I have chosen the quote to go with this blog because we all have a choice of how we treat ourselves as a person. “You can be your own best friend, or your own worst enemy, choose wisely.” This applies to all aspects of your life, I feel, that self-belief is the platform to success and if you apply this to your riding, you will achieve.
When you think about your best friend, you appreciate all of their qualities and importantly, you accept them for the person they are. If your friend came to you with a problem or something they hadn’t achieved in riding, would you call them stupid? Would you say that they are not good enough? Would you tell them they don’t have any chance of getting that double clear they want? No. You would tell them to think of the positives, you would remind them of what they have achieved, you would support them in their goals that they have and tell them not to give up. So why when we ourselves don’t achieve what we wanted, do we give ourselves such a hard time and talk ourselves down.
The reason why we give ourselves a hard time is because we think along the lines of; ''if I critique myself enough I will punish myself and I will achieve better next time''. It is our unconscious way of trying make ourselves learn from our mistakes and get better the next time round.
However in studies, self-criticism was found to have the opposite effect by demotivating the participants in study. Self-belief is the trait that improved motivation therefore causing learning and improved performance.
Next time you find yourself giving yourself a hard time, think about how you'd speak to your best friend in that situation. Instead of criticising yourself for what you think are your failures, try to take the lessons learnt from your mistakes and see it as a process of improvement. Support yourself and think about the positives and your strengths which will help you in your future goals.
As human we all make mistakes, we all do things we wish we hadn't, we do this by nature. Nobody is perfect, but each person is of value and have many strengths which we should focus on. By moving away from self-blame and replacing this with self-belief we make ourselves a much better more positive person.
This technique is simple, be your own best friend and your confidence will immediately improve!