In my day job as a choir trainer I’m often trying to get people to unlock their talents with more confidence and self-belief: I know they can do it, so they should have the same level of confidence and so on. Of course it doesn’t work like that for everyone and when you’ve had something knock your confidence it can take a long time to regain it or even to trust the smallest instinct.
In November, Max and I were out hacking and he slipped and fell, ditching me on my right foot, causing some soft tissue damage that has very nearly cleared up thanks to an excellent physio. It really knocked my confidence and although Max seemed unhurt and has been happy enough to work since it was just something else to think about and undoubtedly caused a slow-down in our progress while I got back to comfort in the stirrups.
Some uninvited personal comments from a well-meaning [I think] individual only served to undermine the confidence that I was regaining and it has taken some time to put them behind me, but they are there now, firmly stowed away under ‘experience’. In February I took Max out for some schooling over showjumps and xc fences and while the first part was wild and frustrating, the latter was more encouraging: even objective low-key comments were of more help and use than the unpleasantness mentioned earlier and slowly we’ve started to find our feet again and despite feeling like our year has started in a downbeat way, just plugging away and taking time to note progress has made a huge difference.
So is there a trick to finding your confidence? Many people would say so but we’re all different and for me it’s been an opportunity to take stock and learn to receive encouraging words from instructors, the saddle fitter, the farrier, staff and fellow liveries and to take compliments for what they are; the online XC Academy run by Lucinda Green and Rachael Faulkner is the most superb environment to learn, discuss, gain inspiration from the guest speakers, and all in the most supportive environment. Thanks to everyone for their challenge and support – it’s made a big difference to my perception of how we’re doing. Not a quick cure, and no easy trick, but definitely a treat.
‘O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!’ Robert Burns