Contributed by: Windy Griffith, Rebel Barrel Horses
Competition is stressful and anyone who is competitive wants to win. We put a lot of stress on ourselves and tend to fall into the rut of not enjoying the art of competing. With all of the stress, it is hard to enjoy the company of other competitors.
I would like to take a minute to focus on how we, as competitors, treat each other. We have all been guilty of negativity towards others at some point in our careers as competitors. Why do we think we can get ahead in the game by not encouraging our fellow competitors?
I have seen horses at the highest level not even complete their pattern and I have seen horses that are not even registered to a breed win the entire show. We all have our time for success, however, we find ourselves stressed and negative while competing.
In the past, I only looked at barrel racing as a job. There was very little joy in it for me. Having to provide a living for my family by barrel racing seemed like the only logical answer for me. It has taken many years and many life lessons along with a couple of "God sent" mentors to make me realize that if I would just have fun and enjoy what I feel I was meant to do with my life then things would start becoming more enjoyable. When I enjoy my days doing what I love, I am more successful.
I ride more unfinished horses than I do finished horses. I may not always win, but I have learned to stop worrying about what other competitors may think of my training program and enjoy it.
If you do not enjoy the competition, then take a look at what you're doing or not doing.
What is not giving you joy?
You might find that you really do not enjoy your discipline but still love riding. If that's true for you, then it might be time for you to make a change in your discipline. Life is short and there is no reason to be unhappy doing something that you do not enjoy. Sometimes, it also takes a change in our mindset. Once I realized that God is providing me with steady work, why be stressed, unhappy or worried? I was on the right path. I changed my mindset and attitude and found the joy again!
When I found my joy, that opened more doors than I could have ever imagined.
Not everyone stays a winner or has huge success in the equine industry, but don't close the door before it has had a chance to open. Having the right mindset of being happy to live out your passion will allow God to work in your life. If you are negative and closed off, there is no room for God to work. So stay positive and choose to be happy and allow good things to come your way. If you are happy competing, then no one can beat you!
Finding Joy in What You Do Is the Ultimate Reward.
What Brings You Joy?
Windy Griffith is a Two Time Reserve World Champion Barrel Racer and Pole Bender. She is a Professional Trainer and Clinician with almost 20 years of experience. Her mission is to help others reach their own goals in Competition and Horsemanship.
Learn more by following her at Rebel Barrel Horses on Facebook!
Mark and Windy Griffith offer an AQHA, ABRA, and APHA recognized Breeding Program and provide Training Clinics in a fun, friendly & relaxed environment.