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The Journey to a More Confident You

November 2017 by Tanja Mitton, www.tanjamitton.com

So many riders are struggling with confidence and, on their journey of discovery, they realise in order to become a more confident rider, they have to become a more confident person first.

In my journal, ‘The Riders Mindset Pocket Guide’, I have identified three important steps to increase your confidence - not just in your riding, but overall in life.

Clear goal setting

So many riders - and people in general - don’t set goals or, if they do, they don’t write them down. A goal that is unclear and only exists in your head is not a goal, it’s a wish. 

Goals need to be specific and clear, so you know exactly when you have achieved them. 

You can follow the smart goal principle to ensure your goal is well defined. Making plans is vital and planning simple action steps gives you a clear starting point on how to go about achieving it.

Your written goal plan will help you to stay on track, as well as break down the ‘overwhelming’ big steps into smaller, more actionable chunks.

Remember, the most important part of goal setting is to achieve the goal and celebrate the outcome.

Acknowledging past achievements

In order to set goals and achieve your goals, you also have to acknowledge the goals you have already achieved. 

So many riders - and people - dismiss their achievements, rather than embrace and celebrate them. It is such an easy thing to do. It is tempting to jump from one goal to the next without taking the time to acknowledge how far you have come. When we fall into this trap of racing ahead, it is easy to feel like you haven’t really achieved anything.

It is not humble to sweep your achievements under the carpet; it is more like putting yourself down and sabotaging your future goals. Don’t do it!

Focusing on the positive

I have an exercise in my journal that gives you the opportunity to write down three positive experiences each day and some riders find this surprisingly hard to do. 

Writing down three negative experiences each day seems so much easier. The reason this is easier is our brain innately chooses the negative, which ensures our survival. Back in our caveman times, it was imperative we were accutely aware of our surroundings and any danger in order to survive.

Even though our survival is no longer threatened as it was back then, we are still programmed to focus more on the negative than the positive.

Researchers suggest we need to have three positive thoughts to balance one negative thought.

So, to become more confident as a rider make sure you have a plan with a clear goal that is achievable, then acknowledge how far you have come and what you have already achieved. 

This will increase your motivation and drive, and you will finally learn to focus on the positive outcomes. The negative experiences are there to learn from not to get stuck on.

Happy riding everyone!