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What is Easy and What is Hard?

September 2017 by Tanja Mitton,

Things are neither easy nor hard; they are just the way we perceive them.

It is commonly accepted the things we are good at are considered easy, while the things we are not so good at or haven’t mastered yet are considered hard.

I would like to challenge this belief. 

Take a moment and think back to the time when you first learned how to ride. Remember the time you were on a lead rein as a little kid or just managing your first trot by yourself. Can you remember that time?

Then, do you remember how you felt about riding by yourself, and even trotting and cantering in the arena or on the trail ride. Did you perceive this new experience as hard?

Now, if you are an experienced rider, how do you feel about trotting and cantering now? Would you say, with experience, your perception has changed? 

Most likely, this will be the case. 

Then, think back to the time you learned to drive a car. Do you remember the first time you drove through town or on the highway? The first time you tried parking in the narrow parking slot. Did you feel at the time that was difficult? Most likely you did. 

Then, compare this with now. If you have been driving for many years, do you still get nervous driving through town, down the highway or parking in the streets? 

Now, think of your career and your work experience. Do you remember your last day of school and your first day at work? How did that feel? Then, compare with today and ask yourself if you feel more confident today then you did back then.

The point I am trying to make is that we are very quick in labelling something as difficult and, when we perceive it to be hard, we often lack confidence in giving it a go and are more inclined to find excuses for not doing it.

When something is hard, we may shy back from trying it in the first place. 

The key is to understand new things take time to become easy - not because they are hard, but because we need practice before we become experienced. Experience makes it easy.

So, when you get overwhelmed and you feel the task is too daunting, remind yourself of all the new things you have already mastered in your life, how you felt at the beginning and how you feel now. You can draw strength and courage from those past experiences.

Use affirmations that serve you. “This is really hard” is not a useful affirmation. Instead, tell yourself “I can do this”, “It’s easy” and “I’m getting better at it all the time”. These are useful affirmations.

Above all, trust yourself - you are more capable then you think. Your thoughts shape your reality, so make sure you choose words that become useful building blocks, and set a foundation of confidence and belief.

Happy riding everyone!