Think before you speak
EquiTeam’s Liz Daniels shares a recent experience highlighting why it’s important to think before you speak!
“I’ve seen her ride and she is nothing special.” These were the words echoing around my head – said about me – by a fellow coach – to a mutual client.
After the initial mixture of fury and ‘how dare she be so rude’, the next wave of emotions came in… embarrassment, hurt, what if she is right? I’ve never said I’m the next Charlotte, but I’m not that bad. Or maybe I am?
My head runs wild and I feel really sad, but of course my game face is on; I’m coaching, smiling, chatting, delivering and my focus is on the people in front of me. No matter how I feel inside I’m a great believe that I should always give it 100% when I coach.
I put the words to the back of my head, only to pull them to the forefront again on the way home. I think about the blog I’ve just written on not over analysing on the negatives, but instead focussing on the positives. I had a great days teaching lots of amazing people, yet this comment is the one I am taking away. I have enough self doubt thoughts of my own without anyone else adding to them!
Maybe I should re-visit my blog!
There are a few things in life I can’t stand as traits in people; and being two faced, and mean are both very high on that list.
I’ve considered this statement for a few weeks, not sharing it with anyone – not even my other half; Lou or Liz. Partly because I’m hurt, partly because I’m embarrassed and partly because I wanted to have time to digest it.
The latter is very unlike me, but after 40 years of growing up, I realise that I can no longer be as hot-headed and outspoken as I was – especially in professional circles. Still even on reflection… it’s a pretty shitty statement.
Of course I would love to be writing this blog about how people can say mean things and it’s usually out of jealousy, because they are threatened by what you are achieving; and maybe those are very valid points – but at a time when the words are still quite raw it really doesn’t feel like that.
It got me thinking about my job as a coach and how I spend a lot of my time developing skills, confidence and sometimes most importantly of all – self belief.
But that in a split second someone else’s words have the ability to ruin your day and make you feel pretty crap.
Keeping horse’s competition sound and progressing through the ranks is on a par with completing a series of SAS Who Dares Wins, and that is without any negative comments from people you share a community with. Surely we should all be encouraging people to achieve, not bringing them down?
I’m a great believer that if you don’t have anything positive to say then don’t say anything at all. This of course doesn’t mean we should be precious and doesn’t extend to giving/receiving constructive feedback but constructive is never mean.
Always be kind
A few weeks to digest has given me a different perspective. I allowed myself time to be really pissed off and hurt, but slowly I have replaced those thoughts with a drive and determination to do better, ride better and prove to myself that I have earned my place and people like her don’t matter.
I of course am not on my own, situations like this happen day in and day out so the next time you might want to let off some steam have a think about the person on the receiving end. How would that feel if it was said about you?
The power of positivity is so often underrated in life and in a world where we can be anything we like, please always remember to be kind.
Featured image kind permission by HKF Photography at Netherton Equestrian