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Dr. Taylor Swift & Your Mental Health

Dr. Taylor Swift & Your Mental Health|

By: Jenny Swanson, LICSW

My fellow Swifties will know that today, May 18, 2022 Taylor Swift was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from New York University and addressed the class of 2022 in their graduation ceremony.

What does Taylor Swift have to do with sports psychology? Equestrians? Mental health? She knows everything, she’s a doctor, duh!

You don’t have to listen to everything Taylor Swift says, but her speech was inspiring and incredibly relevant to our current time.

If you have not watched her speech yet, I encourage you to do so. Click here (Starts at 1:00:15).

If you don’t feel like it, no problem. Here are my 3 takeaways and how I will apply them to my riding and my work with riders and their mental health!

  1. “My experience has been that my mistakes have lead to the best things in my life”

→ Oftentimes it feels as though missing the last jump in an otherwise perfect round is the worst thing possible. You had the win. You had it! And if you just ….sat up, held your horse straight, kept your leg on… you would have won! In order to not miss the last jump, you need to miss it. You must make a mistake before you learn to correct it. Why? Because you did not know it was wrong until after it happened. You did the best you could in that moment and it was not the right choice. That choice then leads you to know what to do next time.

  1. “The times I was told no, or wasn’t included….looking back it feels like those moments were more important or more crucial than if I were to be told yes”

→ Nobody celebrates you or your successes until you are already at the top of the podium. Not until you won the Grand Prix or Medal finals, do people then start to follow you on Instagram. Your effort will not be recognized by everyone. You need to recognize your own effort. You need to notice when you are being told no or you are left out, what YOU are going to do for YOU. Be selfish. It is in these moments that you will truly find who you are and what makes you tick.

  1. “We are led by our gut instincts, our intuition, our desires, our fears, our scars, and our dreams. And you will screw it up sometimes!”

→ Part of the human experience is making mistakes but it is also to feel intense feelings of fear, anxiety and scarcity. Only when you feel such intense feelings of pain and shame and guilt do you then feel overwhelming excitement, joy and pride. If mistakes are inevitable, so are emotions. Stop trying to block out a feeling or putting an emotion in a box and burying it. Let your gut instincts, scars and fears be seen. Acknowledge them, because they make you who you are. You are not screwed up. You are an amazing, cool, unique individual, so own it!

Keep going!

- Jenny

Jenny Swanson, LICSW

©2022 by Jenny Swanson, LICSW. All rights reserved.

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