“Go ask the horse to pick up its hoof so you clean it,” she said.
The instructions were simple enough, and she showed me how to do it. Yet what followed was like the world’s biggest mirror of hidden secrets.
I was doing a coaching session – with a horse. (And her owner).
I had a straightforward task, and yet the horse conspired to force a breakthrough. It was AWESOME.
I wanted the horse to pick up her ‘paw’ (as I kept calling it). And I was taught how to get her to do it. I walked right up to her, and, after giving her a few pets to make sure she liked me, I did the signal for her to lift her foot. And she did. A little bit. And I quickly grabbed it up to do my job.
I guess I didn’t wait for her to lift fully, and my coach pointed out my impatience. (Yes, I can be impatient, and I like to make things happen!)
I placed the hoof back down, and then waited a minute and tried again.
The horse would not budge. Try and try and try. He was not lifting.
I had my chance and I blew it.
We talked a bit more about the exercise and then I wanted to try again. After all, I hadn’t really done it “right” yet. I marched intentionally up to my horse friend, and I did the ‘assignment’ to get her to lift or foot. And she did! Woo-hoo! Only I was holding the little tool in my hand and because of that, I missed grabbing her hoof.
Damn. On the ground again.
I persevered but again the horse could read me like a book. Nope, not having it. You missed your chance.
You missed your chance was not the horse’s thought. It was mine. Only it wasn’t actually mine, it was inherited from my mother.
My eyes welled up with tears.
What an incredibly toxic thought. I was sad I’d ever had to hear it, and sad for all the people I know who are limited by it. (Maybe you?)
I’ve worked for years at releasing that idea that I have to do things perfectly, and I am not alone. There’s no place for that in business, and my goals have been more important than the need to do it right, which is why I have a growing business. I always thought it stemmed from wanting to avoid looking bad. Even though I’ve learned to take action anyway, acting with the thought that you only have one chance isn’t very freeing – would you agree?
I’d like to issue you a great big ‘do-over’ coupon with no expiration date.
Now, think about this for a minute.
If you believed that there were as many chances as you want in life, and you could start fresh at any time, what would be different for you?
Imagine that when you are hiring a new team member, and you fail to train them properly (because you don’t yet really know how) and it doesn’t go well. You really like them but they aren’t succeeding, and you feel like you have to keep them – after all, you had your chance to tell them what you wanted and you blew it.
If you had a do-over you would know you could re-train them, or easily find someone new. The situation wouldn’t seem so grave.
I’ve seen so many people come to me after ‘launching’ something online, only to have the launch not really work out. They’ve been ready to give it up, rather than looking at the results, learning from them, and doing it again. As if they ‘messed up’ their list and now they must be punished.
If you had a do-over, you would know that everything is just a test, and you can continue to test, again and again and again if needed.
Imagine you had unlimited relationship do-overs. Seriously. I’ve seen so many people stay in relationships that aren’t working for them because of this belief. It’s my fault I didn’t pick better to begin with, and now I’m stuck with this. I had my chance. It’s amazing too, I see this especially with people who had been married more than once. As if taking more than one chance to find happiness is too much, and you REALLY better have gotten it right this time. I am keenly aware of this one as I enter into my second marriage.
Only it’s not true.
Imagine that you were given unlimited chances to find the right match for you for at any given stage in your life? And even if there are divinely perfect DIFFERENT matches for you at different stages of life. I’m not saying you want to enter into marriage without commitment, but I am saying that entering in with the thought that you better not screw it up because it’s your only chance, well, that’s not freedom. I am committed to my fiancé. Committed to us both having a happy life. And we’ve openly discussed that we are all in, and if at any point the relationship doesn’t serve us, we will move through it or move on. And what’s amazing is that entering in with that kind of freedom is likely to make no one want to move on.
So, ask yourself this week. Even just today in the decisions you make… how much more quickly would you make them if you knew you had a cosmic do-over any time you wanted? What might you try, what creative self-expression might you bring to the world, if you weren’t so subconsciously worried about blowing it? You just might be the real you!