Battling the Confidence Monster

I loath him.
I despise him.
He’s an evil, sneaky, beady-eyed beast that lives in every nook and cranny of your mind.  He’s 50, 100 years old. He makes the villagers pick up pitchforks and torches and march the square stomping and yelling; “Burn him!” “Tear him from limb to limb!” “Run him to the woods!”
He’s patient. He’s persistent. He sits and waits for the perfect chance to rattle your brain with thoughts of fear and doubt. He listens for you to fall asleep the night before a show and then whispers boo in your ear. Not loud, not even loud enough for anyone else to hear, just barely loud enough to wake you up and question your sanity . . . again.
He hides behind the Swedish oxer and under the Trakhener. He lays flat in the bottom of the beginner novice ditch. In fact, legend says every time a rider stares into a ditch he grows another horn.  He lifts the Novice coop just a wee bit higher, and the Prelim drop just a tad steeper. No level or course is safe from this gremlin. He feeds off the self-doubt that comes after a fall or a refusal (but falls are his favorite).
This weekend I will battle that monster.
I will arm myself with the pure thoughts of success and completion, and put the memories of my fall behind me. I will defend against his attacks with confidence and zest and really, really, really good coaching. I will, perhaps, take a swill of grog on the battlefield. 
And when he calls, I will say “Sorry, I believe you have the wrong number”.
And that will make me smile.
All dressed up and no place to go.

1 comment on “Battling the Confidence Monster”

  1. Lauren Cude

    Love this. Have a few students who need to read about the confidence monster :) Now – we just need a fool-proof way of defeating him! I’ve heard winning does a reasonable job.

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