BY DANIEL STEWART
Right now there are two very different people living inside of you (don’t worry, it’s only a metaphor). The first one is the person who you are right now. That person is called your present-self and he or she is capable of achieving some pretty good things. Some pretty good skills, pretty good emotions, and pretty good results. But is your present-self capable of achieving the amazing and great skills, emotions, and results that you know you deserve? Unfortunately, probably not.
In order to achieve those amazing skills and great successes you might first need to consider making a few quick changes or additions to your present-self. This is where your other “inner” person comes in. That person is called your performer-self and he or she isn’t interested in pretty good, they’re looking for really great.
So just how do you go from pretty good to really great? Well, you go from your present-self to your performer-self of course… but what does that really mean? Well, let’s say, for example, that right now you’re tired and dehydrated with a stomach ache from all the fast-food burgers you ate late last night. This is your present-self. Do you think you’ll be able to perform your best today? (me neither). It doesn’t mean you’re incapable of it, it just means you’re going to have to make a few changes before it’ll happen. In other words, you’re going to have to go from your present-self to your performer-self… and the best way to make that happen (in this case) is to simply plan a few days of rest, hydration, and healthy eating.
So, as you read this message take a few moments to ask yourself who you are presently. If you decide that you’re not quite at your performer-self, write down a few changes or additions that you can make to make it happen. While doing so, you might want to take the following four categories into consideration:
1) Daily behaviors like healthy eating, sleeping habits, and proper hydration
2) Physical behaviors like exercising, stretching, and improving your posture
3) Emotional behaviors like acting more positive, mindful, and resilient
4) Interpersonal behaviors like expressing gratitude and helping others
If you’re like many riders, this crazy coronavirus time might be making you feel a bit incapable of improving yourself as a rider. But in fact, the time that we’re all spending waiting for “ordinary” to return might just be an opportunity to find your inner extra-ordinary. An opportunity that comes from spending more time focusing on you and learning what it really takes to release your inner performer!
So, take this time to remind yourself how lucky you are to have good health, friends, family, and our amazing sport, and remember the only person you need to be better than today is the rider you were yesterday… so go find your performer-self!
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.