Daniel Stewart: Reframe the Picture

Photo © Lauren Mauldin


We’ve talk a lot about resiliency; the unyielding mental toughness and confidence that occurs when willpower, self-belief, and optimism come together. Together they create perhaps the most influential factor in determining your ability to succeed… and what’s often credited for changing good riders into great ones. Let’s continue our conversation about developing the mental toughness and confidence that’ll ensure you’ll always be a resilient rider.

In past sessions we’ve talked about creating resiliency by (1) always focusing on things that you can control or influence, (2) owning your successes and failures, and (3) modeling the confident behaviors and attitudes of already resilient riders. This month we’ll take this conversation one step further with a fourth method called reframing.

Reframing is the process of simply changing the way you view a situation. Instead of viewing something in a negative way, you choose to view it in a more positive and productive way. For example, instead of viewing a loss as failure, you teach yourself to view it as a learning experience. In the end, you can’t always change the result, but you can certainly change what the result means to you.

When it comes to reframing it’s not important what you look at, it’s important what you see. When you look at a problem can you see a solution? When you look at a weakness can you see a strength? When you look at a mistake can you see the lesson it’s trying to teach you. Changing a negative into a positive is the key behind reframing, and a major key to ensuring all your rides remain productive.

The opposite of reframing is something called telescopic thinking… always looking at problems, weaknesses, and mistakes as if looking at them through a telescope (making them appear bigger than they actually are). This month, turn the telescope around and look at these challenges through the other end of the telescope – so that they look smaller and less ominous. And then point that telescope away from them so that you can zoom in on the solutions, strengths, and learning opportunities.

Originally posted in Daniel Stewart’s Pressure Proof Academy monthly tips.

Daniel Stewart has been an equestrian for over thirty-five years and has coached riders all over the world for the past twenty-five. Combining his knowledge as an equestrian with a degree in physical education, he created an empowering and inspiring clinic series that helps riders develop equally strong minds and bodies. As the internationally acclaimed author of Pressure Proof Your Riding, Ride Right, and Fit and Focused in 52; he’s widely considered one of the worlds leading experts on equestrian sport psychology, athletics, and performance. He teaches clinics and seminars to thousands of riders each year including an annual summer clinic-tour that includes 50 clinics in more than 30 cities over a span of  60 days. He’s a sough-after keynote speaker, has published countless magazine articles, and is an equestrian sport psychology and rider fitness contributor for many other equestrian associations.