That's an absence absence of something, right? Maybe it is a feeling of joy of connection of love, if you will, you know, w so think about that again,

this is important because this is what's going to allow you to get the result that you actually want. So drilling down to this level will is for a reason. Okay. It's for an important reason. Now, maybe another goal you have is something that you'd like your horse to do, right? Maybe there's a particular show that you want to compete in,

or a series of shows or certain awards you want to win. Again, I would encourage you to ask yourself what feeling will that give you when you accomplish that? And then, you know, and again, you keep kind of going up a level, well, what does that give you? What does that give you? Okay. Until you really get to the core.

And when you get to the core feeling, whether that's love or joy or, you know, whatever it happens to be, I would encourage you to start embodying that feeling now to, to, to just feel it now, because that is what's going to help you get that result. So start just having that feeling. Now you can call it up.

Okay. And that's also going to give you the motivation to do the steps necessary to get the results you want. Okay. So this is really important. This is how your neurology works. So think about a goal now, maybe, maybe a different goal would be, I want my horse to, you know, to do specific dressage movements. Like there,

maybe the specific ones you're working on, that you want your horse to do them better. Okay. And so again, what would getting there, what would accomplishing that give you what feeling, how would that serve you? What would that do to improve your life? And then keep asking yourself up, you know, a level, what would that give you?

What would that give you? Why get back, give you until you can't go any higher and then start embodying that feeling now and make that a non-negotiable because this is what I see a lot. People will have a goal and they'll be very firm about it. And then like almost compulsive about it and becomes like they bring it into their life in such a way they're very narrow focused and that might be admirable,

but they lose sight of what the results really is. In other words, they lose sight of why they chose that goal. And then for example, I see this so much with horse shows. Again, I have nothing against horse shows, as long as you keep your horses wellbeing as your highest priority, but people will have these goals of attending certain shows and getting certain awards,

you know, qualifying for the championships, you know, all these things. And that's great. That could be really motivating and all that good stuff. But if you lose sight of the feeling that you want from that, then it, it can all go to heck in a hand basket. And that's when your horse suffers. That's when you get tense,

that's when you start putting this undo pressure on yourself, and it's no longer fun. And then competing at the show becomes the whole thing becomes your whole goal. When really you, you were using that as a stepping stone to feeling a certain way to building maybe a deeper connection with your horse, to having more adventures with your horse, more fun, again,

more joy, right? So we need to know why we're doing what we're doing, and we have to keep questioning it. This is important. Otherwise you'll go off the rails. Okay. And I remember I was just a young kid and my dad and my sisters and I were went to a horse show. This is even before we had our own horse and we used to go and watch the shows and stuff.

And they were watching a, it was a hunter jumper show, and this was like a hunter hat class or something on the flat. And I remember this girl, she was on this magnificent horse and it was a fairly large class. And she came in third. So she got handed her third place ribbon. And they, they all came out of the gate at the end of the class and into complete disgust.

She threw the ribbon down on the ground and then yanked on her horses mouth. And I remember my, we were all my sisters, my dad and I were just so horrified that she did that. First of all, she just like, she was so angry that apparently she was angry that she didn't get the blue ribbon. She didn't get first place.

And I thought, wow, like I never even knew then, like I never want to be that girl. Okay. And I do, I have over the year seeing this over and over again, I I've had clients with that. Put a lot of pressure on themselves. They had very, very fancy horses with very fancy trainers. And they were expected to compete at a high level.

And they realized that that wasn't what they wanted to do anymore, but they felt the pressure of it. So they, they felt kind of forced into it. So again, they forgot their why they forgot what they, you know, why they were, were doing this. Why would they going down that path and that they didn't realize they could choose another path and still keep that injury result that highest feeling in mind and have that with their horse,

that they maybe didn't have to show anymore. Didn't have to do that particular thing anymore. So I'd find this is so important for all of us to, to question why we're doing what we're doing. Okay. And so again, whether it's like, maybe there's a certain, you know, thing you're doing with your horse, maybe you want to go on a certain trail or,

you know, be confident enough to take your horse out camping or something like that. Again, keep asking about your why, and then start to embody that feeling right now, bring that into all your, you know, encounters your interactions with your horse. And that will start you on the path to getting what you really, really truly want. Okay.

So goals are great, but you really have to think about results. What is the result that you want? Okay. So keep that in mind and make that your non-negotiable again, embody it, embody that feeling and it'll serve you quite well. So I'd love to hear what, what, what goals and results this inspired in you? Are there things you're working on right now that is either a goal with your horse,

or maybe even a goal outside of your horse life that you'd like to have to do. And it'd be really fun to think about why do you want that? Because that may be something that you think, or you thought you wanted, but the ultimate result is no longer what you want. So keep asking yourself, what is the feeling that I want?

And there's something I'll, I'll leave you with. One more thing. Before we close, there was something my husband, who's a really smart guy, by the way, he said to me a long, long time ago, cause he does a lot of this type of work with people. And he's both a Feldenkrais Practitioner and NLP Practitioner for many,

many years as well. And all kinds of modalities. He does like this. And he re reminded me a long time ago. He said, "First comes the feeling, then the events to justify it." That means, for example, if you find yourself constantly falling back into like similar negative situations probably started with the way you felt and then your, your,

your brain filtered the, the events, the circumstances of your life to match that feeling. Okay. So it can work in reverse as well. That in other words, first comes the feeling in a positive way, right? A really positive way. It's that feeling of joy, love, connection, whatever you want to call it. And then our brain helps us get those results in many different ways,

right? Then the events come to justify it so we can feel a certain way. And that basically attracts us, motivates us, inspires us, brings the circumstances to us to match that feeling. Very, very important distinction here. So remember that you can have a goal, but ask yourself, why do you want it? And keep chunking up a level,

keep going up a level and asking what is the ultimate feeling you're after start embodying that feeling right now. And you'll find that it'll be much, much easier to get those results that you want to, to meet your goals, achieve your goals if you will. So I hope you found this helpful again. I'd love to hear from you [email protected].

and I can't wait to share more with you again, pretty soon, Bye for now.