We are living in an unprecedented time. Not only are we fearful for our health and that of our friends and family but many are struggling with being laid off from their jobs, forced to close their businesses and wondering what challenges tomorrow, next week or next month hold. It's an easy thing to allow all of it to overwhelm you, defeat you. DON'T LET IT. In fact, it's a perfect time for CHANGE.
One of my Super Powers is my ability to re-invent myself. I've done it several times over the course of my professional career. I think a big part of that is simply that I love life and I'm not willing to let anyone or anything steal from that joy. I'm not afraid to fail along the way because I look at those small failures as opportunities to correct my course, not QUIT. For better or worse, I tend to face challenges head-on. Why? Because one time as a young woman, I didn't.
Let me tell you a story...
Those who knew me in high school knew a confident, boisterous, feminist young woman on a MISSION. I had launched a growing, National Award winning horse training and riding instruction business, was elected President of the Montana FFA Association, earned a full-ride scholarship to a private University and had the world by the horns. Things were going to "plan." Then, I met a guy...
Yes, I fell into the trap of "love", if one can even fathom what that is at 20 years old. I started dating a friend of my best friend's brother. Long story made very short, it's the same sad story you hear too often. Girl falls in love, boy is wonderful. Family loves boy. Boy turns out to have a dark side. I became the victim of domestic violence. When I tell my PEMF story, I mention a dislocated shoulder. The young man I dated and ultimately ended up marrying at 21 years old was emotionally and physically abusive. The day I had enough and tried to leave, he not only beat me, but twisted my arm behind my back until it dislocated. I got out of the marriage, but lost everything. My business was in shambles. Because of his insecurity and resentment of me being successful, I had allowed my business to fall apart. My self-confidence, which before was an unbreachable wall, had crumbled. Half my family berated me for divorcing, my best friend and her family took my ex-husband's side and I was financially BUSTED. People I had grown up with and trusted had turned their backs on me in my darkest hour. I turned to the only thing in my life I could trust - horses.
Climbing out of The Pit
I left Montana at 22 years of age and took a job training 2 year olds for a very well known cutting horse trainer in Texas. I threw myself into the work. For nearly a year, I had little contact with anyone back home. I completely disconnected from the negativity and forged a new plan. I rediscovered that piece of myself that had been lost. I made new connections and re-connected with influencial people that I knew could help me find my way on my new path. It wasn't easy. Besides my Dad and my Grandpa Leroy, my family was not supportive in my venture. I didn't care. I knew that I would never allow myself to be lost again. I was on a new path of my own choosing. It was revitalizing.
That time away was a game changer. It took that kind of disconnection from the old "Status Quo" to shock me into action and CHANGE. I HAD to reinvent myself. There was no way I could stand living as the person I had become. I came back to Montana a NEW Tammy with a NEW plan...
Taking The First Step
(aka stepping off the curb and falling on your face...)
NO kidding. It's not walk through the garden to change your life. I had come back to Montana from Texas and started up my training business again. Things were going GREAT! I had a full book of horses and was teaching a weekly clinic series. On May 13, 1998, I was kicked in the face by a neighbor's horse. It shattered the left side of my face, resulting in a facial reconstruction surgery and plates putting me back together.
My family and friends tried to get me to stop training and get a "Real" job. Nearly everyone I knew was telling me to give up my dream, that it was too dangerous, not a career for a woman, there were other things I could do that were a "better" career option. I ignored them.
I picked myself up and three weeks after surgery, I drove to Colorado and taught a 4-Day Horsemanship clinic. During lunch breaks, I'd lay down and rest for an hour. I did much of my teaching while riding my stallion to save my energy. I battled dizziness, fatigue and nausea. (Now I know I was suffering from symptoms of a traumatic brain injury...) I wore a big brimmed straw hat and sunglasses because sunlight caused excruciating pain in my left eye. I got through it. Most of the participants never knew I was injured. They had a great time and we booked a second clinic later that Fall.
I look back on that time in my life as a test. Was I going to allow myself to fall back into the darkness or was I going to do whatever it took to live my dream? I chose to LIVE my dream.
Many of you are experiencing a loss of security like you've never experienced before. I'm here to tell you IT'S OK. Yes, it sucks. Yes, It's scary. Yes, you may be financial strapped for awhile. It's also a GLORIOUS OPPORTUNITY!!! If you allow it, this could be the catalyst to change your life in ways you never would have attempted before. Here are some ideas to get you started...
Dare to Dream Big - You heard me...DREAM BIG! What would you RATHER be doing with your life? Where do you want to be with your riding? What can make you WANT to jump out of bed in the morning??? WRITE IT DOWN.
Make a List of what you need to get started - Don't think about the how just yet, think about the WHAT you need to get started toward your goal! What skills do you have that you can draw on? Where do you need support or education? I'm not saying it's all going to happen in a week, but having a list of things you need to do is empowering. It helps you develop a PLAN to get from where you are to where you want to be!
TAKE ACTION! - You have to take that step off the curb. Yes, you may fall on your face. GET UP. TAKE ANOTHER STEP! The difference between people who successfully change their lives and those who don't is a willingness to fail. If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always gotten...
The only difference between the master and the novice is that the master has failed more times then the novice has tried. -Stephen McCranie
Take a risk. Invest in yourself. There are lots of free online classes available. Consider doing an internship. If you are laid off right now, it's a great time to break into a new career part-time or as an intern! Ride your horse. Meditate. Get some professional help to develop a plan of action. Believe me - it's doable! If there's one thing I'm certain of, it's that life is too short to hate any part of it. If something doesn't bring you joy, you need to ask yourself if it's really worth having in your life. If the answer is "NO", then cut it loose!
Don't make excuses for WHY you aren't doing the things you want to do. Make a plan and start working toward those goals. Ignore anyone who tells you you can't do it. You can thank me later...
I invite you to download my Motivated Change Worksheet.
Fill it out and join me for my YouTube Live Stream Sunday April 5 at 6:00 PM MST! We'll be joining together as a community to discuss Goal Setting and help you form a realistic Plan Of Action!
Click here to join or simply click on the YouTube icon on the homepage.
STAY SAFE. BE WELL, EVERYONE.