The Rider’s Mind Podcast Episode 65: Why am I so nervous?

You might often think or say “I’m so nervous” but have you ever taken time when you’re not nervous to think about the root cause of your nervousness? 

In this episode, I explore some causes of nervousness. Awareness of the causes is the first step to overcoming nervousness. 

Stop claiming that you’re nervous. Stop identifying as nervous.

When you say “I am nervous” that means you identify with it and that’s who you are. You are so much more than your nervous feelings. You might be feeling nervous at the moment, but you are not defined by nervousness.

Why do I feel so nervous?

There are lots of reasons why you might feel nervous. You might identify with some of these causes: 

You care about what you’re doing. You might be nervous because you really care about your horse and presenting them well. You care about doing your best. 

You’re actually excited. Maybe you’re just really excited about competition. You can choose to change the way you think about what you’re feeling and identify it as excitement rather than nervousness. Maybe your nervousness isn’t nervousness at all…

You’re not 100% sure what to do. If you’re not sure about communicating with your horse or uncertain about the lines you need to take, that can cause nervousness. If you’re uncertain about your ability to perform or you’re not prepared for competition, that can also lead to nervousness. If you are over-mounted, you might be worried and therefore, nervous.

You’re worried about what other people think. You are conditioned to please others and care about others’ opinions. It’s natural to worry about how you present yourself, especially if you associate your self-worth with your outcomes in the arena. It’s a lot of pressure if you’re worried about what others will think. 

You’re worried about the outcome. This puts you into the energy of the future and prevents you from being present. Thinking ahead can stop you from riding the stride and reacting in the present moment. If you start thinking about the outcome, it can be the cause of much nervousness.

You have a fear of failure. If you see failure as a negative thing, this can cause nervousness. One way to overcome this is to shift your beliefs. Consider that there is no such thing as failure, just intel and information gained from an experience. 

Fear of not being perfect. The fear of not having a perfect run can cause nervousness. When you start worrying about all of the imperfections, it’s more likely that those imperfections will occur. 

Fear of success. You might fear success and the attention it brings. It can be scary to be elevated and ranked higher than others. Subconsciously, you might fear achievement even though you consciously want to do better. 

When you translate these fears into pressure you’re messing with your nervous system. Your nervous system feels fearful. You develop an association between fear and competition. This stops you from being present. All of these fears stop you from being fully in your body.

Becoming aware of what’s triggering your nervous system is one of the secrets to being able to manage nervousness.  

This awareness is really powerful. I encourage you to take some time to figure out what is stopping you from being present. Where is your energy leak? What is the root cause of your nervousness?

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Learn with Me

If you’re looking to make changes to your mindset, be sure to sign up for my free
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You can also get on the waitlist for Stride, my next-level barrel racing group. This group receives video training and coaching from me and Stride members also have access to special guests. We work on becoming mindful barrel racers so we can show up, be present and perform with great partnership. 

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