All my life I’ve been called hard-headed, sometimes as a compliment, other times not. Over the last several years I’ve worked hard to overcome this trait, one I consider to be a defect of my character.
I’m better than I used to be, but from time to time my ego still enjoys taking control of my reason.
If you’ve followed me for a bit, you know I have a beautiful paint horse, Smooch. Along with God, my family and my dogs, Smooch is the love of my life. What I enjoy most about him is what I’ve been told is true about horses in general; my horse is a mirror to my soul.
Smooch reflects all of me, my people-pleasing and desire to learn, how I want to run off when things get overwhelming, and the importance of the herd. Smooch is affectionate, pushy, demanding, curious, loves treats and most of the time he seems to like me pretty well.
Smooch will also fight me with everything he has if I’m teaching him something in a way he doesn’t understand. Of course, I want to be perfect, also a character defect.
Over time I’ve learned I’ll never be a flawless wife, mom or businesswoman, but somehow I still expect myself to be a consummate trainer, though I’ve only been working with Smooch for a few years. AND he’s the first horse I’ve trained with.
Lately, we’ve been working on bending, also called flexion. An orange flag is my training aid, but I’m pretty sure if you ask Smooch, he’ll tell you it’s an orange fire-breathing dragon bent on devouring him. In other words, Smooch is crazy-scared of the flag. Since it’s a training tool I don’t use as often as I should, I’m clumsy with it at times.
Not so with my husband, Mike. He’s very adept with the flag, with training techniques and reading our horses. He doesn’t see himself this way, but he has an equine affinity I lack. I’ve had to get used to him being better with the horses than I am. It hasn’t been easy.
One weekend before his deployment to Afghanistan, Mike and I were down at the barn. After we’d saddled up and gotten all our training tools together, we headed out to the arena. I wasn’t ten minutes into my session with Smooch before I realized I still didn’t have the technique right. So I did what I still sometimes to hate to do…asked for help.
Over walked Mike who took the lead rope in one hand, the orange fire-breathing dragon in the other and proceeded to work Smooch like a pro. It used to bother me in the beginning. I resented Mike’s abilities and felt inferior to him. But after 25 years of marriage, I understand we both have unique skills. I simply had to learn to yield to help. In doing so, Smooch and I were better for it.
The same lesson was presented to me time and time again when running my company. I learned some pretty cool things over time, like how to tell a customer, “I don’t know,” when she would ask something I couldn’t answer. I would follow that statement up with, “Let me do some research and get back to you.” It’s how I learned. Sometimes the lesson came from the Internet, sometimes from people in my industry or from friends in business, including my husband.
I long ago learned I’ll never know everything. When my head is telling me I should, I know my ego has taken over. At that point, I take a step back, say a prayer, make a call or turn to a mentor. I yield to help. It’s a source of strength today, one I’m grateful for.
Robin Aldrich is the author of Bootstrapped! Creating a Small Business on a Budget. Robin founded the Boomerang Business Project in 2015 to help other small businesses thrive through personal and professional development.
For more info, please visit Robin’s website!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my work. I wish you a blessed and prosperous day! ~ R.
Originally published at medium.com