Burnout isn’t just a buzzword but a reality for millions.
It is a state, defined by researcher Christina Maslach, of exhaustion in which we are often cynical and less effective at what we do. It isn’t that we don’t want to do the necessary and valuable things that need doing. It’s just that there isn’t enough left in the tank to get it done.
The last 18 months have left many of us so full of adrenaline and at such a loss of stability that it is often exhausting to get through the day. To make matters worse, there is also this pressure to “get back to normal,” and be excited about the world opening back up. While seeing friends and attending horse shows is great, for many the dread hasn’t lifted, and the things we thought were going to fill us with joy have felt a little underwhelming.
Equestrian Coach Daniel Stewart’s new book Bolder, Braver, Brighter is a bright spot in the chaos and a perfect burnout buster. Stunningly designed with full-color photographs and fantastically formatted workbook-style pages, this book is a jolt of honest motivation perfect for boosting an equestrian life and a professional one.
Bolder, Braver, Brighter could have easily fallen into the sticky sweet, disingenuous molasses barrel of toxic positivity: “Are things terrible? Just be positive, and it will change.”
The opposite is true.
Built on a combination of experience, sports psychology, and hard-earned practical optimism, Daniel Stewart tackles many of the hard truths of equestrian life in this little book that could.
Surprisingly, the book opens with a discussion of body image and bullying. It also takes on several of the other major mental blocks many face when we tighten up our girths for a ride, including bias, a victim mindset, and how our egos get in the way.
The sections on fear and failure, however, stand out for their vulnerability, honesty and relatability. Both failure and fear are two of the biggest boogiemen in our sport. They are as common in the barn as plastic buckets, yet seldom discussed openly and honestly. It is powerful to see an accomplished coach take them on with calirity and kindness. Failure, Coach Daniel notes, is often be full of insight and, used correctly, it can be a gift. His notes on fear are equally as insightful and often full of humor.
WIth over 25 years of experience, Coach Daniel knows the highs and lows of horse sport. He has coached the United States Equestrian Team at the Olympics and the World Equestrian Games and his writing has appeared in almost every major equestrian publication, plus three books. Now, he runs Pressure Proof Coaching Academy and runs clinics around the country—44 in 23 cities and 19 states in 2021 alone. Despite the author’s impressive resume, Bolder, Braver, Brighter is an approachable and friendly in a rare and wonderful way.
Coach Daniel Stewart is this month’s featured author on HN Reads! Tune in Wednesday at 1pm ET on Facebook Live, Youtube and HN Reads as he sits down with host Gretchen Lida for what’s sure to be an inspiring and insightful talk. Exclusively on Horse Network.