Posts tagged ‘dog agility motivation’

Are you sabotaging your own sucess?

Have you ever felt that you just weren’t good a something? For whatever reason you try it anyways, get the exact result you were expecting, then justify it by saying, “See? I told you I’m not good at that!”
You then go on avoiding that skill in the future because hey, who wants to do something we’re not good at?

I’ve struggled with this concept for my entire life. If I’m not good at a game, then I don’t play it. I wasn’t good at math so I avoided it like the plague. I remember as a kid in track and field if I was too far off the leader in a race, I would actually convince myself that I was hurt and that was why I couldn’t win! Miraculously though, I’d be completely healed by the events that I thought I’d stand a chance in….go figure!

Why am I sharing these stories with you?

Because over the past few days I’ve realized something very important.

What we believe to be true will likely become our reality.

As I’ve mentioned in some for my previous blog posts, I’ve recently been going through a bit of a tough time with my young dog Heist. Not because he hasn’t been doing well, but because I find myself very frustrated while training or competing with him. Now I know that I could list more than a dozen things that he does well or that I do we’ll as a trainer. But to be completely honest it’s shaken my confidence in myself and my training ability.

Doubts started to come into my head…toxic thoughts that poisoned my self-image and concept of my reality. Thoughts like:

“Maybe people were right when they said I was just a small dog handler”.

“If “so and so” were training him, then maybe he’d be running differently”

Even things along the line of, “is he really the right dog for me?”

I dismiss these thoughts as soon as they come but they have still lingered. It has poisoned my attitude and my thought process. I started going into runs just hoping he left the bars up or hit his contacts. I was walking the course thinking of all the places he might turn wide or mistakes that might happen.

I’ve been sabotaging myself before I even began.

Have you ever had an experience like this? Maybe you’ve gone into the run hoping your dog gets their weave poles or contacts. Maybe it’s an important run and you figure that you’re outclassed by whatever big names are entered. Even something as simple as telling yourself that your going to forget this course.

Whatever your own situation is, there is a common denominator here. You’ve already decided you’re going to fail before you’ve even gotten started.

In doing so, our subconscious mind searches and twists reality to fulfill our own views about our performance, sinking us deeper into the spiral of negativity.

“Fear and self doubt have always been the enemies of human potential. “

My own fear has been keeping me chained to these ideas of failure.

So I’ve decided that this is a moment to embrace a new perspective and greet my shortcomings as a chance to help those around me.

So I’m coming into the Canadian Open this weekend with a strong attitude, believing in myself, my dogs, and my students.

To be a bit cliched, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” and I realized that all my frustrations, failures, and successes have had the purpose of brining me to this point of change where I can grow from the experience and become a stronger trainer, coach, and competitor.

For once for me its not about the win. It’s about the confidence that makes the win possible.

“We advance on our journey only when we face our goal, only when we are confident and believe we are going to win out” —Orison Swett Marden

Canadian Open here we come!

Happy Training,

Jess Martin of Agile Dog Training.


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August 31, 2013 at 7:10 am 5 comments

Never Give Up

I came across this video today and well, it completely captured my heart.

It was like I was watching my own agility journey unfold before my eyes!

 When I started my first competitions with Mikki, he would often shut down on me or get distracted part way through his run. I remember one competition where he knocked a bar and actually ran back to the car and put himself back into his crate! Yes, there were moments where I thought of giving up on the whole thing. Moments where I was so frustrated that success seemed impossible.

But I didn’t give up.

Back then I struggled to make SCT with him. I was thrilled if we were a few seconds under the time allowed. But as I kept working to motivate my dog and improve my handling something amazing started to happen. We started to come together as a team and Mikki started to get faster on course! To the point where we were now running 20 seconds under course time! This was the start of many accomplishments for us, Mikki went on to win the AAC National Championships twice, and compete at the FCI World Championships for 3 consecutive years.  A huge turn around for a dog that would trot around the agility course!

So if you’re at the point where I was at, don’t give up! With heart and determination you can bring out the best in your dog even if others don’t see it.

“Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful.” ~Zig Ziglar~

Keep pushing forward my friends, the end result is well worth it!

Happy Training Jess Martin of Agile Dog Training

August 14, 2013 at 9:01 pm 2 comments


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