The Rider’s Mind Podcast Episode 130: Taking Time For Integration

If you’re anything like me, you love taking in information, whether it’s through courses or podcasts or books, or going to clinics, and the best part is when you learn something new and you can quickly implement what you’ve learned and you can do it like a pro right away. But the most frustrating thing is when you learn something and then you never implement it or you learn something or you can’t do it right away. So you throw in the towel, and that’s not really fair, because everything we learn needs some time to percolate, to marinate, to become part of you, so that you can move closer to mastery.

In this episode I want to talk about giving yourself some grace while this new information integrates or while you’re implementing this new information. You really shouldn’t have an expectation of learning something and then instantly being pro, but for some of us that seems to be the unconscious expectation, an unfair expectation, and that’s what we’ll explore in this episode.


I’m recording this a week before the Thursday it was released. It’s a blizzardy day here in Manitoba, where we’re hunker down and snuggled in, staying safe in this spring storm. Last week, on my stride coaching call, I spoke about, well, what I’m going to talk about here in today’s episode, and that is allowing yourself the space and grace for integration or even implementation.

When you’ve learned new things. It seems like people, including myself, get short on patience or get frustrated when they can’t immediately implement the things that they’ve just learned. And that’s not really fair to yourself, because it takes time for these new neural connections and new neural patterns to connect so you can do the things that you’ve learned, whether you’ve learned something through a clinic or a lesson or a book or a video. These things don’t just click in right now. At that point it’s knowledge, you’ve gained knowledge, but you haven’t put it to practice. Sometimes it takes time for this new information to percolate through your system or marinate if you want to think of it as a soaking in. But I know myself when I go to barrel racing, clinic or any type of lesson, I’m probably that person that just kind of sits there with a stone face the whole time. But I’m really taking it all in and I’m taking it in with an open mind, balancing it off what I’ve known before, balancing it off what I’d like it to be or what I’m hearing it to be. And then it takes me a few rides after the fact to start integrating and implementing things. I think that sometimes, if you have too many days back to back, if you’re not taking notes to bring with you, you’re not going to remember everything you took in on one and two on day seven because you haven’t been able to take those things and integrate them. If that hasn’t been part of the clinic or the workshop, sometimes it is. But just say: if you, you learned a drill, you practice at once and then you didn’t ride again for two weeks, while you will have so much separation between when you’ve learned it to, when you’re trying to implement that knowledge, that you’re going to be missing bits and pieces. Whereas if you would have taken that and then practiced it on two, practice it a little bit more, on three and then again on four, and I think so that would be like a clinic example.

But say you read a book, I’m bad for reading a book and then there’ll be exercises at the end of the chapter will just keep reading and I don’t actually implement or practice or 40 fully integrate everything that I have learned and the exercises at the end of chapters in a lot of books, like in personal development books. They’re there for a reason and they’re extremely helpful. Person actually does them. But I think what happens is we start rushing through. We have a thirst for more knowledge, we just want more and you know what the implementation and the integration part. That’s the work, that’s the hard part, consuming information, reading another book, watching another video. That’s easy right, that doesn’t take, that doesn’t take the effort. The effort is the actual integration in implementing these things, just like you could read a book about swimming or take a course on how to ride a bike and you’d think, yeah, I’ve got this.

But when the rubber meets the road and it’s time to get in the water or it’s time to get on the bike, that’s when your knowledge turns into knowing. Knowing is when you can execute what you actually learn and integrate it into your life. Until you have ease, you’re not going to go, and I think this is what a lot of people want to do at a subconscious level, like they’re not thinking about it. But you’re not going to go from learning a new skill to master overnight. That’s the-dream that’s what I’d like. You know, because patience is not exactly my forte. I really like to have learn something and be able to be a pro the next day, wouldn’t we all? And that’s kind of like this expectation that we have of ourselves, because we have these high standards, those of us that are high achievers. We have these high standards that boom, we should know this and we know this. We should be able to do it and it should be easy, and that’s actually like not a horrible attitude to have. But if it comes with that practical information of knowing that it’s going to take time, it’s going to take practice to connect these neurons in our brain so that it becomes a new habit, this new way that we’ve learned through a book or this new way of riding that we’ve learned from a clinic. It’s going to take some time for these connections to join up. They’re not going to happen under pressure. They’re not going to happen as quick if we are in our heads about it and we are frustrated or flustered because we can’t do it in a snap. That’s not going to make it happen. Getting us activated into our nervous system by adding pressure, by yelling at ourselves, essentially internally. That’s not going to help the lessons integrate. That’s not going to help us implement the knowledge but having grace and how.

How we move through these missteps our mistakes, as we take our knowledge and turn it into knowing. That is where we’re going to be able to find the ease with these neural connections through a repetitive practice and action that it’s actually going to stick. You know, the implementation of this integration is really where the magic happens. It’s the the bridge between your knowledge and mastery, is actually doing the things, and that is where the growth happens. That is where we need to have our growth mindset, that we’re not necessarily starting again every time, but we’re starting with a leg up because we already know how not to do it. So instead of getting frustrated that were we haven’t found all the answers, we haven’t mastered it quite yet, so that we throw in the towel. We need to have that mindset and that way of thinking that is well a growth mindset where we’re just drawing on what we just learned from that experience, that perceived failure, and we just see it as a step up.

Because now we know something different and you know we tried it didn’t work, noted, carry on to the next thing, whereas lots of times I know I’ll get pouty even and just you know, step away for a little bit like I’ve been working on one particular horse doing groundwork and I kind of hit a wall and I recognize this just through reflecting on it that, oh wow, it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve been at that. Why is that? And it was because I hit a point where I needed more information. I needed more knowledge, but I also knew that I, that I was going to have some failures while implementing that knowledge and integrating what I learned. And that was going to feel challenging for me because it wasn’t going to go perfect. I wasn’t going to get it and go in. I don’t love that so much.

There’s, you know, lessons in humility around that of taking these steps, but I think if we come at it, for recognizing it for what it is, what you know what I was doing. I recognized that then. I was like, oh but I can handle that, but I was from a subconscious level, avoiding that growth in that less those lessons, because they were going to feel a little bit challenging. But when I had that awareness of what I was doing at a subconscious level, well then I can override that. You know, in the last episode I talked about knowing yourself so that you can hack yourself. And that’s an example where I know my patterns and I was able to see what exactly was happening there so that I can override that and make the conscious choice and say, oh, there’s like making mistakes is not fearful. I recognize that I am not going to be perfect and that’s OK, instead of my desire subconsciously as often to do things that I’m going to be good at and avoid the things that I’m not good at because it’s hard, it’s hard on my ego. But I can recognize what’s happening there and consciously choose to go back with some grace and for myself, grace for myself, that I’m not going to be perfect and that I have a choice of how I’m going to move through these obstacles.

As I turn this knowledge that I have into knowing, through the practice and through the stickiness on my way to mastery, that that’s really the only way through there. To get to the mastery is to learn what not to do and to learn what doesn’t work, so that you really can have first-hand knowing, not just knowledge of what works. And this is where you can really have a feel in your body, in your knowing in your soul of where the ease is what works, what feels effective and peaceful and good in your heart, as opposed to just having the knowledge and really just feeling like you’re you’re busting through things in an edgy way and not finding the finesse in what you’re actually doing. You know its knowledge.

To read the book about swimming, you have some knowledge. Once you get in the water, you can swim, you can splash around, you can make those big splashes when you’re doing the front crawl. It can look like total chaos or you can look at that. You can take feedback. You can know that’s not how it wants to look for you and you can smooth it out and just have more of that finesse and more of that field and become closer to the level of mastery that you want to achieve through feedback, of trying it. No, that’s not how it works, that’s not how it feels, that’s not how I want it to look. That’s not the most efficient way to get through the water and then to come back, learn from that and work towards that mastery. But it takes time. It takes getting in the arena. It takes takes getting in the pool so that and being easy on yourself, because being mean to yourself, being self critical, finding your motivation through negative self talk is not where smoothness and finesse and connection with yourself or with another being or with an animal is found. You’re more apt to find this connection through play and working towards energy, no matter what your event really, and smoothness and style and savageness. And this all comes from improving the neural connections through repetitive practice, through action, through bringing stuff up, through recognizing your triggers, through learning the lessons, as you’re going going through these messy parts, these messy bits, it’s all part of the magic and it’s necessary. There will be times where things are easier, but as there are lessons to learn, there’s going to be some sticky spots. So I just want you to remember that when you’re learning something new, no matter what source you’re taking it from, to have some grace and some ease and go easy on yourself, while you take the time to integrate what you’re learning, while you take the time to implement what you’ve learned and to make these connections in your brain and body so that it becomes more natural, so that the smoothness is there, so that the panes is there, so that you move closer to this level of mastery.

But don’t expect to just learn something and it be at a-level of mastery in two days and then be mad at yourself and be self critical because you’re not there yet it takes time. That’s why this thing called life is a journey, a journey of learning something, implementing it, failing, deciding how you’re going to handle that failure, whether you’re labeling it as a lesson or a failure, bouncing back up from that, you fall down six times, get up seven. This is life is really a journey about learning and implementing learning and implementing learning, integrating whatever words that you want to use. But just make sure that you’re keeping that in mind and you’re recognizing that our bodies, our brains need time to integrate all of the things that you’re learning and to give yourself great grace through that process.

If you’d like to learn more from me, and you have already downloaded my next level mindset mini-course. You can do that at, and if you’d like you could also join my free Facebook community. It’s called the Rider’s Mind community. Well, I hope to see you there and we’ll catch you in the next episode. Until then, breathe deep, stay present and ride the stride.

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