How I Cope with Feelings of Inadequacy
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything. Between work, life, health, and everything in between it really has been a constant mix of ups and downs and running on fumes.
I haven’t written anything on this blog in months... and when I checked my Instagram I saw my last post was back in September! I used to post at LEAST a few times a week.
But to be honest I’ve been struggling mentally. I know I’m not alone. How many of you struggle with anxiety and/or depression? It sucks!
I’ve always felt a bit out of place. And I probably am. But I’ve accepted my awkwardness. Almost proudly. (I suppose it’s a healthy coping mechanism)
But like any semi-normal human being, deep down, I do wish to belong. I want to feel accepted and respected. And I’m not too proud to admit that.
I did not grow up with a big support group, showing, taking lots of lessons, and riding fancy horses. Anytime I went to a lesson barn I felt out of place. I wasn’t on their show team. I only took lessons once a week. And even though that’s still a massive privilege as I grew up I think I started to feel even more like I didn’t fit in. Life is hard. You have to make a living. That takes most of your time and energy. Lessons became nonexistent. At times riding was nonexistent.
But something inside made me keep going. Made me keep dreaming. Made me hold out when it seemed hopeless.
My life is a lot better now.
A few years ago After a year off I leased my friends mare. My confidence was nonexistent. She helped me get some of it back though and I’m very grateful for that.
After that I worked with a few project horses like Goober and Angus for an old barn owner, and I took monthly lessons from a really great young professional. It was a very enlightening time. It was a privilege to fill in the gaps in my own training.
Now I work with my bosses ponies and I take bi-weekly lessons at a local barn. I’m finally learning Western! And she has been great at making me feel welcome and helping me gain confidence in all aspects, not just riding.
I never thought I’d be a pony rider again. I always preferred bigger horses but it works lol. I used to be the designated pony squisher at a few past barns. I’m medium height and a light build so even the 13h one has no issues carrying me.
Like I said, life has gotten better for me in a lot of ways. I’m very grateful to the people who have some measure of faith in me. I may not be rich by any means but my head is above water and it’s so refreshing! But that mentality of not being good enough still plagues me.
But I have to keep reminding myself that feelings of inadequacy aren’t the worst enemy to have.
Because they make me push myself to progress more.
Some would say “To look forward” and yes that is true but I like to look back too to see what I can improve on.
Some would say “To push myself harder”. Yes! But I have to balance it out because burnout is a REAL thing and it’s hard to recover from.
So really it comes down to if I expect to progress I must acquire and maintain a semblance of balance. Kind of like how slow and steady wins the race. Plus progress isn’t linear. Wether it be health, mentality, or riding sometimes we take two steps forward and one step back. And that’s OK!