The Rider’s Mind Podcast Episode 40: Affirmations for Success in the Saddle
I can’t believe we are on the 40th episode! I took suggestions from the Rider’s Mind Community on Facebook for this episode and then had community members vote for the topic they most wanted to hear about. The winning suggestion came from Justine Berg, so she will receive a gift from Stride Wear! Justine said “I’d like to hear more on affirmations and how to develop and maintain a strong belief in our training and ability”. In response to this, I’ll be sharing about affirmations in this episode.
What are affirmations?
Affirmations are positive statements used to counteract negative statements and subconscious beliefs that aren’t serving you. They are often I am… statements. They can also be another type of declaration statement. For example, you might use I am enough or money flows to me easily and freely as affirmations.
Your subconscious includes your values and beliefs. What your subconscious believes manifests in your words and actions. Affirmations can be used to help you bring new beliefs into your subconscious.
Affirmations are like positive self-talk with a purpose. They can help change internal negative self-talk when practiced regularly. Different areas of your brain can be activated and rewired by using affirmations.
How often should you use affirmations?
There is no right answer. Just get going with them. When it comes to repeating your affirmations: some practice is good, more is better. Try committing to using your affirmations twice per day for a month and see how you feel.
How can you use affirmations?
- Write a list in a journal
- Read your affirmations out loud
- Read your affirmations to yourself in a mirror
- State your affirmations to a loved one
- Learn affirmation activation (I teach this in my Stride Next Level Barrel Racing group)
- Use a general list of affirmations or hone in on a specific topic
What should you notice?
Notice how it feels to say your affirmations. If the affirmation is not yet true for you, you’ll notice some resistance in your voice or discomfort in different areas of your body. Take note of this because it will change as these beliefs become true for your subconscious.
How can you develop and maintain a strong belief in your training and ability?
You’ll want to build your affirmations from where you are at to where you want to be. If you are not feeling a strong belief in your training and your ability, you need to change that or it’s going to show up in the arena in the form of lack of confidence, self-sabotage, nervousness or choke.
First, I would ask you to think about why you don’t already feel a strong belief in your training and ability. A lot of times people don’t have an answer for me and the feelings they have are not well-founded. Maybe you are just starting out and have a good reason to be unsure of your training and ability. In this case, you might add horsemanship lessons to the affirmations.
If your lack of belief is not founded by any facts, then that makes things a lot quicker to change because you just have to change your subconscious thinking and beliefs, not anything technical with your riding skills. Think about how you need to feel to have that belief you’re looking for. Think about the energy you need to be in to bring yourself there and then build positive statements that follow the same tune as you’re looking for.
10 Affirmations to Adopt as Your Own
These are some of my affirmations. You can adapt and build your own, but make sure you are writing as if they are already true.
- I am enough.
- I trust my horse, my horse trusts me, we work together in perfect harmony.
- I am poised and confident.
- I ride focused and present.
- I trust myself, I trust my training.
- I am prepared and allow my good work to unfold in the arena.
- I am proud of my commitment no matter the outcome.
- My results do not dictate my worth to myself or others.
- I embrace a challenge and opportunity to learn.
- I am a winner.
Even if you download the show notes and have the paper copy of these affirmations, you should still write them out by hand. There is value in that process. Then say them out loud. Read your affirmations into a mirror.
Use Your Affirmations to Change Your Brain
When you say these out loud they might not feel real yet, but know that, in time, they will and then they will become your reality. With repetition and practice, you will show up and own these statements and stand in their energy.
Affirmations have been proven by neuroscience to make real changes to the brain. However, the proof is in the pudding. When you practice your affirmations, you will start feeling empowered because of them.
Maintaining a strong belief in yourself is also connected to positive self-talk. You could do the affirmations all morning, but if in the afternoon you start running yourself down, then you’re going to be counteracting your efforts. Changing your beliefs is a practice of self-awareness. You start speaking better to yourself in general and through the affirmations, you reprogram your subconscious to more positive and supportive beliefs.
50 Positive Affirmations and Video Resources to Use
Fill out this form and be emailed 50 affirmations you can use to get started with your own positive affirmation practice.
Check out these two videos for more ideas on using affirmations:
Join my Stride Next Level Barrel Racing group
Positive affirmations are just part of a positive mindset and mindfulness practice. If you’d like more help with continuing this journey, you’ll love being part of my Stride coaching group. This is a paid next level barrel racing coaching group and you can get on the waitlist at michelledavey.com/stride. We just finished a module on visualization and I’m excited to release an interview I did with 10 x NFR Qualifier Molly Powell next.
Breathe deep, stay present, and ride the stride.
If you’re looking to make changes to your mindset, be sure to sign up for my free Next-Level Mindset Mini Course.
Join the Conversation
I’ll start a thread about affirmations over in the The Rider’s Mind Community on Facebook so you can share your affirmations there! As a member of this community, you’ll also get tips and videos from me.