Grow from Your Challenges

I listened to an interview where Marin Alsop, the first women to lead an American orchestra as a conductor shared about the joys and the challenges in making it to this level.

The part of her story that resonated with me the most was how she reframed challenges into opportunities for learning and growth. As a conductor, they don’t have space to practice directing an orchestra like a violinist has to practice at home. As a conductor, in order to practice, she would need to bring 35 of her instrument playing friends over to do so.

The ability to glean information from the thing that didn’t go as planned, or was wrong or an accident or a mistake can lead anyone into making adjustments which teaches you lessons you wouldn’t have learned if everything happened the “right” way.

The same learning happens when something doesn’t go correctly with our dogs.

I often see how people (I’m including myself here too) become so frustrated and overwhelmed when they practiced diligently in teaching their dog to something other than bark and lunge at another dog and then the practice went out the window when another dog was too close or surprised you and your dog coming around a corner.

Holding your breath and putting expectations on you and your dog to have perfect execution of your skills every single time is putting your energy and effort into a misguided goal.

Everything doesn’t have to hang in the balance.

The outcome of a walk, an interaction with another dog or person doesn’t have to hinge on your dog getting it “right”.

And, all of what you’re teaching isn’t lost in one less than perfect situation.

When you get wrapped up in all that went wrong, you lose sight of yourself and your connection with your dog.

Resentment, bitterness and lack of confidence surfaces and takes over.

You and your dog are not less than or defined by the outcome of a situation.

You and your dog aren’t good just because you could walk by another dog without your dog barking and lunging.

You and your dog aren’t bad just because you both got surprised and your dog had a natural reaction to a surprising situation which had you responding in fear too.

You and your dog are already enough and when things don’t go your way this doesn’t take it away from you either.

Even when judgments of others say otherwise.

Even when your gremlins show up and tell you all the terrible things you were taught to believe about yourself.

Brushing the dust off, standing back up and trying again without attachment to the outcome is the way you will build your confidence.

Taking action in spite of being knocked off your feet is the way you’ll build confidence.

Looking at yourself and your dog in the mirror and saying to you both, you got this and get back to practicing it again and again and being open to what will happen will build your confidence.

Facing fear, moving through the challenge, takes courage and your willingness to keep going.

What lays on the other side of the edge is growth and having a deeper connection with yourself and the relationship you desire to have with others around you, including your dog!

Ask yourself:

What did you get to learn when things didn’t go as planned?

What is showing up for you and what do you need to get you and your dog to that next level?

When you get sidelined again, what support do you need or to have in your corner so you can get up and try again?

Set up a Discovery Call with me and find out how our partnership can support you in your growth.

Register for the 90 min Creating Empowered Choices Workshop on 14 January at Sol Health Yoga!

Published by houndbiz

Katherine Porter is a force free, reward based dog behavior advisor and consultant serving clients and their companion dogs worldwide. Her calm and gentle approach in coaching clients in effectively communicating what they want to their dog blends her MSW background into her dog training and behavior practice. Katherine was a behavior consultant for Heeling Hounds after graduation. She opened Four Paws and You Dog Training LLC when the military relocated her family to Fort Sill, OK in 2015. During this time, she volunteered with Rainbow Bridge Can Wait where she provided post adoption consultations to new pet parents. She also developed and implemented tailored behavior modification plans for highly reactive dogs residing at the shelter. She also provided educational programs to military children through interactive workshops at the Fort Sill School Age Center. In 2017, Katherine relocated Four Paws and You Dog Training LLC to Germany. She served the Armed Forces communities in Bavaria. She continued coaching and advising her clients in addressing their companion dog’s fearful and reactive behavioral issues. Katherine takes a Do No Harm approach first and foremost in providing behavioral plans. She is committed in serving clients with gentle and modern science approaches in modifying behavioral concerns such as reactivity, aggression, separation anxiety and fear based responses. Katherine is a member of the Pet Professional Guild. She is focused on integrating a holistic and modern approach in addressing her client’s pet companion reactive behavior issues.

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