Counterintuitive Series #10: The Most Important Person to Believe In You

Have you noticed that it’s easy to become discouraged about riding?

We’re trying so hard to do the right thing. We spend a lot of time, money, and effort. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.

For episode #10 in our counterintuitive series, I chose to do a short podcast. You can download it if you think it might be helpful to listen to it from time to time.

It’s about the need for YOU to continually nourish your belief in yourself – which can definitely be counterintuitive. But I believe this is one of the most important thing you can do for yourself and your riding.

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Hi, friends!

It’s a beautiful, but hot morning here in Texas.

As you know for the past 10 weeks we’ve been talking about those things in our riding that are important to do, but feel more natural to do exactly the opposite.

For this 10th and final episode, I’m going to talk about something you can’t see on the outside, but it’s huge on the inside and impacts everything you do with your horse. It’s your belief in yourself.

First, each one of us is the most important person to believe in ourselves – and so often we don’t! Or we spend lots of time trying to convince ourselves why we can’t do something.

I’m defining a belief in yourself as having the faith to know you CAN reach your goals with your horse – or in the least – you know that the journey toward your goals will take you to great and positive places that you could never dream possible.

So, the risk of taking action and not meeting a goal will be well worth the adventure.

And of course, there’s always the option to stay in the spirit of never giving up – unless it’s something that’s not that interesting to you anymore.

And also, and very importantly, when you face self-doubt head-on, and you have the knowing that there truly are no bad outcomes, you have the confidence to move forward.

When I was training 30-40 horses at one time in my cutting training career, a not very fun version of self-doubt would pop into my head from time to time. I imagined that one professional trainer I knew well was always watching me at home. I would ask myself if what I was doing was up to his standards. Of course, the answer to my question varied depending on what was going on. Sometimes if I was struggling, I thought he could probably do a better job with that horse. Now I know that might sound pretty strange, but I think we all have a version of those voices in our heads that wonder if we’re good enough or if we’ll ever ‘make it.’

Then, as I studied more about walking through feeling vulnerable, and the tools to grow confidence and maintain focus – I became more confident.

I have long since let that image go of the trainer in the arena, but I want you to know that it is so natural to doubt yourself.

But what can be counterintuitive is being committed to encouraging yourself from within by how you talk to yourself, by seeking riding knowledge from the best and brightest minds, by nourishing your spirit with inspiring stories about the lives of others who have overcome great obstacles.

We all must work hard to keep believing that no matter what happens, goodwill prevails, and our spirit will remain unbroken – that we can learn, succeed and keep going.

I encourage you to be vigilant in nourishing your belief in yourself.

It is so precious and can be easily tarnished and sometimes shattered.

But you are the keeper of your faith in yourself. No one really can take that away from you but you. Choose the people, knowledge sources, articles, videos, trainers, podcasts, etc., that support you and the oh-so-personal journey you’re on with your horse.

The most important person to believe in you is you.

Leave a comment for me and let me know what you think. And go for the gusto. You have nothing – absolutely nothing – to lose.

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10 Comments on Counterintuitive Series #10: The Most Important Person to Believe In You

  1. Kathy Humphrey on Sun, 20th Jun 2021 1:08 pm
  2. Needed this encouragement today! Thanks Barb!

  3. Elaine Bohlin on Sun, 20th Jun 2021 2:01 pm
  4. Seems we are always our own harshest critics!

    Thank you for the reminder to believe in ourselves and also that each of our journeys with our horses are unique; maybe very different from our earlier journeys with our previous horses (what I am experiencing with my current horse) or what our friends’ journeys are with the their horses.

  5. Carol MacGregor on Sun, 20th Jun 2021 4:16 pm
  6. Barb, this was very helpful to “hear” your helpful encouragement to “believe in ourselves”! Thank you very much. And it is HOT here in Nor California too- 🙁

  7. Camille Abbott on Sun, 20th Jun 2021 6:10 pm
  8. Loved all this since I spent a lot of time last week thinking about all of this and managed to throw in another layer of concern: age! As I turn 69 this summer, I spend a lot of time in self talk telling myself I CAN do this and AGE is a state of mind. I try to remind myself that there are thousands of other people who would love to do what I do so I consider myself blessed to have 3 wonderful horses, oodles of horsey friends, and a great trainer and that makes me believe that I CAN do this and I am NOT too old!

  9. Jeanne Marie Reyher on Sun, 20th Jun 2021 9:36 pm
  10. Hi Barbra
    How did you know I needed to hear this today? Thank you so much. Listening to it again 🙂

  11. Renée Racine on Sun, 20th Jun 2021 10:12 pm
  12. Another inspirational message. Thank you again Barb. My horse and I have had a stumbling block for a couple of months but we worked through it with help from our coaches. All of a sudden the problem is gone. I know I have been working hard at it but typical of me, now I am wondering what took me so long to get it! This message really hit home to me today.

  13. Stacy Neef on Mon, 21st Jun 2021 2:59 pm
  14. Thank you. I needed this.

  15. I know it’s baby steps but I just can’t find the rhythm. Thank you so much for the peptalk. I want to throw my sucker in the ground. LOL on Tue, 22nd Jun 2021 5:56 pm
  16. Dear Barb
    Your timing is perfect as always in my riding. I showed my horse last weekend and I showed better than I have ever except my horse went from very hot at Ft Worth into the air conditioning. You know the story he was fresh. Marked a 72 one out of the money. My trainer rode him after in another class and rides much stronger across the pen than I do. lstruggle to keep The connection with my horse across the pen. I know it’s baby steps but I just can’t find the rhythm. Thank you so much for the peptalk. I want to throw my sucker in the ground. LOL

  17. GayleKiser on Tue, 22nd Jun 2021 7:56 pm
  18. Your timing and inspiration always falls at precisely the moment I find myself wavering and doubting. (What do I think I’m doing?!) Then comes you, hand-in-hand with serendipity under stars that are aligning. A gift, hardly coincidence! Grateful for you.

  19. Cindi on Mon, 19th Jul 2021 10:02 pm
  20. Barb, I was incredibly honored to attend your clinic at Bravehearts in Poplar Grove. You were amazing. And consistent with the feedback I hear very week in lessons – you told me to : Breathe.

    Easier said than done. As a female veteran, I have had good reasons to hold my breath. (And my tongue!!) I used your breathing lesson at my first ride after the clinic. One of the best rides I have ever had. Followed the following week by the worst ever. 3 steps forward, two steps back.

    I am so excited to see all of the resources on this site. But mainly I want to follow you around for a week to watch and learn. Since I am not really a stalker, lol, do you offer retreats? Guidance in the clinic was great. But, with a mild TBI I need to hear things a few finds now to make it all stick!
    Thanks Barb. I am so excited about the free videos!

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