Each of us has what I call a pressure threshold; the amount of “stuff” that we can handle before we shut down, run a way or pick a fight with someone who just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time (that freeze, flee or fight mentality). But why can some people handle more than others? Well, it depends on our past experiences and how we were exposed to the situations in our lives. There is, in fact, a direct relationship between who exposed us to these situations (whether parent, teacher, etc.), plus how much commitment we naturally have (some people call this the stubborn part of our personality), plus the mindset that we use in a given situation and the amount of pressure that we can handle, or our pressure threshold. When you experience a situation, you will respond according to the pressure that was created by what has happened to you in the past, which in turn “programmed” you, in a sense, to respond in a particular way. So, whenever you experience a situation, it isn’t the situation, it is the pressure caused by the situation that causes you to revert back to the way that you were “programmed.” It may be a conscious or subconscious response because pressure was used in a negative way if the tyrant mindset was used
Working with horses using the alpha mindset, pressure is used in a positive way. In working with a person with a “committed” personality, the pressure created by the experiences to offset that commitment had to be so high that the trauma from that situation is so engrained that it quite possibly could be dis-empowering- bringing our pressure threshold down. So when that person works with a horse in the round pen, the pressure created by the situation that they are encountering between the picture that they were given and what the horse is doing, is such that they start using the tyrant mindset (which in this case is not beneficial to their well-being.) To help them overcome this habit, one needs to raise the pressure which then in turn reminds them of what they went through. Since this can be overwhelming, they have a tendency of overreacting to what is going on – they will more than likely not understand the reasoning behind the pressure applied at that moment because of the degree of trauma created by the past. It is not until the degree of pressure applied in the round pen in that moment is greater than that which they experienced in the past, that they will understand the way that pressure is used in the alpha mindset. It is difficult for many people to want to go down that road. It means dredging up the past, and until the pressure in their immediate life is great enough they won’t have an incentive to change because of the degree of negative past pressure. This all goes back to survival. A good example of this is the extent to which the world is changing – the economic and physical environment. If our goal as Americans truly is “CHANGE” – the buzzword of the day – the first thing that we must change is our mindset. Here is the opportunity to do so.
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