Not too long ago I read an article about how women tend use qualifying words like “just” to pacify those around them. In a work setting, it could be used like this: “I’m just checking to see when you might have that project completed.” Just. It softens things. Makes you less demanding. Less “bossy.”
Since then I’ve noticed myself using that word in emails (and usually deleting it to rephrase in a more confident way). I’ve also noticed that I have a tendency to follow up my thoughts or ideas in work meetings by saying, “I don’t know.” And that is so dumb. Because I do know. That’s why I said whatever it was that I said, whether an idea in a brainstorm or a recommendation for the next steps required in a project.
So I started thinking about horses, you know, as one does. I thought about what it would be like if I were to ride Twinkle with that sort of self-deprecating, second-guessing mindset. I imagine it would go something like this:
Me: Twinkle, we’re going to jump over that fence. I don’t know.
Me: *flies over fence solo*
Or another scenario:
Me: I just think we should canter now. I don’t know.
Twinkle: No. *bucks*
Me: *parts ways with Twinkle*
These situations end up looking like this:
Granted, Twinkle is a horse that doesn’t grant respect to a rider that doesn’t have any respect for him or herself. She will literally balk at a groundpole if she thinks you won’t make her go over it. That horse has taught my brain more confidence, my upper body to stay off the neck or else and my leg muscles to be like steel. Great things come from confidence. Like this:
So, the moral of the story is that I’m going to banish the phrase “I don’t know” from my vocabulary. The exception, of course, will be when I actually don’t know something. Confidence and a take-charge attitude can certainly carry over from horseback riding. After all, that’s the whole reason I named this blog “Centered in the Saddle.”