Focus On your strengths- You’re stronger than you think
We ran an exercise with a group the other day, in which we asked participants to identify a core strength they see in themselves and then focus on how that strength enables them to deal with daily challenges. The group then built an obstacle course based on those daily challenges and led the horses through it- whilst reflecting on their core strengths.
For many of our clients the daily narrative of their lives has focused on what they don’t do well rather than what they do. Martin Seligman, the originator of Positive Psychology said ‘When we take time to notice the things that go right – it means we’re getting a lot of little rewards throughout the day’. However, when the focus is always on the things that go wrong or that have failed, it is very easy to get hooked downwards, especially if that negativity and judgement is being reinforced by those around us.
Working with horses is a circuit breaker. Horses don’t enter a relationship with preconceived expectations or reservations. They will accept you as you are. Building a positive, nonjudgmental relationship with the horse enables our clients to focus on their strengths. When clients begin to realise that they are stronger than they think or have been led to think, we see growth in self-esteem, confidence and the strengthening of personal resilience. Seligman also said ‘Authentic happiness derives from raising the bar for yourself, not rating yourself against others.’
In seeking feedback to the group exercise, we were pleased to see how many participants had been able to identity nor just one, but a number of strengths. As the saying goes- You’re stronger than you think.
For more information on equine therapy please contact Annie on 0411 549562 or e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org