Having a confidence crisis? Fear not as we've enlisted confidence coach Sandie Robertson to help you feel on top of your game. Here in her first blog, she explains a few reasons why you might not be feeling your best.
Welcome to my new blog. My name is Sandie and I'm an author, columnist and equestrian performance and confidence coach (NLP and Hypnotherapy trainer, transformation coach).
I work with grassroots riders all the way up to those who represent their country.
Be it performance nerves or strategic focus, hacking fears or jumping woes, as horse lovers we all go through phases where our confidence has a crisis.
I've had my fair share of knocks, having ridden and worked with horses all my life competing up to a 1.30m and being a BHS II, it's par for the course.
After a showjumping accident that broke my back, I learned just how powerful our mind is and how crucial the right training for it is.
Identifying the reason for a lack of confidence
'I need help regaining my confidence' is an enquiry that pops in to my inbox regularly. Personally, I think the word ‘confidence’ can arouse unrealistic expectations within people.
I recently muddled my way through a period of lost confidence that I (at the time) couldn’t explain. Life was good, as was health and home. So it came as a shock to me the day I sat at my desk preparing a standard email for my subscribers and the ‘wobble’ hit me.
With my professional hat on now and with the benefits of hindsight, it’s easy to see why. As a new mum trying very hard to be back on top form with no sleep, a full diary, a new book to launch, horses to muck out and still trying to fit back into pre-birth skinny jeans, it was no wonder that my confidence was a tad ‘wobbly’.
But the icing on the cake (which were all obviously banned until there were no elastic waist belts in sight) was when I had to put my beloved horse to sleep.
He had given me an incredible amount of confidence in the times I had him and was my absolute rock.
You see we gain ‘confidence’ from many sources. Perhaps you're a whizz in the kitchen or a natural presenter? Maybe you rock when it comes to multi-tasking or on the pitch at the weekend?
We can gain confidence from so many sources but, when we lose it, for whatever reason, that one negative source can quickly trickle in to every aspect of our lives.
Soon it's easy to feel as if you're making the transition from “hero to zero” in everything you do.
This is something I see a lot whether it's when I'm working with professional sports men and women or in a high performing corporate environment.
Those affected almost inevitably find the confidence wobble has come from a specific event, meeting or phone call that just didn’t go according to plan.
I remember working with an incredibly high-achieving gentleman who was at the top of his game at work but, in his spare time was starting to suffer crippling panic attacks after he had to put his retriever, who had travelled everywhere with him, to sleep.
We had to work on a way to find a new ‘anchor’ to make him feel that way again. I’m delighted to say that new anchor was called Rudy and he was a Dogs Trust dog.
The pressure to feel happy
But, a vast majority of clients come to me seeking self-confidence after life-changing events such as becoming a parent, overcoming illness or perhaps those who are facing retirement or undergoing the menopause.
The pressure on us to feel happy is enormous, but you can quickly feel that your life as you know it has been pulled from under you and that it no longer exists.
Such emotions understandably can take some getting used to.
So what do we do to regain our confidence?
#1 Fake it until you make it. Positive outcomes are what makes us feel more confident
#2 Remind yourself that nerves can help you perform at your peak and that excitement feels almost exactly the same as nervousness. Choose to be excited.
#3 Be realistic about how you should feel. You don’t need to be high-fiving. Just not being sick in the toilet is a good start! Be proud of even the smallest of positive outcomes.
#4 Make yourself think and focus on all the times when things haves gone well, times when you felt on top form. All you’re doing is repeating success you’ve already achieved scores of times before.
#5 Mentally rehearse the challenging scenario until it runs smoothly in your mind and it feels good.
#6 It is perfectly normal to not feel great about everything. It’s only a problem if it’s something you really want to do. So be honest with yourself.
#7 Talk to someone you trust about it. You may be surprised when you hear they have felt exactly the same way. And the probably have.
Best wishes, Sandie xx
To find out how you work with Sandie, email firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 0141 2551411