Isn’t it miraculous that both you and others can see completely different reflections of yourself while looking in exactly the same mirror?
I came to this thought when taking some video’s of my training sessions with my young horse. I ride alone a lot and don’t get the opportunity for direct feedback that much, so I thought the occasional training session video would do me good.
I swear, I almost started to cry when watching them back: unsteady hands, sloppy seat, toes sticking out like some weird stickman, head firmly positioned downward, arms rounded as if I were holding a skippy ball and a ‘meh’ moving horse (for non-riders: all of these are pretty much dressage mortal sins).
Yeah, ok, there was the occasional good bit, bit overall it was pretty terrible.
Going into my lesson this week, I wanted to start off by apologising to my trainer for having to look at me hobbling around like that for an hour every week. I decided against it and to just see how it went this time, before apologising profusely. Guess what, best training ever! Good seat, wonderful forward supple horse, ready for some higher level training (her words, not mine).
A little bit of mirror time every once in a while is definitely good thing. When riding or at work, taking a minute to look at your strengths and weaknesses can provide a very valuable lesson. Yet, I realise that my mirror image is often my worst enemy: I will ONLY see the not so good stuff and forget to look at the context, progress and achievements. I realise that both when riding or working, I often maintain an unrealistic benchmark, which is then by default unachievable. This seemingly unachievable benchmark however also functions as my ever present drive to do more and do it better.
Merging these two mirror images (mine and how others see it) will help define what to work on, while feeling good about progress made within the right context and the right (realistic) benchmark. Whether working within a team, or on your own: ask someone for some regular feedback on how you’re doing…. how you’re really doing… and then merge it with your of mirror image, see if they match.
Time to review today’s video!