One of the key elements to maintaining your overall general health comes from your mental health. Having a good mental attitude gives us the motivation to do the best that we can possibly do and strive to do better. So, what is the ‘right’ mental attitude?
Whilst we would all do well to never underestimate the power and importance of positive thinking as a precursor to success, you must be careful not to fall into the trap of ONLY looking for the positives!
Negative critique can be a much more powerful tool to aid your progression. Finding fault is useful. Don’t be afraid to be critical of your current level of ability and recognise where you are. Only then will you begin the process of growth.
Equally, a positive mental attitude is developed by constant reinforcement of one’s goals, positive values and beliefs. Within this, optimism and hope are vital and techniques such as self talk – “I can do this”, motivational posters and accountability partners (“let’s do this together” … I like this one!) can all help you reach your goals.
Dressage and Attitude
Looking to the discipline of Dressage, attitude when you are training is all important. There are so many behaviours that we all adopt from time to time – faith, integrity, hope, optimism, courage, initiative, generosity, tolerance, tact, kindliness, patience and good old common sense; not to mention negativity, defeatism and hopelessness. Knowing how you feel, recognising the impact that this could have on your riding ability and your horses way of going is a crucial element to understanding, if and why you are experiencing difficulties.
For me positivity and negativity produce a balanced approach. Everything can’t be good, if you think it’s all good you won’t address the problems, similarly everything can’t be bad, this is self defeating and you won’t be inspired to address the problems.
Here’s what to do … get your motivation from positivity; find out what you need to work on through negative critique. Ask yourself …Is my attitude having a positive or negative effect on my horse?