Updated: Jan 22
Wendy’s 6 Top Strength Strategies...
I am proud to say that we have just celebrated our 14th year in business as the Holistic Horse and Pony Centre. Every year we have a bonfire party to celebrate moving in on Nov 6th.
Why am I so proud? Because for many businesses they would have given up long ago with all the adversities, challenges and seeming ‘bad luck life events’ that we have been through. In our first year of business we were subjected to multiple break ins, 3 of those burglaries in the first 10 days alone. We have had 2 unfortunate outbreaks of strangles 3 years ago causing major business interruption and financial difficulty. We had a major fire where we lost all the hay, feed, rugs, important paperwork, my husbands 50year tool collection, tractor, quad and thousands of pounds worth of equipment. Plus many other human related challenges! So besides my natural stubbornness and refusal to quit, what has given me the strength and resilience to get through the fires, burglaries, recession, major illnesses in some of the horses, deaths and staff sabotage? Here are a few of my personal top strategies.
LIFE HAPPENS FOR YOU NOT TO YOU
This is my number 1 strength strategy. REFUSE to be a victim. As I sat helplessly watching 20 years of business go up in smoke at 5am that morning 2 years ago, I specifically remember thinking, “wow how is this supposed to be FOR me and not TO me?” The 15 fire engines with their amazing crew (aren’t firemen getting younger theses days?!🤣) tirelessly battled to save what they could. “Perhaps its time for me to quit” i thought. The business challenges over the years had evaporated all the spare financial funds. Whilst I did have insurance it very rarely covered the real cost of the business losses. Now I had nothing left to restart plus I still had to feed 30 horses! EEEK What do I do now! I knew now I had to call on the Higher Power within me to find the answers.
Now it hardly seems my next go to strategy would be to say thank you, as I am staring into the embers! But I was hugely grateful. Grateful to my amazing neighbour who informed me of the fire, then rushed up to help get the horses out of the stables, grateful that the firemen were able to save the actual stables, grateful to another neighbour for allowing the firemen to use the water in his swimming pool as the water supply in our country lane had no pressure, grateful to the weather suddenly getting cooler so the horses could stay out while we mopped up the mess and then grateful to the tsunami of generosity that was bestowed on us with money, rugs, feed, bedding, tack, tools and free manpower to get us back on our feet with all the cleaning, painting and rebuilding. It was truly overwhelming and humbling. (Thank you again to everyone who donated time, money and gifts.)
Whilst I am daily grateful for the wonderful yard I have, my terrific hubby, the fabulous horses I am blessed with plus all the friends, clients and good staff, I am also grateful for the events and people in my life that have forced me to grow! It seems the more I get grateful for everything in my life (the good, the bad and the ugly) the more opportunities arise and more peace I feel.
WHAT IS THIS GUIDING YOU TO DO DIFFERENTLY?
This fits in with the first strength strategy. If Life events are there FOR you it figures that something needs to be done differently. Sometimes when you keep resisting that niggling thought or hidden desire you sometimes attract sledgehammer guidance to make you take action or make a different choice!
What might you need to stop doing? Start doing? More of? Less of? Deep down the right answers are within you. However sometimes you might need a coach to help get to the answers you don’t really want to voice or may be buried under the feelings of the “oughts” “shoulds” and “musts” of your life.
This is where I love working with the horses. They help me and my clients get to the truth of a situation, quickly, clearly and authentically.
I was working with one lady and she had chosen Midnight. She had come with a niggling feeling about doing something different in her life but couldn’t get clarity what. We set up some obstacles in the arena and then proceeded to explore. Midnight refused to move. A very while longer, having asked many pertinent questions, suddenly my client hit on something she had been avoiding doing for a long time because she was afraid of the consequences. At that point Midnight moved forward freely. We then explored the potential consequences of not following through with that action, again Midnight stopped in her tracks and refused to move forward again. My client concluded the consequences would be far worse and realised her freedom from her dilemma laid the other side of the fear of the action she needed to take. What decision and action do you need to take?
WHEN YOU FEEL IT YOU CAN HEAL IT
My next top strength strategy is around feelings . My particular port of call is to notice my first reaction to an event or situation, this is often the most important emotion to feel and to heal. I then pay attention to what I’m starting to think. Every thought belief and concern you have creates feelings and emotions. Therefore you end up with thoughts that either create stressful feelings or that of peace. This is Life's invitation to you to find the belief that brings you the most peace. However, to get to more peaceful thinking you might need support. This is takes us to next tip and also ties in with this tip.
ASK FOR HELP
Now I can’t say I have mastered this one yet, in fact I probably have the “ology” (with honours) in independence! Most of us take on coping skills when we are young but forget to upgrade our “neck-top computer” holding those out-dated beliefs and strategies, as we get older. However, every now and again we will get forced to ask for help! Now there is only so much long suffering friends and family can take! They are also not very good at giving unbiased advice. It’s really best to get proper professional support, whether that is a coach, counsellor or pastoral care. Usually the excuses of time, money, embarrassment come up, in addition to the “ I should be able to cope and sort this” . Ask yourself what is the REAL cost to you not getting help?
In my own life, after yet more sledgehammer guidance, I finally recognised the cost to me was far greater than the beliefs “I haven’t got the money”, “I am afraid of looking stupid” and “I haven’t got time”. The time lapsed anyway, (and I was still no further forward), I was still going nowhere fast. I was still feeling fearful and a failure and financially it was costing so much more trying to do it all myself. They do say teachers are the slowest learners! Now I am reaping the benefits of seeking specialised support.
Finally...CONNECT TO A POWER GREATER THAN YOU
Really this should be the first strategy, however, often when you are in the midst of a challenge this often comes as an after thought. Remember
“The task before you is NEVER greater than the Power behind you”.
(well technically it’s right within you!)
“Of myself I can do nothing but the Power within me can do everything”
Most events we attract in life are a way to get us feeling more connected, authentic and at peace. It's just sometimes the packaging it comes in looks anything but! Have faith and trust the process, Life really does want the best for you and has got your back.
Much love, Wendy x