Changing priorities…

Life changes, and with it our priorities change. Adjusting to our changing priorities can be difficult, sometimes it feels like you have been focused on some target for many years, and suddenly it loses its allure, and we realise that our priorities have changed.

Remember when you were young, and staying out all night was great fun? And now being tucked up in bed with a good book by 10pm is the ultimate delight? That is simply your priorities changing. As our life changes our views, our outlooks change.

When you were younger riding horses as fast as possible was an aim, now a spook-free hack is a delight. When we were younger we might have been more results driven, and gained satisfaction from winning at a show, or beating our rival. Though often as you get older, you appreciate the delights of training more than the pinnacle of the competition.

Age changes us, experiences, both good and bad, change us, so that our priorities change. If you have had a bad fall, success might be a hack without feeling nervous. If are older, a ride where your hip doesn’t hurt might be the ultimate indicator of success. These aspirations are no less valid or important they are just different. All our personal goals are just that, they are personal, they are all equally valid and important. We cannot judge our goals against the goals of others. We don’t know what battles other people are fighting, we don’t know what constitutes success to someone else.

So be kind, to yourself and to others. Even if your aims aren’t as seemingly ambitious as they once were they are still your aims. They are still valid and you should still be proud of them. Take a moment to look back at where you have come from…

It’s okay to praise yourself!

We are taught when young not to be proud, not to say how great we are, not to agree with people when they compliment us. It has taken me a long time as an adult not to shrug of compliments with a negative comment, but simply to accept them kindly. We become confused between pride and positive self-image, the lines have become blurred and we fall into negative self-image.

But it is okay to praise oneself, it is good to feel proud of your achievements. Often other people won’t see them as achievements, they won’t even notice, so sometimes the only person who can praise us, is our-self.  You managed to get on your horse at the mounting block without your heart racing with nerves. No-one else can see that, they just see you getting on. You manage to have a light-hearted conversation with the  girl at the till, when you have spent 20 years suffering with acute social anxiety. No-one else can see that.

Often the only person that really understands how well you have done, is you. So congratulate yourself, praise yourself. Look back and see how very far you have come. It is not important what is the eyes of others, it is important that you understand your own achievements, and acknowledge them to yourself.

This is not false pride, nor arrogance, it is self-care, self-love, it is understanding that your path through life may not be the easiest, but it is yours and you are doing the very best that you can. And remember that other people may feel just like you. That lady with the big smile who has just trotted a circle, that may be the first time she has trotted without wanting to get off. We have no idea what other people are going through, be kind, always…