Your Emotional Bank Account

Imagine that every morning when you wake up, ten credits are deposited in your emotional bank account. A withdrawal is made every time you do something which costs you energy; anytime that you are required to draw on your inner resources or need to step up in some shape or form.

It’s possible to gain credits also. Credits come from anything that “fills you up”, supports you, from positive experience, and from joy.

Deductions and deposits are made physically also. If you don’t get enough sleep; if you don’t eat well, or at all; if you don’t drink enough. All of these things cause you to withdraw on the balance that you have. All of these things “tax” you in some way, and vice versa.

Imagine now the following. Last night’s sleep was rough. Getting up is an effort. You manage to haul yourself out of bed and get yourself to work. Minus 3 points.

Work is busy. Minus 1. You barely have time for lunch so you just grab something quick on the run. Minus 1. Your boss is in a bad mood; there are deadlines to meet and there’s still so much work today. Everyone in the office is feeling it. Minus 2.

5 o clock finally comes and you can’t wait to go and see your horse. Things have been going really well lately and you feel like you both are starting to get it together. You get ready and lead him out to the arena for a ride.

You can feel he’s a little tense when you get on but he settles and you start to walk around. For some reason today, the “easy” stuff is feeling really hard. It’s not that your horse is doing anything “wrong” but you’re all over the place; you’re not enjoying it at all.

At the end of the ride, you will completely deflated. Maybe you were kidding yourself with this whole riding thing. It felt like it had been going so well but right now, you feel like the best option might be to throw the towel in and face up to the reality that you just don’t have what it takes.

Of the 10 points you had to draw on at the start of the day, 7 have been used up before you even got to the barn. If you are in a situation where you need a certain amount of emotional stealth to produce a successful result, you may find yourself in a position where you simply don’t have enough to draw on. You were feeling compromised before you even made it out of the start gates.

While the exact details of the story above may not hit home for you, we’ve all had experiences where our emotional bank accounts are running dry. Understanding that certain events in our day or even life circumstances at the time have an effect on our resilience, our coping skills and how positive we feel in any given moment is an important consider when it comes to our riding, and what’s more we can use the information to set ourselves up for success.

Using the metaphor of the emotional bank account gives you a tangible means to assess what might currently be taxing you and how you can make some deposits. There are many things in life that happen outside of our control, but there is also much that we can do to set ourselves up for success.

Here’s some things to consider when it comes to making some deposits:

  • Sleep! If you’ve ever not had enough of it you will know how not getting enough sleep affects your mood and outlook. If you are lacking confidence or about to do something that you know is going to “require” more of you, do your best not to be burning the midnight oil and getting the most rest that you can
  • Set yourself up for success. It seems like an obvious one but asking yourself, what can I do to set myself up for success in this situation? Goes a long way in illuminating some basic measures you can take that will allow you to feel more supported and resourceful. What can you do to better set yourself up for success?
  • Cut yourself some slack. If you are going through something that is taking multiple deposits from your emotional bank account, cut yourself some slack. Now may not be the time to really push the bar when it comes to your comfort zone, or put you and your horse in a position where you need to be at the top of your game. Recognise what you need and honour it. At the end of the day, it’s better for you AND better for your horse.
  • Nourish yourself. If you aren’t eating or drinking enough or filling yourself up with things that don’t support you physically, it will be having an effect on your emotional resilience and health also. Check in and make sure you are getting what you physically need to feel emotionally resourceful also.

You can’t pour from an empty cup. Look after yourself first.

xx Jane