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You don’t hear pros talking shit about themselves

Confidence works for confidence.

I often hear my amateur friends talking poorly about themselves after a round… out loud. I have this one friend and whenever she is talking about her rounds she is always so self-deprecating and it doesn’t make sense to me.

As an amateur myself, I know that I have things to learn, areas to improve in and that I make mistakes. I don’t, however, think that telling anyone - especially myself - that I suck is going to help me get better.

You don’t hear the professionals talking about how terrible they are. What you do hear as they exit the ring are things that sound more like facts.

- “I lost the canter around that corner!”

- “I let him get a bit crooked there and that’s why we had that one down!”

Those are helpful comments that one can learn from, it doesn’t place blame and everyone has something to work on the next day.

I once came out of the ring having circled away from a fence I saw nothing at, and was greeted by my coach. He asked what happened, and I said, “I saw nothing and got scared!” This was truthful, and yet not self-deprecating - just the truth.

He then told me about how I had not reorganized my canter after the jump before, and then because of how long the stride had gotten I hadn’t been able to see a distance. This was practical advice I could take forward. I didn’t have to spiral down the drain about how I just suck…

If you aren’t confident in your skills enough to speak truthfully about yourself, you aren’t helping yourself. It can be more true that you got scared, or you missed a step than that you suck.

How can you be confident in the ring if you aren’t speaking about your skills confidently?


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