Riding – Strive for Progress – Not Perfection

I have chosen to write about the topic of Perfection as this is one that is close to my heart. For the majority of my life I have sought out this so called ‘Perfect’ and the journey to finding it has led to some self-discovery. Riding was just the thing to make me realise that progress is the way forward!

Whether it has been looking for the perfect weight, the perfect outfit, the perfect horse or the perfect ride – it isn’t out there! Sadly my search for such a thing was always followed by a big fat bump back to reality and a feeling of dissatisfaction and unhappiness.

Within this hunt for what I thought would make me happy I found I wouldn’t even make a start on a lot of things due to the fact that I knew I couldn’t do it in the perfect way, I would make mistakes and would worry I would look a fool – so I chose not to even try!

I am not sure if this rings true to many of you, but it has started to play on my mind more and more. Now that we live in an instant world it has made us analyse every movement we make and switched our focus onto expecting fast reactions to everything we do. There are a million filters we can apply to our images and we can edit the hell out of them so that the world sees a “better” version of ourselves. We look for validation through our social media channels to see how many likes and followers we can get and carry out a comparison on others which becomes unhealthy. Not sure they have developed a filter for our riding yet!!

So Today, I am making a start to switch my search for PROGRESS instead!

As discussed in my previous post setting goals is a great motivational tool particularly for riding.  A part of the process is to monitor your progress. My first step in my new search is to look back at how far I have come and take note of my progress, aiming for the next mini milestone in reaching my goals. By doing this I hope it will make my journey a happier one.

I may not ever have the perfect horse, the perfect style (I usually end up with food on my outfit at some point in the day anyways!) or be in the perfect shape I want to be, but I am going to acknowledge the progress I make to achieving my goals and set new ones when I reach them.

Acknowledging what I do have is a nicer picture to paint rather than focusing on what I haven’t got, or what is missing from my perfect image. Enjoying my rides¬† and being grateful for them is my new aim, rather than being unhappy that I didn’t get the perfect outline or haven’t mastered the best lateral moves in the arena, or even that I had an eventful hack rather than the blissful rides we dream about.

It takes time to re-focus and re-train your mind to think this way but as its International Women Day 2018 I think its a PERFECT day to reach out and encourage and empower others to strive for progress and not for perfection! Why not try it too, do it with me ladies! xx

x Jen x

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