May day weekend - Beliefs

Hello, and welcome to my May Day blog. I hope you and your horses/animals are well. I was fortunate enough to have my COVID vaccine last week, so I am on my way to becoming less at risk. I felt a bit rubbish for a day or two but I think it’s a small price to pay for a significant benefit. I feel even more grateful considering the escalating wave in India right now. We really are extremely lucky to have access to vaccines so quickly. My best wishes to all of you yet to have it.

Time seems to be flying by at the moment. I don’t know if you have felt similar? Since having more coaching sessions and a couple of shows to organize, I’ve found myself with little time to read and write. It’s a trade off I guess, between money/earning and time. Most of all I need to become better at time management again! I loved having the time to learn and to think during lockdown. Time has been taken up by other things now, which I’ve also enjoyed just in a different way. I have loved helping people with their horses again. Seeing and hearing their enjoyment when a coaching session delivers a light bulb moment. That is the best payment by far for me.

My vision for my coaching is to take all the learning I have been doing and develop it into a package or several bespoke packages for you all. It takes time to put together, so I imagine it might be towards the autumn before I have a complete package to offer, but there will be trials along the way to get feedback from riders. That will help me shape the best way forward. I understand that when a coaching session is a little different or new, people can be sceptical and perhaps nervous to try. I have found that with online coaching around mental skills. It certainly won’t be compulsory and face to face ad hoc coaching sessions will still be offered to anyone who wants that. During lockdown I have learned so much about ways to help riders physically and mentally perform at their best, I would love to have a greater impact on their enjoyment and pride in their achievements. That doesn’t necessarily mean competition but it does apply to competition and results too. I think my key learning about my coaching during this lockdown time is; I would love to create a small community of riders who I can work with on a more meaningful level. Quality of work over quantity. As I said, I will still be available for one off or occasional sessions. Everyone is welcome and I appreciate financial restrictions are often a factor too, so it might not suit everyone. My thoughts are driven towards a sense of supportive community where we can interact – maybe a private Facebook group – with ongoing support. I personally love the idea of continuous development with a rider which requires commitment from both rider and coach. I will encourage block bookings and offer discounts for that reason.

I have recently done a Facebook Live on my page talking about confidence. If you haven’t seen it live you can watch back if you would like. I thought I would take some of my own advice and look for ways to build my own confidence with a challenge. I would never have taken on a challenge of that kind voluntarily before doing the Centre 10 course. I found it really interesting to do and actually enjoyed it! I will do others on a Friday lunchtime throughout May so look out for those.

It’s important for me to say a point about coaches. I do not have a problem with any rider having another coach. There is no need to change coach on my account. I am happy to work with others and collaborate. The only advice I would give any rider is to think about whether they are having a conflict of coaching styles with another coach and consider how that affects their learning experience. Many times I think it can be complimentary to have different views, but it’s also important to recognise when there is confusion.

Once I completed my training with Centre 10 (sports psychology for coaches) I have continued to be involved with them for my ongoing development by becoming part of the coaches hub (as it is called) We have a great sense of community and openly discuss ideas. That inspires me to create a similar feeling if I can for riders.

We recently discussed a topic around beliefs and values. Here are a few insights for you to think about.

What is a belief?

A belief is an assumption we believe to be true without the proof of evidence.

“We take beliefs everywhere with us; they affect the quality of our experience” – Charlie Unwin

There are generally three types of belief.

1.       Beliefs about or relating to ourselves

2.       Beliefs about or relating to others

3.       Beliefs about or relating to the world around us


Beliefs can be limiting or enabling. In other words they can help you, or hinder you on your path to where you want to go.

Beliefs arise from experiences. They are usually formed at a young age but can evolve and change over time depending on life events.

Beliefs can influence your values and what is important to you as can other things.

Values are principles we chose to live by (or try to) A list of ideals we place importance on. A standard of morals we align ourselves with. They might be influenced by our beliefs or created in spite of our beliefs.

For example; Through my experiences I believe that all people in authority are bullying and unfair.

Perhaps that will lead to me holding values of fairness or inclusivity. I might aspire to be a fair and inclusive leader of people because I believe there aren’t any others.

That was an example of others.

But what if that belief was to be challenged? Are all people in authority bullies?

I’m sure the answer is no! Whilst it may be true for some, it won’t be true for all.

This is what I find most interesting.

Beliefs we hold affect our behaviour

Behaviour affects our performance

I am sure you can imagine how that could be unhelpful to us  at times. Using the example I gave above; how might that affect my behaviour?

With the assumption my belief is correct I might not approach someone in authority with respect. I may not accept their suggestion or instruction and take personal offence to it.

In turn that will have an effect on my performance and possibly damage my position with others in a team. It could make it difficult for me to hold on to a job.

Can you relate something to your own beliefs?

What about a self belief? Is there anything you can identify which you believe about yourself which then affects your behaviour in a negative way? When you are invested in a belief, you tend to act it out which creates a stronger belief that it is true.

What could happen if you challenge that belief? How would a person who believed the opposite behave? Could that produce a different outcome?

There is no need to rush to change everything about yourself and be someone different! My aim is only to get you thinking about what is helpful to you and what is not. If your beliefs are not serving you well, it might be time to challenge them.

We are all essentially living in our own world that we have created. Every single one of us views the world slightly differently. We can’t change our experiences we have lived through but we can challenge how much we allow them to make future decisions for us. Make sure you are seeing the whole picture.

My belief of “I cannot talk in front of people” is holding less weight these days. It used to overwhelm me but with some time and practice it is beginning to change.