What if there was no such thing as failure?
How comfortable are you with making mistakes?
Chances are, if you are a dressage or competition rider then our default reaction is probably to think that it’s not OK to make mistakes! 🙄
And while I agree that making an error on test day can be a real bummer (and certainly not the aim!)! I also know that making “mistakes” our friend can actually be one of the most transformational shifts in our thinking that can fully let lose our ability and talent while granting our growth and development the freedom that it needs!
Why? Because being too afraid to make mistakes can often lead to being too afraid to TRY… and let me make one thing abundantly clear – making a mistake is not a failure – it’s simply feedback! I truly believe that the only failure in life, is the failure to try! That what others may call failure is no such thing – it’s all just - information, experimentation and lessons accrued on your journey.
The truth is, in order to learn, develop and improve you cannot get it right all the time. And trying to get it right all the time, or only making effort when you are SURE everything is going to go well, or when you are sufficiently ready (one of my all-time favourite excuses, that I previously used to death!) then you are not giving yourself very many opportunities for progress are you?
I believe it is extremely helpful to become fearless in the face of getting it wrong, or not getting it perfect! Perfectionism is usually just procrastination in disguise!! 😮
How does this relate to confidence? I have noticed a correlation between confidence issues and a fear of making mistakes. The fear of not being perfect, or not having surety can become so big that it can manifest into the fear of not getting on, or not competing, or a fear of being judged.
And these fears can become very large and all out of proportion.
So sometimes we simply need to ask… “why do I NEED to get it right? Because of course, you don’t! Ask yourself; “what’s the worst that can happen if I give this thing a go, and in making this attempt, simply find out what it takes and what I might need to know or learn to make it happen?” or “What if there is NO SUCH THING as failure? Except the failure to try?”. ✨
Real improvement can begin when you can fully embrace the power and VALUE of making mistakes and the true awesomeness of GETTING IT WRONG!
I know that the riders that inspire me the most have probably made more mistakes than I have made attempts! Because sometimes the best way to learn can be to learn how NOT to do something, knowing that this collection of ‘nots’ are leading to greater genius, creativity and a fuller understanding as you grow your library of lessons. And that by becoming prepared to ‘fail’ often and ‘fail’ fast, is to become prepared to set yourself and your ability to progress free! 🤗
Some happy mistakes the changed the world: The discovery of penicillin, the invention of the micro-wave and the x-ray machines and my personal favourite the potato chip!!
Happy riding and mistake making ;) !
Hello! I'm Stef Winwood and I’m a Dressage rider, breeder and mindset coach combining my lifetime of riding and teaching with my NLP training for riding success. I am so passionate about helping riders like you transform your riding results. Find out more