The Peer Group Challenge

If I were to die today would I die proud of myself and the life I have lived? Would my life be used as a shining example? Or as a dire warning to others? A bed-time tale of: “Do you want to be like Ellie when you grow up? Do you? Do YOU!?”

Imagine the little, pink pyjama wearing people …

I don’t need that on my conscience in the eternity of the after-life. So I have made the decision to be a bit more “SHINEY”.

I wonder how one goes about that? What shifts do I have to make? Why don’t I Google that? I wonder if Google will pay me every time I mention them on this blog?

And then, as if by magic (or my Amygdala doing her thang), Life Coaches and Self Help Gurus started appearing everywhere I looked. Robin Sharma was the first. I quite liked him and followed some of his stuff for a week. Then Eric Ho. Who was sometimes brilliant and sometimes a bit worrying. And then Peter Sage (who is now my hero) appeared talking about procrastination, self-sabotage, raising your standards and improving your peer group.

Then I saw his advert to do the “Five-Day Change Your Peer Group and Change Your Life Challenge” and decided to give it a go. A challenge within a challenge.

Peter says we are “… way more a product of [our] environment than [we] are probably giving credit to. And it would, therefore, make sense to ask the quality question – if that is the case, what is the biggest influential factor of my environment? The one that has the biggest impact on who I am? … As social creatures it is the people who we surround ourselves with”.

Bugger! I live in a field.

A very big field.

But I will not let that deter me. Onwards and upwards. In this day of computers and podcasts and Youtube videos my peer group can be famous riders from around the globe!! Plus I have already stalked one into submission and now work for her. Mooo ha ha! (my evil plan is working.)

Obviously, I am not going to take you through every morsel of this 5-day course but will just share the bits I feel are pertinent to my personal quest of becoming an international show jumper before I die. Which I hope will be a while yet. The death bit. I kinda want the jumping bit to happen soon. If you want to learn more, the headings below are also links to his challenge.

The Criteria Challenge

We were asked to compile a list of qualities we wished members of our ideal peer group to have. Here is mine:

  • Must be competing at a higher level than me
  • MUST have the ability to see the funny side of life
  • Pragmatic
  • Positive “can do” attitude
  • THERE IS NO BOX! and glasses are re-fillable
  • Kind
  • Motivated and motivating. Inspired and inspiring
  • Direct and unambiguous

He then asks, on the basis of that list, who are you willing to lose? Well negative people, obviously. And those with a Crab Bucket Mentality And those not capable of helping to create a supportive environment.

The Mindset Challenge

I worry about my mindset a lot. I worry I lost it. Broke it. Drowned it in Cote du Rhone. OO! Not what he meant. He is talking about money. I am clueless about money. I am in La La Land skipping merrily about and when I need something it just arrives in my lap. It always has. I needed gloves one day when I was cycling in the snow and I found a pair of thermal gloves in the road. I have no idea why this happens but I am very grateful and I say thank you a lot to the ether.

Peter talks about financial mindsets. He is a business man, after all. But if, in the context of mindsets, you just change the word “money” or the word “wealth” for the phrase “riding ability” everything he says still makes perfect sense.

We possibly limit our potential riding ability simply because we feel we are not worthy.

“… this is critical if you want to upgrade your peer group. It’s not that rich people only hang around with rich people and, therefore, if you don’t have the money you can’t join the gang. It’s that people with a rich mindset hang around with people with a rich mindset.”

Peter Sage – Day 2 of the 5 Day Challenge

It is not the level you are riding at that will determine the quality of your peer group. It is your beliefs around what you are capable of given the chance. “Outer world follows inner world.”

For this challenge, Peter asks us to audit our limiting beliefs and question what beliefs we have in relationship to money (riding ability) and other people who have more of it. Are we jealous? In awe? Made aware of what is possible?

Then, finally, he asks us to create a Gratitude List and add to it daily. I sort of already do this. I have been known to get off a horse, kiss the floor and repeatedly say “thankyouthankyouthankyou! I’M ALIVE!”

Aim Before You Fire

Set your sights and your intentions in a specific direction. “Clarity is Power”. You don’t go to the train station and try to buy a ticket to “not here”, do you? I want to be an international show jumper. You may have figured this out already. I talk about it all the time. It is as much who I am now as it is where I want to be. It is my Identity. A lot of people think I am deluded. But I have noticed that, bit by bit, I am actually getting nearer to my goal – as if by osmosis. Imagine how much nearer I would get if I actively sought to improve my peer group.

Any International Show Jumpers reading this? Do you want to be my friend? My heart and mind are aligned as advised in this day’s lesson even though I was not exactly sure how to apply all of the advice to show jumping.

Mastermind A Common Vision

“If you want to raise your peer group, raise the level you swim at in the ocean of energy in order to surround yourself with better quality fish. Then raise the quality of your consciousness by raising the quality of your values or at least the time you spend connected to them.”

Peter Sage – Day 4 of the 5 Day Challenge

Very Zen. And it makes sense. Who would want to spend time with someone who gives off bad vibes and has absolutely no moral fibre? Not me. I want to be with positive, high energy people who know about unconditional love, compassion, humility etc. I want to be that person too. Peaceful and forgiving. I might need a bit of work here, guys. I can sometimes be a bit judge-y. Weeeeeell, no one is perfect. Yet 🙂

His next point is hugely relevant for us show jumpy people. Accountability. “People who hire personal trainers get better results in the gym than those who don’t.” Those who have coaches or mentors attain their goals quicker than those who don’t. I know I have come on in leaps and bounds since Louise has started coaching me. Even if there are, sometimes, large gaps in between sessions due to bad weather. It just seems easier to maintain momentum when you can chat to someone about what you are working on that day or that week. And I think there is also a need to not let yourself down in front of another person. A need to limit how often your coach face-palms and shakes her head.

The Tack Room Challenge

Peter Sage visualises himself going into a lift (elevator). While he is travelling up to the penthouse he mentally prepares himself, ie, looking in the mirror, adjusting his tie, etc. The doors open and he sees floor to ceiling windows and all his mental mentors sat at a big conference table. Richard Branson, Tony Robbins and Master Yoda, there was.

He visualises walking in, sitting at the head of the table, a topic he wants advice on held in his mind. He asks each of his mentors, in turn … and is amazed at what comes back to him from what quantum physicists would call “The Field”.

I have a field! You saw the photo. But I am not going to visualise a boardroom. I am going to visualise A Tack Room. And my elevator shall be a green lane (possibly muddy). To prepare myself I shall ensure my wellies are still on my feet and not left behind in the sludge.

I get to the tack room. Standing around chatting and drinking are Geoff Billington (wearing a pink polka-dotted flamenco dress complete with that wimple-type head-thingy thing), Nick Skelton (in a riding jacket slightly too big for him and bedecked with medals ), Roger-Yves Bost (grinning from ear to ear) and Louise Morley (phone in hand, showing the others many, many, many, many photos of this year’s crop of Super-Foals).

Gonna do this tomorrow. With a couple of large bales of hay and some planks. See animation at the end of this article.

Wow! What question to ask them? Perhaps I should have thought about that in the lane instead of farting about with my footwear. They haven’t seen me. I will come back in a bit.

I wasn’t sure if I should be doing this visualisation stuff sitting down, or meditating, or while pottering about so read a bit more about the technique and decided to do it as I was falling asleep. I snuggled up in bed with more cats than are mine and imagined myself walking up the lane again towards the tack room. Several Youtube videos suggested being serious and respectful towards your chosen councillors so Geoff was no longer cross-dressing. I politely asked advice on how to maintain training momentum when the weather was as awful as it has been. To sleep perchance to dream…

… lorry after lorry arrived with gravel first then sand. We fought against the howling gale and slashing rain as we emptied barrow after barrow in heaps about the four sides of the house. It seemed like a never ending task. Faces stinging and fingers frozen we battled on long into the night. Dawn came as we were nearing completion. The sand, raked evenly and beautifully despite the torrent, created a moat-like track. The house pretending castle-ness…

Sudden loud music caused my arm to shoot up towards my phone which in turn caused a big tin box to land on my nose. After which I sat up in bed and said:

“Oh! You bloody stupid woman! The sand and gravel were for a schooling arena!”

It was certainly a valid response to my question. Even if I cannot afford an arena. So, I am going to add Peter Sage, entrepreneur, to my Tack Room and have another go tonight. I will let you know the results. Perhaps I should temporarily change the name of the blog to How to Become a Millionaire Before Christmas.

Bonne Noel

Edit – OOps! Christmas came and went. I better go and re-watch the video on procrastination.

As promised above, my imaginary lesson with Nick Skelton.

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