Went to my second Dave Freeze talk this weekend, curiously the day before my Foxstone show- auspicious timing eh?
Last time I attended his talk, I came away with some good information, but also felt like I didn’t go deep enough, and I was struggling with anxiety. Now that I have been doing a lot of hard work on managing my physical stress and trying to take that next step to actually putting it into practice, like at the horse show. So, the talk that Dave hosted, combined with the work that I have been doing weekly with Vicki, put me in a good mindset for the show.
Dave went through the steps with us on how anxiety/fear presents itself, and how to get an optimal performance. We ‘borrow’ from the stupid list (fear, jealousy, anger, sad, worry, frustration, nerves, stress) when our performance outcome does not match our perception of ourselves, our image.
So, our image has to change a bit, to allow for mistakes and mistake management (this was a big one). That way, we won’t have to ‘borrow’ from the stupid list when we make mistakes and screw up–that’s just part of life, and a part of YOUR life. Most of the time, you are ideal. Occasionally, you are amazing. And sometimes, you are a bozo.
You have to be willing to tell yourself the truth about who you really are.
Accept that occasionally screwing up exists as a part of yourself. Don’t always protect your image, change your image. If you are on a spectrum of performance, being too careful will limit your performance–thinking about the ‘wrong things’ will do it too, ie- caring too much, thinking too much about distances, other riders, mistakes, prize money, etc.
At a horse show, keep in mind The Big Eight
- calm mind
- relaxed body
- centred- the ability to change your mind if you need to
- patient- time isn’t rushing by, it slows down
- effort- put out the appropriate amount
When you have these things, you will be in a zen state. This is ‘carefree’ but carefree still means focused. Riding carefree is great but you’ll always have to manage mistakes.
Keep in mind that attributes (mistake management, the Big Eight, bravery) + Process (rhythm, pace, distance, balance, position, connection) = Outcome (a great ride, fun, smooth, enjoyable, connected, proud). Let the outcomes go.
Focus on the attributes and process. Then the outcome will take care of itself.