The secret of a positive mindset
Your mindset is everything, the way you think, feel & act is all stemmed from your mindset, beliefs & experiences both negative & positive. This year has highlighted the importance of speaking about mental health & mindset and being honest about our struggles; not only worldwide but also in the Equestrian community.
Being a success as an event rider whether you are an amateur or professional very much comes down to your mindset & how you think. You need to be aware that your emotions affect the way you ride and your horse. Think about a day you've had bad news or were pissed off and had a fight with your horse on the flat, sound familiar?
Your riding performance & life can be changed with the right mindset once you know-how. Having a goal is so important with your riding as it gives you focus & structure, right now that is a little hard but hopefully come July we will have solid plans for our competitions. Once you have established your goal you need to think about how you are going to get there and the person you need to be in order to achieve that goal. Take a pen to paper and map out your goal, without a clear picture of where you want to be staying positive will be hard.
Start by focusing on where you're at now & look at where you want to be?
We all hold negative beliefs and thoughts about certain things, sometimes these are the beliefs we have been brought up with or maybe they come from a negative experience. You need to remove all these negative beliefs from your mind, think of them as roadblocks that you need to unblock in order to move forward. Without getting rid of them you are never going to be able to move forward. Keep looking at where you want to be & concentrate on the future.
You need to begin to start using the right beliefs that will bring you towards this goal. Make sure your goals you decide on are both achievable & realistic, this will keep you motivated & be sure you can achieve what you have set out to. Break down your goals into bite-size chunks & implement one step at a time so you are making small changes that are manageable whilst creating lasting habits.
Concentrate on the small wins and making small steps of progress towards that goal. Keep re-evaluating where you're at now and what your next step needs to be in order to get you that little bit closer to your goal. Write down your goals so they are affirmative set goals you can remind yourself of every day and make sure you look back at them every few days and set yourself & your horse new mini-goals, physically writing your goals down can make them seem far more achievable & you will then notice when you are progressing. Keep celebrating those small wins!
Accept things go wrong. Life is never a smooth road especially with horses, you can't control everything but every little failure is a piece you can learn from and move on from. Try not to get emotional when things go wrong, shit happens, learn from it and move forward! Remember sometimes you are just going to have a bad schooling session or a hack, your horse is an animal after all so on those days just accept it and move on to tomorrow.
Learn from your negative experiences. Use them to help you to understand why what happened did and how to turn that into a more positive experience next time. If you never learn from things going wrong how do you expect to improve? Things going wrong is a test of character & mindset, it's how you react to it that counts.
Consistency Queen. Be the queen of consistency! You can only make big changes to your habits when they become habits, habits are something you do every day so keep practicing. Consistency is key, you are not just going to wake up tomorrow and never have a negative thought again but if you focus on your mindset for the next 12 months those days will become far more often.
Don't compare yourself to others. One of the easiest ways to fall into a negative mindset; never compare yourself to others and the same applies to your horse. You and your horse are your own people so focus on you. It's easy to get caught up in the glitz & glam of the sport but keep concentrating on you. Remember how lucky you are.
Don't expect miracles overnight. As I said consistency is key but remember you are changing the way you think and challenging the beliefs you have held for years so things aren't going to rapidly change overnight. Positive results take time so concentrate on consistency. You are the only person responsible for your future & destination. Never blame your failures or lack of success on another person, it comes down to you every time. You are the only person in your way so stop blaming others & take control of your journey. How you react is your choice.
If you focus on making these small steps part of everyday life you will change your mindset and develop yourself into a far more positive person & achieve the things you want. Being positive is so important to help keep us on focus and make sure we stay in a safe place mentally. It's easy to get caught up in things going wrong but in order to achieve your goals, it's going to take a can-do attitude & positive mindset.