But I am going to make it my Best Friend.
‘I’m not good enough!’
‘My horse deserves better!’
‘He would go so much nicer with someone else!’
Sound familiar? These are the types of comments I regularly hear in my head. I put so much pressure on myself to be perfect and I am so afraid of failure that I often stop myself from doing what I actually want.
I took Captain competing for the first time a couple of weeks ago. We have spent the past year working on our connection, building up our trust in each other. I knew I had to be strong for him, he looked to me to let him know things were ok so I was trying to remain calm and positive. It didn’t quite work out like that! He was quite tense but considering what he could be like he was brilliant. We went into our first test and he had started to get quite wound up, his head pointed the wrong way the majority of the time and instead of bending round my leg and going into the corners he went side ways. I came out so pleased with him thought but the anxiety and nerves that had been with me before suddenly became frustration. This was NOT at Captain but at myself. ‘It’s your fault’, ‘Captain should have a better rider’, ‘You’ve let him down’. I crashed.
After 10 minutes or so I realised what was happening. I made myself focus on the positives, we got round the test, he was calm, he only called a couple of times and we had come so far in our year together. We went into our second test much calmer and I smiled the whole way round. No it wasn’t perfect but focusing on all of the positives, which greatly outweighed the negatives, kept me buzzing for days.
Fast forward a week, me and Captain were still working on building our confidence to hack alone. I decided we’d go for a little wander together, we went out feeling quite confidence, he was really calm and laid back. We met our neighbour who warned us of some ponies along the lane running around, so we turned back. He wasn’t phased, walked back and pass the yard happy. We then met two ambulances. Sirens going. He didn’t seem to care, but that was too much for me. My confidence had gone and I decided we needed to get back home. So I turned Captain around again. That was too much for him. He started jogging, nearly went sideways into a car and then ran. I can’t recall how fast he got us back but I jumped off as soon as we were home, my legs shaking, my heart racing. I burst into tears, why had my boy done this? All that hard worked we’d put in this last year, was it all for nothing? He deserved someone who was more confident and could look after him.
Again, my brain straight away jumped to the negatives. Thinking of the ‘what ifs’. I couldn’t look at Captain, I couldn’t even talk to him, I was heartbroken.
I woke up the following morning and felt guilty. Something had obviously upset Captain and I wasn’t there for him. I went out to see him and gave him huge cuddles. He didn’t do anything to hurt me, he just seemed to want to get us home. We went for a lesson and he was an absolute angel, he didn’t put a foot wrong and worked so hard to please me. My boy is incredible. My positivity level rocketed back up. I didn’t forget about what had happened the day before but the positives of our lesson reminded me of how strong our connection was.
We went competing again on the weekend, we remained relatively calm and he was incredible! So much improvement from our first outing and it goes to show how being positive and focusing on the good makes such a difference.
I am trying to find the best positive mindset tools that work for me, so if anyone has any suggestions let me know. My favourite one at the moment is catching a negative thought and counteracting it with two positives. Now, this isn’t an overnight fix, your mindset takes a long time to train but take your little steps forward. Make a note of things you are grateful for, what has gone well today, even if that is, ‘I got dressed’. Some days, to me that’s even an achievement! If you have a bad day don’t beat yourself up about it, everyone has bad days, just keep going.
So who is joining me on a journey to make their mindset their best friend?
P.S Remember to get a little positivity boost every Wednesday with my Wednesday Wisdoms