Last updated on July 1st, 2022 at 03:16 pm
Last weekend I competed in a horse show.
Three days before this first horse show, my focus was simply staying on my horse. My horse Nikki was throwing it all at me: the bucking, bolting and spooking. He was just getting it all out of his system, right?
Well fellow horse dreamers, we did great at the show. Nikki was a little stressed at first but never really lost focus and settled down quickly. I felt pretty relaxed throughout and only had to resort to singing for a few moments. The judge seemed to really like us. In the end, we earned one first-place ribbon and one second-place ribbon.
Unfortunately, the show started late so we had to pack up and go home after only two classes.
Overall, it was a huge dream confidence builder.
Since then, though, I’ve been in a serious funk. Just ask my husband – he’ll tell you all about it. Here’s how to fail to build upon a recent success (i.e., what not to do):
- Fail to give yourself much credit for working hard and realizing a dream success.
- Eat junk food. Lots of it. Much more than is reasonable to “reward” yourself for your recent hard work and resulting success.
- Be super, super lazy. Let the laundry and dishes pile up. Let the kids watch TV all afternoon so you don’t have to deal with them.
- Do not return e-mails or phone calls to supportive friends.
- Complain about how tired and unmotivated you are.
- Do not look at the horse show calendar to plan your next show.
- Focus on all the things you’re not doing.
- Let everyone’s little comments and criticism really get to you. Take it all personally and feel bad about yourself.
I couldn’t figure out what was. I was thinking that I could benefit from a vacation. And then I began to wonder if these feelings can be something quite natural. Maybe this is something that happens after you take a giant step toward your dream?
I know that it’s not uncommon for runners to suffer post-event depression after finishing a marathon. This is due in part to achieving a goal that took much time and effort.
I decided to do some research on the Internet . . . and guess what I found?
POST ACHIEVEMENT DEPRESSION or also known as POST ACHIEVEMENT SYNDROME
All too often I meet people who experience a period of depression soon after a positive achievement. They experience the euphoria of accomplishing a goal or reaching a milestone, but shortly thereafter they feel depressed. The severity of the depression varies by the significance of the achievement — small achievements can generate mild depression that only lasts a short time. While major achievements can bring on a bout of depression that can be more serious.
While goals and achievements are important and good motivators, we should be careful not to assign too much meaning to them. No goal can make you happy; no singular achievement can make you happy either. Happiness is created from the inside out. A goal is a goal, a step along life’s path, a measure of improvement and accomplishment. It does not define who you are. Too much meaning in a goal or achievement can create a never-ending pursuit of one goal after anther to find satisfaction and prove your self-worth. Your self-worth is an inside out phenomena. Look for ways to grow it from within and you will begin to feel happiness.
And how do you recover from Post-depression syndrome?
It is recommended that the sooner you get your mind off the old dream goal and onto the next dream goal, the sooner this feeling of depression will go away. This week I need to be disciplined and set aside some time to look at another show I can compete at and begin to train Nikki as if we have another show.
The idea is to move on to your next dream accomplishment that will once again push you a little bit further out of your comfort zone.
In other words, take the depression and build on it – in a positive way and understand it is a natural part of dream achievement.
Whew! I’m not so crazy after all!
What are you doing for your dream this week?
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