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Fri, 2017-12-01 09:07

Daniel Stewart's Tip of the Month: The Power of Positivity

Authored By: Coach Daniel Stewart
USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

This month we’re going to begin a four-part series on how to create positive riding potential by making sure the thoughts you think to yourself are positive. Referred to as self-talk, internal dialogue, positive affirmations, or brain babble; the words you say to yourself have a huge influence on your ability to believe in yourself. As a result, let's spend the next few months talking about how to talk to yourself!

This month we’ll begin with one of my all-time favorites. I like to call this technique "Create / Concentrate / Enunciate," and this is how it goes. 

To start, create a short positive affirmation sentence like “I can do it”. Once you’ve got it, concentrate on each word while repeating it to yourself (repetition is very important when it comes to convincing yourself that you’re capable of accomplishing great things.) After a few repetitions, tweak it a bit by placing a special emphasis (enunciate) on each of the four words (as if speaking the sentence but yelling a different word to yourself each time you repeat it). For example, if your phrase has four words (like “I can do it”) say the sentence four times but yell the first word at yourself the first time you say it, the second word the second time you say it, the third word the third time, and the fourth word the forth time you say it. Before finishing-up, repeat the sentence one final time, only this time yell all four words our loud to yourself.

In the end, you’ll have repeated your positive affirmation sentence five times, but most importantly, you have really heard all four words. It would look something like this (imagine yelling the word in bold to yourself - while just speaking the others):

I can do it!
can do it!
I can do it!
I can do it!
I can do it!

Not only is this a great way to ensure you’ll hear (and believe) all parts of your positive sentence, it’s also a really sneaky way to make sure you repeat it a few times! 

So this week, come up with your own short phrase and then use the Create / Concentrate / Enunciate technique as you repeat it to yourself. You can even use it to help believe and achieve your goals. For example, if you typically get nervous riding in front of crowds, repeat “I love riding for crowds” five times. In the end, you’ll have heard it six times, yelled all five words and then… be careful what you wish for, you might just get it!

Coach Daniel Stewart with a copy of his new book,
Fit and Focused in 52. Photo courtesy of Daniel Stewart.

Coach Stewart has combined his popular rider mental conditioning techniques with ideas for physical conditioning in his new book, Fit and Focused in 52: The Rider’s Weekly Mind-and-Body Training Companion. Readers get quick-hit recommendations with an exercise for the body and one for the mind for every week of the year. The end goal is attaining full-on fitness that ensures improved performance on horseback, whatever your age, ability, or discipline. With 52 weeks of creative cross-training, and loads of ideas for customizing workouts to fit personal goals and lifestyle schedules, riders are sure to find themselves positive, pumped up, and ready to go! Stewart's new book is releasing this month can be purchased at


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