We all experience negative situations, failures or disappointments in our lives – some more difficult to deal with than others. Horse riding is no exception. Bad scores at a show, any incident of falling off or getting hurt or people talking behind your back are just a few examples, that may leave you feeling scared or angry. And sometimes these memories and emotions can linger and stick with us for a long time.This always takes an emotional toll, drains your energy and can mentally block you from achieving your goals. That’s when it’s time to act and do something about it.
The following three sports psychology tips may help you:
1) The first step is to always remember that you cannot change the past or undo previous experiences – they’re now a part of you – but you can do something now to change your future. Our motto is “Look ahead”. The first step should be to accept what happened. Experiences make us who we are, so allow yourself to feel whatever emotions arise. It’s completely ok to feel disappointed or angry. Tell yourself: “I’m now going to put this behind me.” Jessica imagines this mental burden as a backpack that she can take off and put to one side, whenever it gets too heavy.
2) In the second step, you can try to find some meaning in whatever happened. There is a positive aspect to nearly every situation – even if it’s difficult to see at first. You can learn from negative experiences, become stronger and progress. Being able to let go of negative emotions will strengthen your confidence and help you deal with any situations that present themselves to you in the future.
3) In the third step, it is important not to “punish” yourself in the face of defeat. That won’t undo the past, nor does it make the future better. Instead, imagine what would happen if you let go. Are your worries justified? What would you gain if you let go? What would you lose? Make a conscious decision to let go. Once you have made that decision for yourself, try to be aware of and interrupt any destructive thought patterns that may reoccur from time to time. It may help to tell yourself out loud and calmly: “Stop! I’m ready to let go.” Be patient. Being able to let go is a learning process that takes time. It won’t work overnight. But you can take small steps forwards every day to learn, progress and to reach your goals.
Watch the interview to find out about Jessica’s and Benjamin’s personal tips on letting go of negative experiences: