The Thirty Ways


By Sally O’Dwyer, with help and inspiration from master entrepreneur and teacher, Seth Godin. 

In his book, “The Practice, Shipping Creative Work”, Seth Godin created a list of Forty-Five Ways that we sacrifice our work to fear.  The length of his list illustrates the insidiousness of fear and the many ways it ruins us. Seth’s list made me realize that I am a sucker for fear and that gets the best of me and my riding far more often than I thought. 

In dressage, fear steals our joy, blocks our progress, and prevents us from reaching our true potential.  

Identifying fear-based behavior is the first step in stomping on it and eliminating its powerful sting. 

Here is a modified Seth Godin list for dressage riders.  Do any of these ring true to you?

Thirty Ways Fear Holds Us Back in Our Riding

  1. Procrastinate
  2. Abandon the Grand Prix
  3. Ignore the experts
  4. Catastrophize
  5. Mail it in
  6. Try too hard
  7. Wait for the muse
  8. Embrace jealousy
  9. Taunt yourself
  10. Seek applause
  11. Focus on your age
  12. Listen to people who are afraid
  13. Confuse perfection with quality
  14. Polish your excuse
  15. Compromise on the hard stuff
  16. Hone self-doubt
  17. Forget to laugh
  18. Hide from your community
  19. Believe you are not enough
  20. Blame the horse
  21. Compare yourself to others
  22. Define your “you” as your current level of riding ability
  23. Copy others, forget your story
  24. Abandon the art
  25. Make it too complicated
  26. Force progress
  27. See asking for help as weakness
  28. Believe there is only one way
  29. Worship talent instead of skill
  30. Despise your body

Modified from Seth Godin’s list “#155. Bonus: The Forty-Five Ways. Pps. 178-179. The Practice: Shipping Creative Work. Published November, 2020

About me. I am an amateur dressage rider, living in Boulder, Colorado.  I have horses and enjoy learning about and competing in dressage.  I hope to encourage others to GO FOR IT!

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