Confidence seems to be a buzz word in riding. I see it used in many different social media posts that offer tips to become more confident. Articles in magazines have suggestions to gain confidence. I use the word myself in my business, The Mindful Equestrian. I have a tagline that says, “Shifting your perspective to a positive, confident, competitive ride.” We all strive to be more confident in whatever we do. I have been thinking lately about how confidence is cultivated. I believe that before you can build confidence, you need to discover your blocks to confidence.
This does not mean you have to go deep into your past and figure out why you have the blocks. But, until you know what is stopping you from being more confident, you will not be able to develop strategies to overcome the blocks. A lack of confidence can come from many different underlying beliefs and perspectives. Someone who is a perfectionist may lack confidence because they feel they can never move forward until things are exactly right. Someone else may feel judged by others and they may lack confidence because they think they are not good enough. Another person may have a negative outlook and lack confidence as they have trouble envisioning positive outcomes.
These are just a few examples of ways confidence can be blocked. In order to grow your confidence you need to shift your perspective and underlying beliefs to more empowering ones. The perfectionist can focus on learning from mistakes and letting go of the need for perfection. A person who feels judged can learn to focus on their positive attributes and skills and begin to realize they are more than good enough. The negative person can learn to look at the possible positive outcomes in situations and eventually develop a more positive outlook. All of these changes can lead to more confidence on and off a horse. These are just a few examples.
In order to build your confidence you need to look deeply within and peel away the layers to find out what is really going on. Each of us may need to take a different path on the way to becoming more confident. Once you discover what is blocking your path to confidence, you can begin to develop strategies to break through those blocks and grow the confidence you desire. It will take work and perseverance but it is well worth it!