Do you get anxious when you ride? Or suddenly feel nervous about cantering? Would you like to feel more confident and resourceful in your life?
In this episode, I'll walk you through a simple brain hack that can help you feel more confident in any area of your life. It's helped a lot of equestrians feel more competent and joyful with their horses. It can help you too!
Full transcript of the podcast episode is below:
Hello, and welcome to Easier Movement, Happier Horses. I'm Mary Debono. And I'm so glad you're here today. We're going to talk about confidence or maybe the lack of confidence. So I have a simple brain hack for you that just takes a few minutes. And actually once you get it sorted out, it takes no time at all, and it can help you feel more confident,
more resourceful in any situation. And I've taught this to a lot of questions and they just love it because let's face it. There's so many times in our lives, whether we're riding our horse or just being around horses or just even in social or work-related situations that our confidence might be a little shaky. Right? We're getting tense. We're getting anxious. I know for me,
like if I'm going to do a presentation, you know, in front of a group, whether it's online or certainly in person, there's like a little bit of anxiety, if you will. And I found that using this little brain hack is so, so effective. And so many of my clients have told me over the years, how great this is.
For example, this gal Amy, that I was working with, she started getting really nervous about cantering, her horse. And she had written for years, actually, decades. And she was a good rider and her horse was suitable for her. That's really important. You don't want to be trying to, you know, muscle through or, you know,
force yourself to, to ride or do something that is not safe. Okay. So first we ascertain that her horse was safe. The situation was safe and that, you know, if she just increased her confidence, she'd be fine. And that's exactly what happened. You know, she just started little by little, just losing her confidence. And then it came down to the fact that any kind of cantering was a little bit scary for her and this little brain hack totally got her over that.
And I've seen this with so many people, like I said, it doesn't even have to be horse related for this to work. Okay. So let's, And for a moment, like, think about a situation where you do feel a little, a little tense, a little anxious, not super confident. And again, it could be horse related or not horse related.
You choose, you don't have to share it with anybody. Just notice that. Okay. Now think about how you'd like it to feel. How would you like that situation to play out? Okay. So Now think about this. So, so many of my, you know, clients are questions, of course. So I always have them picture whatever it is.
So for example, for you, maybe it's cantering down a wooded trail on a beautiful day. Like you would just love to be just joyful and doing that. Or maybe you want to navigate a jumper course in the show ring and just do it. So, you know, incredibly well, so competent, or maybe you want to do an elegant shoulder in,
in your<inaudible> court, or you just want to run down the trail with your horse, you know, just next to them. You want to feel competent and able to do that. So whatever the situation is, take a moment now and just, just put yourself there, put yourself there in a resourceful way. You know, you're smiling, you're happy.
Your horse is really connected with you and it's all good. Okay. Okay. So remember that you're smiling and you're breathing and you know, things that used to bother you. Maybe there's a little breeze and that used to be a little nerve wracking or what's my horse going to do, and that doesn't bother you at all. You feel secure, balanced,
and confident, Okay. By the way, speaking of secure and balanced and confident or another way in addition to this brain, hack them just about to share with you, make sure you do my Feldenkrais awareness lessons or exercises that I have. They're free totally free. If you go to Mary Debono.com/rider, they will help you feel more secure and balanced in the saddle.
That's just a little aside, okay. Back to our brain hack. So we're going to do something that's called an anchor. You're going to anchor this feeling of confidence. And again, please don't do this. If you're driving your car, riding your horse or any other place where it's unsafe to close your eyes and just focus internally, but so get to that safe place.
Okay. And now first we're going to decide on an anchor. So an anchor is a sensation that when you feel it, when you, when you sense it, it triggers something. So for example, you're, you're, you're being influenced by anchors all day, like a commercial that you've heard many times over is an anchor. It kind of takes you into a certain place.
Right. You know what they're going to talk about. Maybe for example, you hear an old song on the, on the, you know, on your Spotify list. And suddenly You're back, you know, 20 years ago on a beach with a group of friends having a great time. And you're like, right there, you start to remember that moment.
Okay. Maybe you even smell the salty air. If you're on at the beach, you know, whatever it is, it's like, you brings a smile to your face or it could even be a negative anchor, right? You can, you can certainly be knee anchored to a negative situation, right. A negative experience. But let's just go with,
you know, you have all these positive anchors in your life, like for me, Oh my gosh, the smell of freshly cut lumber, you know, what is just transports me back to as a teenager. And we were building our first farm and it was such a dream come true that whenever I smell that, Oh my gosh, it just takes me right back to us,
you know, building this barn. And it just, all those wonderful, wonderful memories of, like I said, a dream come true. So it's a great smell. So whatever, whatever it is, know that you have anchors all the time, right? Maybe you smell, you know, a certain cooking scent. It reminds you of your mom, right.
That's an anchor. So it's important to deliberately create anchors too. And I find that, you know, you could certainly use a smell or a sound or something like that, but they tend to be less, less convenient when you're out, say, you know, about to ride your horse or you know, or about to go on stage or,
or something else. Right. You can't just call them up. So we find that using a physical sensation is actually the easiest, right? It's an easy anchor to create. So for example, you know, a lot of times we'll use something like just touching one finger to a knuckle on the opposite hand, but it has to be a very specific knuckle.
So maybe it's your ring finger knuckle, on your left hand, you're going to just touch it lightly with your other ring finger. Maybe that could be an anchor. That could be a great anger. Maybe though you don't want to do that when you're riding though. So you want to find something that's, you can do easily when you're riding. Some people like to do like a really slow,
deliberate blinking of their eyes that could work. If that feels okay for you to do while you're riding, you know, other people will like pull on their right ear lobe or something or touching the top of the left shoulder. What's really, really important is that it's very specific and that you repeat it exactly each time. So one that I like to do is,
you know, a fist pump, like, you know how, when you say like, yes, and you do that little fist pump the way I do it for my anchor, I chose to do it with my left hand. It doesn't matter. You could choose whatever hand you want. And I put my finger inside, my, my, excuse me,
my thumb inside my other fingers. So I create like a F you know, the fist, but the thumb is inside. Okay. I do it with my left hand. And I say, yes, but I say that to myself. Usually you don't have to say that out loud. You and you don't even have to say yes, you don't have to say anything.
But the fist pump is a very specific thing and the thumb is inside. That's how I do it again. You can choose, you can touch your right knee cap. You can even, this is what I've taught writers, because it's convenient for writing is to touch your tongue on a specific tooth. Okay. I know that sounds a little weird, but it's something you can do when you're writing.
Right? And doesn't involve closing your eyes either. You just touch your tongue on. It has to be a specific tooth though. It can't just be, you know, this one, one time in a different tooth and other time. So if you can be specific That that'll work. So choose your anchor. What you're confident and confidence anchor is going to be.
Now, if you decide later, you don't like it. That's fine. You can change it and just redo this process over again, but just don't, don't sweat. It just decide on an anchor. Okay. It could be whatever you want. Now This is the, this is super important now. So again, for this, you're going to need to close your eyes.
So please close your eyes and think back to a time when you felt totally confident, I can make a mental movie of this, like really see yourself through your own eyes. So it's, you're reliving it. It's not like you're watching it from a distance or anything like that. You're real living it. And you want to really intensify this experience. Now,
I want to say it does not have to be a time when you felt confident with your horse, it could be any, you, you felt confident, you know, maybe you were giving a presentation at work. Maybe you were helping a friend with something, you know, maybe you were doing, you know, some other kind of sport or, or,
or some other skill, or you figured out how to fix your car or whatever it was, you felt totally competent. Right? So it's important that you relive it through your own eyes. Okay. So notice what you see. You're reliving it through your own eyes. What do you see make this movie big and with really bright colors, right? And notice what happens when you make the mental images larger and brighter,
What happens? Right. So adjust them. So it feels the best To you. And Then notice what you hear what's happening when you're in this confident experience, turn up the volume. Okay? Whatever the noises are that accompany, that, that sensation, turn them up. I noticed if you smell anything, was there a smell involved, Right? So really Take yourself back to that time.
When you felt totally and utterly confident and intensify, this experience make it feel really, really good. And notice how your body feels, what physical sensations are you aware of? Are you touching anything? How are you breathing? If you're touching something, what does it feel like magnify any of these physical sensations? So make sure that the experience or the state you're feeling is as vivid and incense as possible.
And now once it is do your anchor. So whatever it is, whether it's the fist, pump, touching a knee cap, touching your ear, touching a knuckle, whatever you decided on, do it now, do it and hold it for three seconds. About three seconds, then release it. Okay. And now open your eyes and look around.
We call that breaking state. So you want to really get into the state. Okay. So I'll, I'll say this again. We're going to do this two more times. You really want to get into the experience. Okay? You want to relive that experience of feeling totally and utterly confident. And then when you're really feeling at the height and you've,
you've intensified the, the size of the memory, the colors, the sounds, the smells, the physical sensations, all of that. Then you do what we call firing your anchor, right? You do the fist pump, you touch the knee, whatever your anchor is, you do it. You hold it for about three seconds. Then you release it and you open your eyes.
Call that breaking state. Okay. So now we did it once. Okay. That's your first memory. Now we're going to do the same thing, but use a different memory. So think back to another time when you felt totally and utterly confident, totally. And utterly confident, again, doesn't have to be horse related. It could be anything, right?
See it through your own eyes. So you're reliving it and you're going to intensify it. You're going to make the colors big and bright. Right? You, you want to adjust it, adjust the volume of it, right? The brightness of it, the smells, everything. So that it feels really good to you. You're right. Back in that wonderful,
delicious feeling of being competent and resourceful right now. Notice any physical sensations to, what does it feel like? Really get in there and relive it. Okay. And when you do that, fire your anchor, okay. Hold your anchor for three seconds and then release your anchor, open your eyes and look around. Okay, we're going to do one more time.
So this, this requires a third memory. So a third time, and it could be when you're a little kid, it could be from yesterday. It could be from this morning could be from 20 years ago, whatever it is, you're feeling really good, really confident, really resourceful. Okay. Go back to that time, go back to that state.
You're seeing it through your own eyes or you're making this mental movie and it's going to feel really, really good. Right? Intensify. The experience, the colors are big and bright. You're noticing what you're hearing. Right. And make it louder. What do you smell? So turn up the volume on all of it, right? Notice the physical sensations.
How are you breathing? Are you smiling? Are you shouting? What are you doing? Feel it in your body. It's really important. Feel it, relive it through your own eyes, through your own sensations. Again, you're going to recreate it when you have it like super intensified fire, your anchor means hold your anchor, whatever it is for about three seconds,
Release your anchor and open your eyes and look around. Oh, Okay. So you just created an anchor there for confidence. Okay. So now we're going to test you Ranker. So just take a moment, take a few breaths, and now simply fire your anchor. So whatever it is, whether it's the fist pump, touching the tooth of the tongue on a certain tooth,
touching your knee cap, your pinky, Knuck, whatever, whatever it is, right. Fire your anchor exactly. As you did earlier. Exactly. So the same exact touch that you did earlier, do it now and notice how you feel now, the change might be subtle, but you're likely to feel more resourceful, more positive, more confident in both body and mind.
So now use your anchor to feel positive and confident while you think of situations that used to bother you ahead and do that for a moment. Think of situations that used to bother you. Maybe five minutes ago, they bothered you and they no longer do so. Fire your anchor. Think of that situation that used to bother you and notice that it lost its charge.
Doesn't bother you anymore. You can feel confident, resourceful, and positive despite that outside situation, that external circumstance. So remember that you can create anchors too. It's like you can instantly activate this wonderful resourceful confidence state. Okay. So whenever you're about to face a challenging situation, something stressful, it could be something minor, but it's stressful for you could be something major.
It is such a great tool to have in your pocket. It's like the simple little brain hack that can change your life. And it can change your life too, because when we're feeling stressed and we're feeling anxious, our horse feels that. So our horse starts to, to pick up on our feelings and then they react. Okay. And it becomes a vicious cycle because then the more nervous they feel,
of course, then that doesn't help us be more confident. Does it. So if you want to feel better, fire off your positive anchor, right? If you want to perform at your best, you know, maybe you're about to go into a class at a horse show. You know, maybe you're just going to go down the down the trail,
fire off your positive anchor and notice how you feel. And remember, you can create anchors for other States as well. So other positive States, maybe you just want to feel more creative, go through the same process. But instead of thinking about when you felt totally confident, think of when you felt really creative and choose three different times, go through the same exact process,
you could also use it for motivation. You know, a lot of us worry about, you know, we procrastinate things like that. Think of three different times that you felt really motivated. Okay. And does he even have to be in the same subject that you want to be motivated now, but go through the same exact process. Okay. So you can do this for any positive feeling that you want to have.
Okay. It's really, really important. I found this, it can improve any area of your life and for horse people, this is just incredibly effective. Okay. So if you want to feel here's another one, I just have to share with you. If you want to fear more connected with your horse, think of three times that you felt connected,
doesn't even have to be with that horse. It could be anything connected to anyone. Okay. And start to really learn how to bring that state up. That'll also help with your confidence by the way. So that feeling of connection, feeling of joy, you can do it. Just remember. Okay. So a couple of important things before I sign off here,
it's important to re-experience it through your own eyes when you're creating this, you know, the anchor to the positive feeling. You want to see it through your own eyes. Again, you want to relive it those three different times. You want to magnify it. Okay. And just make it big, bright, loud, all those good things. So it feels really, really good to you and really pay attention to the physical sensations.
I decided to create a little gift for you! So if you go to MaryDebono.com/anchorconfidence. It's all one word, all lower case, no hyphens or anything. So, MaryDebono.com/anchorconfidence. You can get a free cheat sheet that'll map out this entire process for you.
Okay. So go ahead and grab that. Thank you. Thank you so much for joining me on this episode. And I can't wait to talk to you again. Bye. For now.