Lessons Learned at the BFA

When striving to reach a new goal or compete at a new level, it is so easy to get nervous or intimidated. To second guess everything you have done to prepare, to wonder if you are out of your league, to back down from the pressure or safety up.

Competing at the BFA World Finals and being around such phenomenal trainers all week made all of these feelings very apparent to me. I have never felt so inspired while simultaneously feeling crazy intimidated.

All of this got me thinking. What qualities set a trainer or rider apart when it comes to pressure cooker situations like these?

I think there are two things that come into play here.

1.) WHY are you competing, training, working and striving? If it is to quench some insatiable desire to be somebody or prove yourself then you are “chasing after the wind”, like the book of Ecclesiastes tells us in the Bible. This motivation will likely keep you striving, but at the same time leave you feeling thirsty because enough will never be enough.

A trainer who is truly set apart will have a quiet confidence, knowing that each and every run is just that, ONE run. It doesn’t define who you are, win or lose. It is one run, and however it ends up will be for God’s glory.

Finding satisfaction in the journey to get there is just as important as the winning moments at the end. Having this simple confidence will keep you from falling prey to all the fear and doubt that can so easily creep up.

2.) The second thing that I think sets apart a trainer with longevity and consistent success is that when they see new challenges that arise and new heights of competition they don’t shrink back and allow their thoughts to consume them. They just get their nose down into their work and get busy building the staircase to the next level.

Nobody just skates their way to the top without challenges and heartache and trouble. It comes as a package deal.

You put in the time, you donate the entry fees, you spend your every waking moment learning and staying ahead so that you have a CHANCE to compete with the best.

If you get beat, then you got outworked and outsmarted. Maybe you weren’t as resourceful, maybe you weren’t as creative, maybe you didn’t ask the right people for advice. The bottom line is, you can’t buy a ticket to the top, you have got to start building your staircase now.

Having the desire to win and succeed at something is an admirable quality to have, but don’t neglect the qualities it takes to get there.

Be creative, be committed, have integrity, determination and humility. Don’t let a victim mentality convince you that you don’t have a chance. You have got all the same tools available to you as anyone else, it’s just a matter of picking them up and using them.

To see my run at the BFA, click here! Second go at the BFA Finals

Keep in touch with me on Facebook at Emily Gernaat Performance Horses LLC!

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