Oh no, it’s bin day

Surviving with NLP Thinking…


How many times have you or your clients prepared for a lovely ride out and then realised that it is bin collection day and stayed at home?


The very sound of the waste management truck and the clatter of breaking glass and tin cans, catching your attention before you even see the offending vehicle and panic sets in.  Your lovely horse tenses, sensing that something is wrong, then you turn the corner and everything begins to go horribly wrong.


Fear overcomes both you and your horse.  Your horse’s instinct is to run, to get away from this horrible danger that you are communicating as soon as is physically possible and in the interests of obedience and good behaviour, your role is to stop them from running.  A battle of wills ensues and results in the complete momentary breakdown of trust and communication between you and your mount.  Your argument puts you in danger from other traffic and the frantic movements and lunges of escape put others at risk as this majestic and powerful animal attempts to flee.


Sound familiar? Have you seen yourself in a similar situation before right now? Have you experienced and felt that fear? All because it’s bin day!


Let’s think about the emotion of fear.  Fear is not real, it is a manifestation of thought about something in the future that has not yet happened and indeed may never happen.  The common perception of the emotion of fear is that it serves to protect.  ‘If I feel fear in the face of danger, or potential threat, then the fear will protect me.’  This is put simply, not true.


Fear is a secondary emotion and plays no role in keeping you safe during times of challenge and danger.  So what do you have that provides protection when faced with potential threat to your safety?  You have your fight or flight instinct.  This instinctual compulsion to stand and fight or to remove yourself rapidly from a situation comes from the oldest part of your brain, your reptilian brain.  This part of your brain is the first part to develop and is pre-linguistic, so it reacts without the conscious self-talk that is the creator of fear.


This instinct is the very process that your horse is utilising when through your communication they realise that there is something dangerous coming up.  They have no linguistic structure as we know it to rationalise and make sense of what is happening, they will simply just choose to fight or to flee.  You are one of the key factors swaying this choice.  If you are feeling the emotion of fear, then you will communicate that emotion directly to your horse and they will of course trust their instinct to run away.  How confusing must it then be when you begin to kick and shout and pull and ask them to continue on the path towards the perceived danger?  No wonder there will be an argument putting you both at greater risk.


If on the other hand, you maintain a calm and relaxed, confident state, then your horse may choose to protect you and stand and fight.  Confidently pacing past the bin lorry and all of the commotion in order to get themselves and you to safety.  If you are always in a state of clam, relaxed confidence when you ride, then your horse may not perceive danger at all and will treat a bin lorry like any other everyday occurrence.  Wouldn’t that be something?


Fear doesn’t protect you.  You only feel the emotion of fear after the danger has passed as it is secondary to your fight or flight instinct.  If you allow fear to over write your instinctual behaviour, it can actually place you in more danger because it has a paralysing effect and you will remain frozen and unable to react, right in harm’s way.  The best and most effective way of preventing this is to release the fear completely, it serves no purpose and is not real, it is merely a construct of your imagination and your linguistically driven conscious mind.


Releasing fear from your neurology is easy and effortless using Time Line Therapy™ Techniques.  Practitioners of NLP are introduced to Time Line Therapy® during their Practitioner Training and get the opportunity to release their fear and other unnecessary negative emotions whilst they are taking the live training.  They also learn some fabulous techniques for controlling emotional state on demand and creating instant calm, relaxed and confident states.  I bet that would be useful to you, particularly on bin day!