It can be hard to explain yourself sometimes
I was chatting to Tillie today about riding and wanting to do better and improve ourselves. She mentioned how she feels she has to push herself as hard as she can because she felt she missed an opportunity by not continuing with her riding through high-school. We talked about how having expectations of yourself can be a good thing, but it also means you end up being exceptionally hard on yourself and beating yourself up about stupid little things.
She then asked me about my confidence with horses and how much further I think I can go with it. I wasn’t sure what she meant until she explained that she’d never thought I was particularly bothered about anything until she read my blog and realised that a lot of the time I was doubting myself and feeling nervous.
I tried to explain why it was possible for me to be such a confidence person but lack in confidence completely when it comes to riding but it came out a bit garbled and non-sensical. So I thought I’d try again, seeing as I was planning on writing a blog about it at some point anyway.
I know I come across as a confident person. That is because, on the whole, I am. I have had a lot of different experiences despite still being relatively young, which have enabled me to grow and learn more about the kind of person I am. As such, I am very comfortable in my own skin and am able to take advantage of that. Having this sureness of who I am means that I have a certain amount of confidence in my ability to do things. The things I am good at, I know I am good at. For example, I make awesome cupcakes and I am a true and loyal friend. These things I have no doubt about, along with others.
There are several parts to confidence, however, and some of them take a lot longer to learn and build than others. Of course, the parts we struggle with depend very much on the experiences we have had already in our lives.
For me, the sides I have difficulty with are to do with self-worth and self-belief. This part of confidence is so very easy to damage and destroy. You can do it yourself, or others can do it for you. For my part, I suffered from significant bullying throughout primary and secondary school. Not only did it cause me huge amounts of upset and emotional damage at the time, but it has left scars that are still healing. It is important to live, and I mean really live, in order to feel alive. But in doing so, we open ourselves to the possibility of getting hurt. Sometimes the hurt is good, and makes us stronger. And other times it takes far too long for things to heal, and we struggle for years to come.
I have improved a huge amount over recent years, but I am still haunted by those demons from time to time. This means that with regards to my riding, I often feel like I am failing where I am not. I constantly question my own abilities and never trust that the things I do are anything other than pure fluke.
I hope that one day soon I will be able to really believe in myself when it comes to my equestrian pursuits. Because I know I have so much more I can learn, and so much further I can travel down this road. And a part of me knows that if I am able to truly have faith in myself and my abilities, I could do so much better than I think I can.
But for now, I will have to continue to fight against myself. I will strive to do my best and work as hard as I can to learn as much as I can. Every day that I work and gain experience is another day that my self-belief gradually increases. And with a lot of days, one day I’m sure I’ll believe in my own abilities.
If not, I’ll always have that Philosophy degree to fall back on.
Although, I was never very good at that either…