Mar 18, 2022

Pressure Proof with Daniel Stewart: Verbal Erasers

USEA/ Meagan DeLisle photo

No one’s perfect (nope, not you either) so it’s just a matter of time before you make a mistake, mess up or miss an opportunity. There’ll come a time when you do everything right but it’ll still go wrong, or a time when you do your very best but it won’t be good enough. Regardless of the mistake, mess-up, or missed opportunity you’ll always be able to make up and move on as long as you’re mindful of the words you’re using to describe that experience . . . and this is where verbal erasers come in.

Verbal erasers are a series of unique words that contribute to your self-talk (what I like to call brain-babble because we’re all so good at babbling to ourselves!). There are two interesting things about these unique words. First, they have a weird way of erasing comments made just prior to them (like a pencil eraser erases words that have been written, verbal erasers erase words that have been spoken). The second interesting thing about them is that they can be either highly positive or unfortunately negative. In other words, verbal erases can be used for good or evil!

So what kind of words create this unusual category of verbal erasers? Since you’ve probably never heard of verbal erasers before it’s helpful to know what they are so you can always use them for good and never evil. The most common verbal eraser is the word but and it’s crazy how easily it can turn good into bad (or bad into good) simply by how you use it. Here are a few examples of good verbal erasers:

- I didn’t win today but I really enjoyed myself!

- I pulled the first rail but I finished strong and the last fence was the best!

It’s easy to see how the word but erased the loss and the first rail, and helped your brain focus on enjoyment and finishing strong. Here are a few examples of bad verbal erasers:

- I had fun today but I didn’t win!

- My last fence was good but the first one was horrible!

From these two examples, using the exact same experience, it’s easy to see how the word but erased the positive that preceded it. No longer are you thinking about enjoying yourself and finishing strong; those have been erased and you’re left thinking about losing and that last disappointing fence.

Another common verbal eraser is the word yet, and unlike but, it’s almost always used in the positive sense. For example,

- I can’t do flying changes yet.

- I haven’t qualified for training level yet.

The best thing about the word yet (in addition to erasing the can't and haven't that preceded it), it's also been proven to trick your brain into getting excited about what you’re going to do in the future, instead of feeling bad about what you can’t do in the present.

The words you say to yourself have a huge influence on your behaviors, outcomes, and reality so this month become mindful of the role that verbal erasers play in your life. For example, have you ever said anything like, “I’m sorry but you made me so mad”. If so, you didn’t really apologize did you? You’re still just blaming the other person. Always remember that brain-babble can be positive or negative, so always remember to use the word but and yet for good and never evil!

If you’d like me to teach a clinic to your barn, association, or pony club this summer or fall just shoot me an email at [email protected]! Forty-two of my 54 dates are sold out but I still have a few great dates available!

Oct 05, 2022 Competitions

Fast Facts: 2022 Morven Park International

And just like that, it is time for the Morven Park International! The prestigious event will take place Thursday, October 6, and run through Sunday, October 10 in Leesburg, Virginia. This is the event’s second year offering the CCI4*-L division, in addition to their CCI4*-S, CCI3*-S, and CCI2*-S divisions. That’s not all! The historic grounds at Morven Park will also host national divisions at the Novice, Training, and Preliminary levels.

Oct 04, 2022 Education

Jim Wofford Delivers His Fun and Education Formula at Woodside Clinic

Specifics of the "Fun & Education Formula" were provided to all at the Jim Wofford Clinic held on August 20 & 21 at the Horse Park in Woodside, northern California. Eager riders, auditors, and volunteers gathered for a much anticipated two-day clinic with the master bright and early Saturday morning.

Oct 04, 2022 Hall of Fame

Connections of Great Event Horse Eagle Lion Offered Invitation to USEA Eventing Hall of Fame

This year a new class will be joining the 47 eventing legends currently in the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Eventing Hall of Fame. Induction into the Hall of Fame is the highest honor awarded within the sport of eventing in the United States. Those invited to join the USEA's Eventing Hall of Fame have truly made a difference in the sport of eventing. Hall of Fame members have included past Association presidents, volunteers, riders, founders, course designers, officials, organizers, horses, horse owners, and coaches.

Oct 03, 2022 Convention

Announcing the Keynote Speaker for the 2022 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention: Dr. Sue Dyson

Have you ever wondered why your horse isn’t performing at their best? Get ready to learn about the many facets that can contribute to lameness and poor performance in sport horses from equine orthopedics expert, Dr. Sue Dyson! The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to announce that Dr. Dyson will be the keynote speaker at the 2022 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention in Savannah, GA this December 7-11.

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