As we trot down the center line we are paying someone to judge us. It’s part of the sport we are in and we pay for that judgment. However, the other part of this sport and life is being judged by those people whose opinion we haven’t asked for and often it’s this part that can lead to negativity and a loss of enjoyment in something you actually really love.
As humans its natural to observe and pass an opinion on what you are observing, this is judging to some degree. Now this opinion you have could be negatively wired or positively wired. Now sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but often part of your fear of what others are thinking about you is actually because of how you are judging/observing others.
What you are fearing is more often than not a mirror to yourself.
So to overcome this fear of judgment we must first look at ourselves and how we see things. You must become aware of your own judgment and as uncomfortable as it is, you need to learn to overcome your natural tendency too negatively judge others and instead be more positive towards them. Start first by keeping your negative thoughts to yourself, pause and instead rewire yourself to make positive statements out loud if you are sharing your opinion with someone. The more you do this the more often the positive will re-wire the negative. The key is to begin by being kinder to yourself and others.
Dressage is a judgmental sport, it’s what it’s about. But instead of us as competitors being the judges, let’s leave this to the actual judges and let us riders be the cheerleaders instead. Let’s make it a positive and supportive sport to be involved with and if you feel it’s not currently, remember it starts with you. When we stop to focus on our own thought patterns we can notice our own judgments happening, then when we recognize this behavior in ourselves we can begin to let go of the worry of what others think.
The more you work on this, the stronger it will get and the more you will notice how this sport can actually be filled with amazing, generous, hardworking and awesome people.