Attitude and self-confidence seem to exist in a dynamic state of flux. They are involved in a cosy little relationship where they like to do pretty much everything together. If Self-Confidence fancies going for a ride, it asks Attitude how it feels about it. If Attitude is having a good day, chances are Self-Confidence will be feeling pretty perky also. They are basically co-dependents (let’s be honest).
The pesky problems arise when we base our attitude and our self-confidence on things that are outside of our control. Quite often, our self perception is based on a “ranking system”, where we judge ourselves and “how well we are doing” against a particular external event or circumstance. This means, that if we are “doing well” or we feel like we’re doing well in a particular activity or at particular challenge then our self-confidence is increased, and vice versa.
And herein lies the key; perception. In order for us to develop a consistently positive attitude and self-confidence, we have to develop new ways to talk to ourselves, to change our self-perception and to navigate through our riding challenges in a way that promotes and uplift us rather than denigrates and downgrade us.
Changing your attitude towards yourself is the key to building confidence that is not based on external markers and success.
Here are four things to work with to boost your attitude and your confidence!
1. Self talk.
Notice how you talk to yourself, especially when things aren’t going to plan. Self talk is so important because it highlights for you what you believe to be possible, and as a result of that belief system, how much potential you tap into. Really be aware of how you’re talking to yourself; if you find you are talking to yourself in an overly critical way, recognise what is happening and actively choose to delete the negative voice.
What is useful at this point is to have a “personal mantra” or a one liner that inspires you that you can repeat to yourself; something that redirects your focus and reminds you of what it is you are working towards.
2. Practice a different response.
If you’re used to being your own worst critic- for example if you conditioned yourself to react in a specific way in response to an event- then it can be a little bit hard to break out of that cycle and choose a different manner of thinking, a different way to respond- but that’s exactly what you have to put into practice. If you notice yourself being overly judgmental towards yourself, decide to choose a different thought. You do have the choice! Clarifying for yourself what it is that you want as opposed to what it is you are trying to avoid is an important part of this process; look to move towards something as opposed to away from something.
3. Choose to surround yourself with positive people.
The saying goes that you are the sum total of the five people that you spend most time with, so make sure they are quality people who think quality things and expect quality outcomes! It really is so important. If you feel like your self-confidence is something that needs to be nurtured make sure that you choose external circumstances and environments that support you- choose the people that you surround yourself with, choose environments that you put yourself in and really treat yourself as a work in progress that needs to be supported and uplifted.
4. Practice, practice, practice, practice practice, practice.
Everything that I’ve talked about- practicing self talk, practicing choosing a better response, practicing dropping critical self judgment- these are all practices, they are all skills that come with time and repetition. And the only way to gain those skills is to put them into practice. Don’t beat yourself up if it you forget or slip back into your “old ways” despite your best intentions. Press reset and practice again. Over time, your new, positive practices will become your default, and it will be easier and easier to pick yourself up in the face of challenge and keep moving forward in the direction you desire.