We’ve all heard the sayings, “You are what you eat”, and “Junk in, junk out.”
For most of my life, I’ve taken that saying with a grain of salt, pun intended. However, over the last few years I’m beginning to think there’s a lot more truth to those sayings than we realize.
After a bout of unanswered questions about my health – that’s another blog post in itself – I started paying very close attention to how my body reacted to certain foods. Now, I’m not talking just gaining or losing weight. I’m talking about how food effects my breathing, my sinus levels, and even my mental status for the day.
After doing some experimentation, I learned that dairy and breads cause me to wheeze – that’s in addition to sinus and stomach issues. I also learned that cokes and sweets cause me to become depressed, and soy will send me into an emotional roller coaster during certain times of the month. In contrast, turkey and other meat cause me to focus and think more clearly.
The same thing could be said about our thought life. When we think negative things, the impact is negative.Those negative thoughts impact our happiness, our confidence, and ultimately our performance and whether or not we pursue dreams.
Recently, I read a great article on thinking like an athlete. The article stated that the main reason athletes are successful is that they see themselves as just that – an athlete.
The article went on to say that when you see yourself as an athlete and get into that mindset, regardless of what your body is like, you start thinking differently in other areas of your life. You start taking training more seriously. What you eat and the amount of sleep you get become more important. Instead of those seeing those things as a means to lose weight, they suddenly become a way for you to train better and be a better athlete.
How many times have you been asked what you do with your horses or what discipline you ride? Probably too many times to count. Your answer has probably been, “I just run barrels” or “I just do a little western pleasure.” That’s the wrong answer!
Today, you might not be running down the alley way at the NFR or doing a sliding stop at the finals at Congress. I get that you don’t want to blow yourself out of proportion, come across arrogant, or give the appearance that you’re competing at a level that you’re not – yet! However, if you keep thinking like you always have, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten.
Think about it for a moment…
Do you spend any less money on your horse than a serious competitor? You feed the best feed, supplements and hay. You keep a routine shoeing schedule so your horse can perform well. You take your horse to the vet every time they need it. You make sure your horse is in a safe, happy environment and kept on a schedule.
Do you spend any less time on your horse than a serious competitor? I know a lot of girls that compete locally and not nationally that ride their horses every single day. I also know girls that ride every free minute they can in the midst of working full time to pay the feed bill and mortgage, working second and third jobs, and taking care of families. Is the fact that they don’t get to ride as much any less worthy?
There’s things that you’re probably already doing that aren’t that much different than someone rides and competes on a higher level. Don’t cut yourself short in your thinking!
If you think you’re “junk”, then junk is exactly what you’re going to reap.
What do you think Charmayne James or Congress champion Karen Evans Mundy thought of themselves when they were working up through the ranks? Did they think they were just a barrel racer or just a hunter rider? No! They thought of themselves as champions that just hadn’t gotten there yet. All they had to do was work a little harder and ride a little better – that’s all.
So my question to you is this… If you knew for a fact that you would be running down the alleyway at the NFR, or riding the rail at Congress in two years how would that change your thinking TODAY? Would it make you see yourself differently? Would you have a new purpose every time you rode or worked out?
If you’re like me, you’ve beat yourself up for far too long thinking you’re not good enough and you’re just a barrel racer, etc. That thinking hasn’t gotten either of us very far, has it?
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. It’s time to do something different. It’s time to think different and see what results we get!
In the end, it really doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks. It only matters what you think about yourself.