Reasons to be Confident, Part 2 — with apologies to Ian Dury

One of the challenges about unconfidence, is that it can come from so many different places.  I have already blogged about how basically, unconfidence or fear is just your unconscious mind working hard to keep you safe.  But what is it keeping you safe FROM?  One way of looking at this is to look at confident people vs unconfident people and identify the differences – if we can spot those, then we can come up with ways to work on those gaps and be more confident ourselves.

Here are some reasons to be confident, which might give you some ideas as to how YOU can build your confidence!

1. You know what you are doing:
Knowledge builds confidence.  If I know how to handle my rope, my reins, myself – then I feel more confident.
How to check this: can you demonstrate how to handle your tools? And how to do the techniques?
How to build this: find instructors, read books, watch other people……create study groups

2. You understand what you are doing:
Going beyond just knowing the tools and techniques – you understand why you are doing what you are doing – and how it works.   If you understand WHY the one rein stop works, or HOW using a direct rein or a ground game affects your horse – then you will be more confident using them.
How to check this: can you explain to someone else WHY and HOW your approach works?
How to build this: study groups where you take turns explaining things to each other, meetings with guest speakers you can question and challenge, asking questions

 3. You are practiced in the physical skills needed:
So you know what to do, how to do it and why it works – have you practiced it enough that it is EASY to do?  Have you thrown out and coiled up that long rope 500 times?  Have you mounted and dismounted 500 times?  Have you ridden 500 hours?  Doing an action once just shows you can do it once.  Doing it a hundred times starts putting it into muscle memory.  Five hundred and we are getting into that lovely area people talk about: unconscious competence, where we don’t even have to think about it, it is so easy to do – -and when our unconscious feels competent – guess what – confidence follows.  If you do a task 20 times each time you do it – then in only 5 days you have done it 100 times – in 25 days (less than a month) you have done it 500 times – this is how you can build your competence AND confidence.
How to check this:  pick a task (rope handling, playing a ground game, lateral flexion when riding)  and do it 10 or 20 times each time you do it – and see how good you get.
How to build this: practice – but remember only perfect practice makes perfect, so first make sure you have the knowledge and understanding to be confident you are practicing WELL, then do it – keeping a journal can help as you see the numbers building up which is a great boost!

4. You are making progress:
Confident people can see and measure their progress, so keeping TRACK of what you do, however small, is a great way to build confidence!  Being able to look back and read how a year ago, you couldn’t even hold a led rope without shaking – and now you are excited about getting on and riding – that is a great reason to be confident!
How to check this:  read your journal, talk to friends, doing clinics can also help you notice the progress you are making
How to build this: keep a journal – on paper, on line – why do you think so many people blog their story?  It is confidence boosting to see how far you have come from where you started, instead of just comparing yourself to some distant ideal!

5. You measure and manage your own confidence:
You have a way of knowing exactly how confident or unconfident you feel in every situation, and can develop strategies to change this.  This means you know how to stay SAFE while planning for growth – the perfect combination to keep both your conscious and unconscious minds happy and confident. Once you can measure and manage your confidence, you can easily identify any blocks or obstacles and find people or techniques to help you resolve them.
How to check this:  If I asked you now to imagine a situation, you can tell me your confidence score AND what you could do to change it
How to build this:  learn to self coach, come to self coaching for confidence talks, follow this blog, learn as much as you can about confidence and yourself

The most important reason for confidence – is you are DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

Simply choosing to ACT to improve your confidence, INCREASES your confidence

So – now you know there are many different reasons to be confident – and AS many ways to BUILD your confidence – what are your next steps?

Yours in confidence,



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