“It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to get permission” – Grace Hopper
But what does it really mean?
Here is another variant of that saying…
“if you’ve got a good idea, and it’s a contribution, I want you to go ahead and DO IT. It is much easier to apologize than it is to get permission”
How I interpret this is that if you have a good idea, that won’t hurt anyone, it is better to act decisively and get the job done safely and efficiently than to seek approval first and take the risk of delays, objections, or possible damages.
Making decisions like this takes self confidence that you are doing the “right thing” for the “right reasons”.
How does this translate to horses?
When you’re with your horse and you’re not sure of what to do or if it is the right decision or not, it makes it a bit easier to think, “What’s the best decision I can make for the well-being of my horse?” This has always helped me.
Today, I want to continue our discussion from last week about self-confidence and mention ‘a tool’ that helped me on my journey.
Whenever I got stuck with a decision I wasn’t sure of, or questioned if I was doing it right, I had a ‘tool’ that helped me step back and rethink whatever it was I was unsure of…
“Turn your problem upside down and look at it from another perspective”
That was a friend’s advice many years ago and it has helped me immensely. I have had to stop, pause, and think differently to see the problem from a different angle.
Here’s another way to look at that same idea…
“Instead of looking for success, make a list of how to fail instead – through sloth, envy, resentment, self-pity, entitlement, all the mental habits of self-defeat. Avoid these qualities and you will succeed.” – Charlie Munger
When it’s hard to move forward because you’re stuck at “How do I do this and succeed?”, turn that question upside down.
Look at it from a different perspective to see what’s not working and where you can improve.
And for those “worry warts” like me, we have already thought of all the negative possibilities and possible problems. So, why not use that?
Precious few have the ability to be honest about how they self-sabotage, act like victims or participate in their own failure. But, when we are honest with ourselves, we can start to fix these issues and gain more confidence in our abilities.
And when we have more confidence in ourselves, our horses will see it and will feel safe and more confident around us.
Stop looking outside of yourself for the answer. You can do what you set your heart on. I am here to support you.
Take a hard look at all the things you shouldn’t do. Pay attention to where you’ve gone off track in the past. How do you think you’ve screwed up?
Study your failures, dig up the reasons for the failures, and commit to NOT making those mistakes again.
Then study the failures of others – things that you’ve seen and said, “I don’t want to do that”.
Eliminate those mistakes and you’ll be surprised at how much focus and clarity you gain. (Which leads to motivation, momentum, and success.) You’ll be more sure of yourself and be able to see someone doing something with their horse and say, “I can do that”.
You’ll also become clearer about what you really want. You’ll see someone working with their horse and say, “I want to learn how to do that”.
How to know if you are using this ‘tool’:
- What are the mistakes you’ve made, or are afraid of making, that prevent you from getting to your goal?
- How many of those mistakes do you frequently commit?
- Where do you sabotage yourself or your relationship with your horse?
- Why do you keep repeating these mistakes/self-sabotage mechanisms?
- What do you need to do now?
How to implement this ‘tool’:
- Make a list of the worst mistakes you’ve made or are afraid of making.
- Avoid them at all costs.
If fear, self-doubt, and self-judgment are not on your list of mistakes, go back to the drawing board. Those three literally ARE the worst. They stifle motivation, make you feel like crap, convince you that you cannot do it and prevent you from moving forward.
I hope this tool helps you as it did me in helping create more self-worth and confidence working with your horse. You both deserve to be happy!