Why “just getting on with it” doesn’t usually work…..

I had a message about my first blog post:

“In your first post you said “So when you feel unconfident — it is your unconscious mind communicating with you, telling you something. And if you don’t pay attention — what happens? it gets worse.”
How does this fit with the approach of just getting on with it? If someone is dithering on the edge of doing something, doesn’t giving them a shove sometimes work? just telling them to get on and do it can solve the problem?”

I am glad you asked this question because this is a very good point!

Now you will discover that when I am presented with “IS X better than Y?” type questions, I usually change the question to WHEN is X appropriate, and WHEN is Y appropriate?

so, if we do that — we can ask ourselves WHEN is it appropriate to give someone that shove — and when is that the worst possible thing you can do….

Let’s use an example I often use in my workshops.

Let’s think about someone standing on the edge of a pool, hesitating about whether to jump in.

IF the person has been in before, knows how to swim, says they will be fine once they get in there, and just needs help getting in — then they might even be grateful when we encourage them with a little gentle push…once in, they will swim away happily and there will be no hard feelings…

but what if the person DOESN’T know how to swim? and WON’T be fine once they are in? giving THIS person a gentle shove will push them into a terrifying situation where their life will be at risk — and they will never trust you again.

and will be even MORE scared of standing near the edge of a pool in future.

I agree — there is a place for the “grit your teeth and do it” approach –I have cantered bareback and enjoyed it, but each year the FIRST time I do it is a bit nerve wracking! BUT first we need to make sure that if we grit our teeth and do it, we aren’t making it WORSE for the next time.

You may notice this with humans AND horses: your horse may know you are asking him to go over a jump, so he grits his teeth and does it…once, maybe twice. Then, the third time you ask him he just can’t grit his teeth any more and stops — and you wonder why.

With humans, we grit our teeth for one ride out, then another — then suddenly we start feeling physically sick before we ride — and then we are not riding anymore…

In my response to the first question I said that fear and unconfidence is our unconscious mind’s way of keeping us safe…

and if we don’t listen to it when it tries to talk to us, it just turns up the volume and shouts!

please share your thoughts on these posts, and how useful they are, by commenting or sending me a message — thanks!

yours in confidence,



4 thoughts on “Why “just getting on with it” doesn’t usually work…..

  1. so very true!!! There are some things I will push myself to do and some things that even when I push, I then back track. I’m often glad that I managed to give it a go even if I can’t complete it, however there are some things that I would just never attempt.

  2. And I think that is the challenge Julie — how can we stay safe, take care of our confidence — and still expand and grow? This is one area of focus of the self coaching and DIY confidence courses — and I will post more about it here on the blog too — just trying to pace things a bit!


  3. I tend now to listen to my first response to doing things I feel uncomfortable about. They have stood me in good stead. Before I let people push me into doing things that I had misgivings about. I was forced to give a talk once at University, and it totally traumatised me, the next time, a presentation was requred, I froze up and couldn’t speak . Third time I flaty refused to do it, made me realise I was never going to be a teacher/lecturer like my parents. Made me feel a total failure professionally.

    • Thanks for sharing this great example of how increasing the pressure on an unconfident human can be totally counterproductive!

      Now the thing is, that this is UNDOABLE — you CAN still become a lecturer/teacher — the thing to realise is that it was the PRESSURE that caused your negative reaction, not the event itself……

      And in fact, PRESSURE is a key element in managing your confidence. Often, one of the first things I do when I meet a new client who has Riding Confidence issues – is I tell them NOT TO RIDE for three weeks.

      The change is immediate and noticeable: stress fades, tension falls away and the smile returns: simply by giving permission to not put that pressure on, changes the game.

      Now they are in a state where they can HEAR knowledge, tools and skills — before all this was blocked by the fear of having to ride — taking that pressure away makes it easier to think about options, hear suggestions — and make choices

      Instead of being trapped by the fear, you take control of your confidence…..YOU are the one making the decisions —

      so the first step to confidence is to take the pressure away, as only then can you hear your own heart….



What do you think of this? share your view or question.....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s