The only one who can give you confidence is you.
Something I have always found throughout any situation in my life is that when it truly comes down to it, I am the only one who can make me feel confident. Quite recently I experienced yet another self-doubt moment. Winter has been tough for me this year. Starting a new job after finishing uni, whilst also buying a new ‘project’ horse was something I had built my hopes and confidence up on. Except it didn’t quite work out how I had expected it to. My job turned out to be very challenging from day one! Not only was I meeting new people for the first time, I had to learn quickly the rules and runnings of the school, whilst meeting the students I would be working with for the year. I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t always get this right, and no amount of training prepares you for everything. As well as this, the beautiful new horse I had brought with dreams of her becoming my next big competition horse, started to grow further apart from me. I was running out of time during the days to ride, or I would often spend my time flying rather than actually riding her. Together these situations were making me question my ability more and more, and my confidence became very low. It was something I hadn’t been used to. Social media was also playing a massive part in this as well. I was often seeing friends loving their new full time job or getting better and better with their horses. Not only was my confidence being knocked continuously, I started to lose all enjoyment in anything I was doing.
It was difficult to accept it, but I eventually realised what was happening. So I came off social media for a while and started to really focus. First I looked back at everything I had achieved in the past years. Against a lot of criticism I had managed to graduate from university, and I had done it all on my own (with support from my family and close friends). This made me really look at how I was working in my job. I became aware that I was becoming stuck in a fixed mindset. One where I was failing to see my results from the efforts I was putting in. Gradually I started to accept that, although it may not have been a good day, I had to start accepting I had put 100% of my effort in and at some point in the day I could name at least three positives. This really made me stop looking at the negative situations. I then realised that I had to start using this to get back on with the horses. I have ridden from a very young age and have been very fortunate to be successful in many competitions. But competitions aside, I have worked with some amazing horses, all of which have had their own struggles and problems, so really Cami was no different. I just had to stop and look at the situation differently. Each ride before I got on, I would think of one goal I wanted to achieve by the end of the ride. Sometimes this was as simple as ‘I just want to get on’! I still use this now. I keep the goals simple, whilst keeping the bigger dream alive in the back of my mind. It’s important to know where you want to go, but remembering that even the smallest of steps are going to count in reaching that goal.
Gradually my confidence has grown. I feel even more confident in my abilities than I had before this happened. Exploring my mindset has really helped me to gain clarity of situations quicker and grow further than I would have done before. For one, I would never have been confident enough to start coaching and helping others! It's really important to remember that being successful all the time is not healthy. Questioning yourself isn’t something to be worried about. Think of it as having a debate with yourself! If something isn’t going right, ask yourself why. Why isn’t it working? What would happen if you changed the way you’re doing it? What is the worst that’s going to happen if you can’t do it right? Just remember that the only person who is going to give you the freedom of confidence is you. You just need to allow yourself to do so.