I don't like victim stories. I only like the ones that say this is what happened to me and here is why I'm a better person for it.
I didn't grow up on a ranch and no one in my family is a horse person or a rodeo athlete. But I have loved animals so much my entire life and I decided a long time ago that I was going to be like all of those horsewomen I admired. Even at 12, I knew I had to do something to get closer to being what I wanted to be. I worked for a horse trainer the summer of seventh grade. For my payment I got a three year old gelding that I affectionately nicknamed Crowbait because of his looks. I spent 12 years with that horse and started worked for a multitude of different trainers. I believe that it doesn't matter what kind of background a person has, or where they grew up, or how they were raised. If you have a dream and enough dedication to see it through, you will become the person you want to be.
In 2006, after a rough time in my life when I lost my boyfriend in a car accident, I decided I wanted to be Miss Rodeo Montana. It took three years and a lot of dedication and giving up other priorities, but I achieved it. The fun thing about getting prepared for Miss Rodeo MT was that none of it felt like work. It was fun and I could barely wait to read and study and practice. When you want something bad enough, the preparation doesn't even feel like work. After I won, someone came up to me and told me how lucky I was. LUCKY? I felt like luck had nothing to do with it. I was offended because I had worked SO HARD. It was an interesting view into how a lot of people see the world. Like success is an accident. A lucky thing that happens to some people. Long term success is not a lottery gamble.
I have some really large goals for myself. I want to be a professional barrel racer and team roper. I want to be an entrepreneur. And I know that I can make all those things happen with HARD WORK. I feel like if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. And they are not. Sometimes when I get anxious about a goal or start thinking about it too much I just try to do something to step closer to it.
"Nothing Diminishes Anxiety Faster than Action" - Walter Anderson (The Confidence Course 1997)
I remember telling Miss Rodeo Montana 2007 Megan Helmer that I was nervous about the Miss Rodeo America Pageant and she said something that was very wise. She said that everytime she got nervous, she would just get out her material and study some more. It worked. Every time I took action, I was calm and focused.
I am going to share some quotes that help me keep perspective.
E + R = O (Jack Canfield, The Success Principles)
Event plus Response equals outcome. If you change your response, you change your outcome. A positive response generates a great outcome. A negative reaction leads to a negative experience. When I went through tragedy at 19, I realized that we cannot control all of our experiences. All you can control is how you respond to them. And every single person on this planet is going to have experiences that make you think, "Why did this happen to me? I don't deserve this! I am a good person." This equation changed me life and I use it every single day.
"Success will never be a big step in the future, success is a small step taken just now." (Jonathan Martensson)
Jack Canfield says to do 5 things a day that will aid you in the completion of your goal. If you take three swings at a tree with an axe every single day, one day that tree is going to fall down.
"Turn your wounds into wisdom". (Oprah Winfrey)
"A person will sometimes devote all of his life to the development of one part of his body- the wishbone." (Robert Frost)
"Success isn't a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire." (Arnold H. Glasgow)
"Fall down 7 times. Stand up 8." (Japanese Proverb)
I really like all of these quotes. Quotes helped me to get through a lot. It doesn't matter what you've been through, or where you come from. Look at horse trainers Monty Roberts and Buck Brannaman. Research their past. People have bad things happen to them and they have two choices. They can accelerate, have a great attitude, live their life with love and purpose. Or they can give up and never love or dream again. I chose to live my life and it has been amazing. I would never take back anything that has happened to me, as difficult as it was.
Here's a video the Missoulian did about adversity I got through to achieve Miss Rodeo Montana
Remember smooth seas don't make skilled sailors!