Our annual horsemanship clinic wrapped up a few weeks ago.
It always takes me a while to process everything I learn from these.
While there are many takeaways for me this year, one lesson stands above the rest:
Sometimes action is the only cure.
Forethought is advisable.
Preparation is crucial.
Mentorship is important.
But there’s no substitute for just doing the thing.
Case in point?
I’ve wanted to start roping on my horse for YEARS. I’ve been chipping away at some of the skills for a while.
I’ve practiced shots on the ground, helped my horse become accustomed to the rope, and practiced roping the dummy off him.
I’ve done as much homework as possible… yet I still felt squeamish about putting it all together.
I thought more preparation would resolve my anxiety.
I told myself I needed at least another year of fundamentals before I tried to rope a live calf off my horse.
I rationalized that I needed to go slow and ease into it.
Then the clinic happened.
And one day I suddenly found myself heading a calf, tracking it, dallying, and setting it up for a heel shot. Repeatedly.
All things I told myself I was absolutely NOT ready to tackle.
It wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t pretty, but I did it.
So what happened?
Someone (aka the clinician) pushed me off the ledge of my comfort zone.
You see, preparation *is* important.
But sometimes preparation can turn into a form of procrastination.
While it’s wise to do your homework and be safe, you’ll never feel fully ready to leave your comfort zone.
Therefore, you must know when to push yourself to take the leap, butterflies in the stomach and all.
So what does this have to do with homesteading?
I see analysis paralysis stopping people nearly every day.
If I had a dollar for every person I’ve talked to that says, “I’m planning to start homesteading in 5 years!” I’d be rich.
Here’s the hard truth:
It doesn’t take 5 years to “prepare” to homestead, just like it doesn’t take 5 years to “prepare” to rope a calf.
Procrastination often wraps itself in the packaging of due diligence.
It’ll lull you to sleep while preventing you from chasing the things that light you up.
So yes, do your homework. Make wise decisions. But then? DO THE THING.
It’s never going to feel comfortable. It’s never going to feel easy. You’re never going to feel 100% ready.
And that’s the point.
I still have a looooong way to go in my roping ability. This will be a lifetime pursuit for me.
But now that I’ve jumped out of the airplane, it feels different.
I know I’m capable of more than I thought. And that’s a really good feeling, whether we’re roping or homesteading.
Busting through my comfort zone,
P.S. I talk a LOT about busting through comfort zones and creating action plans in my upcoming book, Old-Fashioned on Purpose. It hits shelves Sept. 26th, but if you preorder it, you get a TON of bonuses that you can start using immediately.