Jun 11, 2018

Daniel Stewart's Tip of the Month: Bandwagon Bias

USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

Last month we began a seven-part series on limiting beliefs, our unintentional tendency to sometimes place limits on our ability to succeed - not because we’re incapable of success, but because we tell ourselves that we’re incapable of it! For example, if you tell yourself that you never ride well in front of judges, there’s very little chance you'll ever really ride well in front of judges (be careful what you wish for, you might just get it!) Tell yourself, however, that the judge’s comments will make you a better rider in the future and you might just remove the limit standing between you and your success.

So starting this month - and continuing for six months - we’re going to talk about six tricky ways that limiting beliefs can disguise themselves (after all, if you know what to look for, you’ll know what to avoid!) Together these tricky limiting beliefs are called blindspot biases - unintentional limiting beliefs that hide just beneath the surface - but like the blindspot in your car, if there’s something there, there’s a pretty good chance it can cause you a lot of trouble!

The first blindspot bias we’re going to talk about is something called bandwagon bias: the unintentional habit of adopting a belief simply because others hold that opinion. For example, if someone tells you that the judge is overly critical - and you begin to worry about it - then you’re suffering from bandwagon bias. You’ve just placed a limit on your ability to succeed - not because the judge really is overly critical - but because someone said she was! In the end, the real problem hiding in your blindspot isn’t coming from the judge, but from all the wondering (why she’s like that), wishing (she wasn’t like that), and worrying (about what she’s going to say about you)!

So this month, really think about it. Is it possible that you might have the habit of sometimes jumping on the bandwagon by adopting the beliefs of others and believing something to be true simply because others said it might be (also called group-think)? For example, has anyone ever caused you to wonder, wish, or worry by telling you that horse is impossible to sit, that rider is unbeatable, this course is too hard, or that warm-up arena is just too crazy? If so, remind yourself that these beliefs - and the limits attached to them - belong to someone else and that you’re not going to let them to place a limit on your ability to succeed.

In the end, never allow bandwagon bias, limiting beliefs, or group-think to convince you to fit in when you know that you were born to stand out. To do that, jump off the bandwagon, form your own opinions, believe in them - and most importantly - believe in yourself!

Please consider joining me at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs or Lake Placid this summer for an Equestrian Athlete Training Camp where we’ll be spending four days discussing rider fitness, mental coaching, athlete nutrition, team-building, yoga, and much more. Riders of all levels and disciplines are welcome and members of the USEA receive a $255 scholarship. For more information, click here.

Oct 19, 2019 Competitions

Waylon Roberts and Woods Baughman Work their Way to the Top of the Fair Hill Standings

The scoreboard was kept working at full tilt on cross-country today at The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International as 24 of the 41 CCI4*-L starters picked up some sort of jump penalty on Derek di Grazia’s course. The leader position changed several times throughout the afternoon as 15 penalties were handed out by the ground jury, but Waylon Roberts and Lancaster kept their slate clean to take over the top spot.

Oct 19, 2019 Competitions

The Fair Hill Daily: Cross-Country

Derek di Grazia’s cross-country courses at The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International is the setting for all the action today in Elkton, Md. Here is what you need to know to follow along:

Oct 18, 2019 Young Event Horse

2019 YEH East Coast Champions Collect Their Crowns

With 70 percent of the scores coming from the second day of the USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) East Coast Championships, the 4- and 5-year-olds had a big moment in front of them to impress the judges Chris Ryan and Sally Ike. The horses were judged over a set of show jumps (15 percent) then moved directly into the cross-country portion (30 percent) before finally showing off their gallop and earning an overall score for their jumping (15 percent) and general impression (10 percent).

Oct 18, 2019 Competitions

Ladies Top the Leaderboards at The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three-Day

At the end of a busy day wrapping up the dressage phase of The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three-Day (FHI), two new riders took over the top of the leaderboards. Mara DePuy and Congo Brazzaville Z moved into first in The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship with their 28.6, while Alexa Gartenberg and Louis M claimed the pinnacle position in The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI3*-L Eventing National Championship on a 25.9.

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