Shifting your perspective to a positive, confident, competitive mindset.

 The only way I will get better is to keep trying and learn from my mistakes..

You may wonder why I am posting two bird photos. You may also wonder why one of the photos is blurry and out of focus. It is because I want to share with you my journey in my new hobby as a beginner bird photographer. (Please keep reading as I will get to how this applies to riding soon!) The reason I want to share is because I know I will make big mistakes and take many more bad, out of focused pictures than I will good ones. But the only way I will get better is to keep trying and learn from my mistakes. If I don’t go out and try at all I would never get photos like the first one. When I get good ones I try and think what is it I did differently that created the good result and when they are blurry I try not to beat myself up for it. Instead I think about what I need to do to improve my outcomes.

 I take a chance and I make myself vulnerable.

 I am also in a NY bird lover group on FB where there are many professional photographers and many amateurs. I post photos there knowing they are not up to professional quality but I know they are pretty good for where I am at. So I take a chance doing that and I make myself vulnerable. You know what? Many people like my photos and the professionals have been very helpful and encouraging when I ask for help. I am in need of a camera upgrade and I am really doing good research on that and they have helped me there. They also comment on my questions and others that it not just improving the equipment, it’s also about the person behind the camera improving. They do this in a kind way, but it is a reminder that practice and technique are important.

By taking action to manage what I can control I didn’t let me fear spiral and take over.

I had another “bump in the road” this morning. I woke up and when showering found a deer tick attached to me. At first, I will admit, I freaked out a bit. I got it removed and called my Dr. so all covered there. For a brief few moments I thought, that’s it, no more birding where there might be ticks. After a bit I thought, I love getting out in the woods and birding and I don’t want this one bad experience to create an ongoing and overwhelming fear and anxiety, preventing me from the joy I get from it. So, I decided to take care of what I can control. I did some deep research and found the best strategies to prevent this from happening again. Some of those strategies I usually do. I usually spray myself with preventative spray, take off my clothes and wash them after an outing and jump in the shower. Well, it’s colder out and I was fully covered in long plants, socks and long sleeves so I thought I would be fine. So no spray, I did change and wash the clothes but I did not take a shower. If I had sprayed and taken a shower I would probably prevented this. Lesson learned. I got a bit casual! The fear I felt was okay as it reminded me I needed to be more careful. But by taking action to manage what I can control I didn’t let me fear spiral and take over. So I now have a strategy that I will follow every time that will allow me to safely do what brings me joy.

So how does this all connect back to you and your riding experience?

So how does this all connect back to you and your riding experience? Remember you are not perfect and you will make many mistakes. Connect to the things that go well first and learn from them and celebrate them and then look at your mistakes as wonderful opportunities to learn and grow. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and be vulnerable by showing, doing clinics or other events. You will be surrounded by riders of all levels and will have the opportunity to learn from the best. Ask questions as to how you can improve and do lots of research. Take the responsibility that you as a rider need to do your work in order to improve and grow. If things happen that are a bit scary and you have setbacks don’t let that fear overwhelm you. Instead, create a plan that you can control to put yourself in the best and safest position to have success and find joy in your riding!