Do You Worry What People Think
“When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.” ~Winston Churchill
On speaking to numerous riders and professionals and from my own experiences we all suffer or have suffered from worrying what other people think of us as riders and people. This seems to come more in to play at competitions and my gut feeling is that Social Media has a lot to answer for this!. There are people who are quick to judge others and openly do it on the social networks such as facebook , I have seen images picked apart and yet a photo is a moment in time and may not be giving the whole truth of the situation.
I think we all agree with the fact abuse of the horse is not in any way shape or form acceptable . Yet nearly all disciplines have come under scrutiny at some point including racing, dressage , eventing, showjumping and endurance not to mention the obesity issue in showing!
The main concern I hear is what fellow onlookers and riders may think of you, whether it be when you go in a showjumping ring, a dressage arena or just merely how you advertise your business through social media. I think first of all I would like to point out that we all know at livery yards there can be clicks and groups and bitchiness but this doesn’t make those people right or better riders or better people in fact it does the opposite.
If people judge you, it says more about them than it does about you.
Equestrianism is a difficult sport and we all have ups and downs hence the saying horses are a great leveller so why cant we just support each other and hope that we all do well. The answer is simple a lot of it comes down to jealousy and envy and the fact that those who are judging are not happy with their own situation.
What other people think of you is their reality; it doesn’t have to be yours.
My gut feeling is that we actually make more of an issue of this than is really necessary for example how many people really are sat watching and judging you when you are in the arena, the answer will be not many, a lot will be watching to see the course or checking out the arena, perhaps even going through their test or maybe walking the cross country course and just merely watching how the fences are riding so they can decide how best to ride it on their own horse. Maybe the public watching are in awe of those of us who are giving it a go may be that would be their ultimate dream guessing as riders none of us have really ever thought that!
Only those who are insecurely building their egos find it necessary to criticize others. 90% of the time people are so worried about what they are wearing or doing, they don’t even notice you.
Each horse is different and if you are standing their commenting then just remind yourself that you do not know the horse and where the horse has come from perhaps it has had psychological issue, a fear of certain fences or situations or may be the rider has a fear they are trying to overcome and are using a schoolmaster horse to help. I remember watching someone running a clinic and suggesting things to do with this particular horse which was being quite unruly and a little crazy to say the least and I stood there and thought well I wouldnt do that I would do this etc only to later run a clinic and this horse turn up on it and my first thought was well put your money were you mouth is !! , as it happened my way did work and the horse was later evented and got to a decent level however that could quite easily have gone the other way and the horse may not have improved at all , this certainly taught me to never judge anyone else again and just concentrate on my own situation and the here and now!
You don’t have to be at the top level to be a great rider or horseperson running the tricky horses that no one wanted round lower levels is just as amazing and rewarding and can be a serious achievement. Not everyone has the same goals in life so again maybe you do want to do Badminton or Burghley or run in the Grand National or go to HOYS but others just want to be able to go out hacking and have a good canter without the fear of falling off!! Each of us as riders and indivduals have our limitations maybe due to injury , time , money and lifestyle and so its very easy for onlookers to comment yet if collared would they be able to justify their comments? and seriously if they’ve got the time to sit and comment do those types of people and their thoughts really matter to you? Professional riders know only to well how things can go wrong and actually they would be the first ones to help you if they could they never judge their clients in the arena they just merely try to coach them and help them improve I have never once heard a professional rider or coach negatively commenting about the way someone just rode.
Worrying about what other people think about you is a key indicator that you do not feel whole without the approval of others. You’re looking outside of yourself to fill something only you can fill. No amount of approval from an outside source will ever make you feel whole. You’ll get it once and need it again and again and again. It’s an addictive cycle that turns you away from yourself. We disempower ourselves when we’re more concerned with how other people perceive us than we are about how we perceive ourselves. When you spend time wondering how other people perceive you, you create stories that are often far from the truth. In order to change, we have to be able to see ourselves, accept who we are by giving ourselves love, and then make new choices.
Realize that you are your own person and ultimately the only one in charge of your own actions and feelings. You cannot control other people but you can control how you react and feel about them.
We spend a lot of our time worrying about things that won’t matter to us later. You might be thinking, but it matters to me now, and it does. But there are two reasons why it shouldn’t: The first is that worrying is counterproductive, and the second is that worrying about what other people think of you doesn’t serve you. Worrying is the most impractical way to use your energy. There has never been a time when worrying if so-and-so would like you, give you the job, or want to be your partner in life contributed to you getting what you want. Not only does this not solve your problems, it typically leads to anxiety and overwhelm. When things are outside of our perceived control, like when we’re meeting people for the first time, worry kicks in. Our minds are wired for negativity—an evolutionary tool designed to keep us safe. But today, this process doesn’t serve us.
When you are truly content with who you are, you stop being concerned with whether or not other people like you. You deserve to live your life for you instead of chasing an ideal your mind has created. You deserve to discover who you truly are, and show that incredible person to the world. You deserve to have people around you who love and admire you for who you are instead of who you are trying to be.
I often play a little game with myself when I’m feeling bad. The game is a simple one, and maybe one that some people might find slightly morbid, but it cuts to the heart of the matter. I ask myself if this thing that is making me feel bad will matter to me when I’m on my deathbed. Ninety-nine percent of the time the answer is no. When I’m on my deathbed, the people who are going to matter to me are the ones who chose me, the ones who really saw me, the people who chose to give me love even when I fumbled. These are the people who matter, it will matter to me that I lived a life I was proud of, that I was able to get to know myself and share that person with the people I love. So, you have to learn to be your own advocate. You have to stop giving your power away to other people. Like meditation practice, each time your mind wanders to the thoughts of other people, bring it right on back to yourself. Fill up that void with your own love. Stand in your own power. Show people who you really are, unapologetically. Don’t wait for someone else’s permission to be amazing. If they don’t see it in you, it doesn’t matter. The truth is that if they don’t see it in you, it’s because they don’t see it in themselves. We are all acting as mirrors for one another. Don’t try to be the broken version of someone else. Be the best version of yourself and your own biggest fan.
So the next time you find yourself worrying about what someone might be thinking just remember this article and dont disempower or lose your self belief. Self belief is a quality that all the top riders have in abundance and they surround themselves with the positive people who also believe in them so follow in their footsteps and make your dreams come true!
Be yourself! Truth is, not everyone is going to like you anyway so why bother trying? Let them get mad over petty stuff if they want to, but don’t become a victim of that kind of stupidity and small-mindedness. Just have fun. You only get one shot at life
Caroline Dick gives her insight into this issue which affects more riders than you actually think!!
“What other people think of me is none of my business”Mark Twain
When I first started helping riders I thought that the main issue I would be sorting would be ‘competition nerves’ as this is what I had personally suffered from. Actually the 3 main reasons why a client comes to me are
1. An ‘incident’ has happened that they are now fearful of ie. a fall or accident.
2. Anxiety and overthinking that is affecting their riding.
3. A fear of being judged and other people watching them.
I am going to talk about the third one today as this is a huge factor why a lot of riders will either only go to small competitions and stay unaffiliated or not compete at all. The ‘thought’ of people watching and judging you, worrying about what other people are saying about you and having a fear that you are not good enough to be there are all very common issues and if you suffer from any of them trust me you are not alone! None of us are born thinking and feeling like this though, usually something has happened to make us feel this way but not always. This can be anything from a bad experience public speaking at school, being laughed at when something embarrassing happened to being told you are just not good enough at your job. It doesn’t matter if the ‘event’ is related to riding or competing the brain will store similar experiences in the same folder for easy future reference. Remember the subconscious minds main job is to keep you safe, and if it feels that ‘putting yourself out there’ may make you feel uncomfortable it will do everything in its its power to prevent you from doing it. It will do this by making up ‘thoughts’ in the form of either pictorial or inner voice stories of what could go wrong, these stories then create feelings in our body (usually negative ones) and we act on our feelings at the time. This could happen at an early stage of submitting your entry right up to the minute before you go into the arena/ ring/ start box which of course has a massive impact on how you ride. If only we could all ride exactly the same in competitions as we do at home and in training……Well how would it be if you didn’t get those thoughts and feelings?? I work with my clients using new NLP and Hypnotherapy techniques to reset the subconscious mind back to how it was before these things affected you. So you can compete at a level that is right for you, without worrying about what other people are saying, without feeling embarrassed about riding in front of strangers and without that voice of inadequacy. How do you think that would change your riding?
Having been a spectator quite a few times myself I can confirm that most if not all people that go to watch riding in any form are mainly there to enjoy the sport, have a good day out, or to support a friend/ family member. So unless they are your coach or instructor (or a top level rider) you shouldn’t be listening to what they say anyway.
credit to : tinybuddha.com , Caroline dick Coaching and Guildhouse Sports HorsesFollow us Share this