What I Learned From This Episode: Insights from Cathy Sirett on Building Confidence


As a producer, I get the unique opportunity to dive deep into the backgrounds of our guests and absorb the valuable lessons they bring to the table. The latest episode with Cathy Sirett, author of "Complete Confidence," was no exception. Cathy’s journey and insights on confidence shared with Kate McLaughlin were nothing short of enlightening. Below, I share the key takeaways that stood out to me and how they can apply to our everyday lives.



A Journey Sparked by a Crisis


Cathy's story began in the corporate world, where she spent 25 years in training and development, focusing on people's confidence and behavioral change. However, the credit crunch of 2008 was a pivotal moment; it led to the collapse of many of her clients, and simultaneously, Cathy's mother was diagnosed with dementia. These personal and professional challenges prompted her to step back from her corporate career. During this transitional phase, she found her new path through coaching friends in the horse world who lacked the confidence to go to an instructor. Cathy combined her expertise in confidence coaching from the corporate world with her passion for horses to create a unique approach to helping others. 


Finding Purpose Through Adversity


Cathy's personal experiences with losing her own confidence multiple times and addressing it in superficial ways reinforced her understanding that true confidence requires more than just a quick fix. This realization was driven home when she found herself in tears, fearful of mounting the safest horse in the yard—a clear message that deeper issues needed addressing. Her friends’ encouragement and her success in coaching them led her to discover her true purpose: helping others build genuine, lasting confidence. This became more than just a career change; it was a calling. 


Developing a Comprehensive Coaching Approach


Cathy's coaching approach is multi-faceted, addressing more than just horse-rider confidence. She emphasizes that often, confidence issues extend beyond the horse and into other areas of life, such as relationships and work. Her tailored five-step process became the foundation of her book and coaching practice. It’s fascinating to hear how her methods empower individuals to handle any confidence issue that may arise, not just those related to horses. 


The Importance of Knowledge, Skills, and Environment


Cathy highlights three critical areas essential to building and maintaining confidence: knowledge, skills, and environment. Here’s what these entail: 


  1. Knowledge: Understanding the “why” behind actions and processes is crucial. Knowing inside leg to outside rein is one thing; understanding why it's necessary provides depth and confidence.
  2. Skills: Possessing theoretical knowledge doesn’t automatically translate to practical ability. Continuous skill development is essential for maintaining confidence.
  3. Environment: People, places, and processes form the environment that can either support or erode confidence. A supportive environment tailored to the needs of both the horse and rider is critical. 


Embracing Neuroscience in Confidence Coaching 


One of the most intriguing aspects of Cathy’s approach is her incorporation of neuroscience. She explains that fear and lack of confidence are often driven by unconscious efforts to keep us safe, and understanding this can help in managing and overcoming these feelings. For example, during menopause, a decrease in dopamine (the motivation chemical) due to less estrogen can lead to a loss of joy and confidence, which can be biochemically addressed. 


Certified Coaches: Expanding the Reach


Cathy has trained other coaches in her methods, ensuring that the Complete Confidence message reaches a broader audience. These certified coaches integrate her approach into their equestrian practices, providing holistic support to their clients. 


Final Thoughts 


Cathy Sirett’s journey and her insights on confidence are invaluable. Her unique blend of personal experience, professional expertise, and understanding of human behavior offers a robust methodology for building genuine confidence. Whether you're dealing with horses or facing life’s challenges, Cathy’s approach provides tools that can help navigate and overcome confidence issues. 

Listening to Cathy reinforced the idea that confidence isn't just about overcoming fear. It's about understanding and addressing the root causes, continuously developing skills, and fostering supportive environments. As producers and creators, we can learn a lot from Cathy about resilience, adaptability, and the importance of a holistic approach to personal growth. Stay tuned for more enlightening episodes and insightful discussions!

If you would like to explore Complete Confidence Cathy mentions some free resources, you can find these on the Equine Academy.