Learning how to gain, maintain and understand confidence are all things I believe a person has to come to on their own. With that being said, I wish I would have had someone share the story of their quest for confidence. It may not work for you but this is how I learned to become confident in myself.
Ranch rodeos used to make me so nervous to go showcase my skills, or lack thereof, in front of everyone. I desperately wanted to rope well in town but I never did, I wasn’t consistent or in control. For lack of a better term – I was a hot mess for years.
It took a few weeks in Arizona for me to learn what makes a person competitive and confident. Confidence and pride often dance on the same floor but they are not partners. I had to kick pride off the floor before my confidence could really bust a move. This past winter in Arizona I decided to try my hand at team roping. Needless to say I wasn’t roping very well. In fact I folded under the pressure like a cheap Walmart tent. I started making excuses for myself along the lines of, “I’m not a team roper, I’m a rancher and this is dumb”… or “This isn’t real life, this is stupid. When will I ever have a box to rope an animal out of on the ranch?” I was making tons of excuses to protect myself from admitting I didn’t know how to rope fast. I won’t go into details about the conversations I had or the tears I shed but after a hard week of realizing I was being prideful I learned what I needed to do to succeed. I needed to put in more time practicing and I needed to have an open mind. I learned that roping is roping, it doesn’t matter if it’s a snag and drag branding, team roping, ranch rodeoing, fun roping, or head and heel branding it is all roping and it will all make you better.
Those few weeks of team roping helped me realize why I always failed at ranch rodeos. I used to go to ranch rodeos more concerned about what people would think of me and my abilities than concerned about my roping. I was focused on my image rather than the tip of my rope, my target, and horse’s position.
My confidence came when my pride left. I had to stop worrying about what others thought of me – after all their thoughts are none of my business. I had to be willing to rope the dummy in front of people even if I did feel embarrassed ninety percent of the time. Confidence is backing into the box, riding into the area, or saddling for a branding knowing that the outcome of that day will not determine your skill set.
For me confidence isn’t knowing I will win or knowing everything will go flawlessly; confidence is knowing that no matter the outcome of this run it won’t change my capabilities. Confidence is knowing what went wrong and knowing what to work on next time. Confidence is not needing anyone to validate you or your abilities; it is being completely comfortable in your skin win or lose. Confidence is not believing I am the best person at the rodeo but believing in my potential and relying on my hours of practice.
Confidence is different for everyone I imagine, but for me this is it. I know if the current me could have had a conversation with the 18 year old me about how to find my confidence I probably would be years ahead of where I am now. I guess those years of struggling motivated me to practice more, push harder, and find my confidence. Here’s to finding yours!
Article Written by Tayler Teichert
About Tayler Teichert
Tayler Teichert was raised on ranches all over the west. (Primarily Elko County Nevada) She is a full time ranch hand and masquerades as a freelance photographer. You can check out her photography at www.taylerteichert.com