Are you getting in the way of building the future of your dreams with your dog?
When we welcome a dog into our lives, we usually dream of living in perfect harmony together with (preferably) no ‘unwanted behavior’. So, when things don’t turn out the way we thought they would, it’s easy to let ourselves get lost in a sea of negative thoughts.
We become so focused on everything that’s ‘wrong’ with our lives (and our dogs), that we forget to focus on what’s truly important.
Here’s the thing. You and your dog are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously. You don’t need to have it all figured out and you definitely don’t need to be perfect.
It’s okay to be perfectly imperfect. When you are only focused on everything you perceive as wrong with your life with your dog, it becomes so much more difficult to see how you can start living a happy and fulfilling life with your dog right now – today!
So, I’m going to help you create the dream life you’ve always wanted with your dog. These three master tips will help you hack your mindset so that you and your dog can start enjoying your perfectly imperfect life together sooner rather than later.
1. Be Resilient
No matter how hard you try, you can’t avoid the ups and downs that life throws at you. You just have to expect and accept that you and your dog will have good days… and some not so good days. It’s just part of life.
Don’t beat yourself up when things don’t go according to plan. Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from difficulties or tough times. Being resilient will help you to let the little things go quicker so that you can get back to enjoying your life with your dog.
When you start to expect that this is how life operates, it helps you to see the positives in everyday life with your dog. Being resilient will also help you to become more respectful of yourself and your dog.
You really shouldn’t expect your dog to be perfect all the time. That’s a lot of pressure to put on your dog and it’s not very fair or realistic. Your dog doesn’t expect you to be perfect, so try to give your dog some grace as you both learn how to navigate this life together.
Nothing good comes from setting strict standards to live by. Doing so puts a lot of strain on your relationship with your dog and from that, breeds judgment. You begin to judge yourself and your dog, which is silly because this is your life. Why are you chaining yourself to such unrealistic expectations?
Understand that you will both have ups and downs and respect yourself and your dog. Realize that you can be both a masterpiece and a work in progress at the same time. There’s nothing wrong with that. Life isn’t a competition.
Try to build resilience by looking for opportunities to learn and grow. Every ‘mistake’ comes with a lesson and once you start thinking about things from an optimistic point of view, you’ll see that life with your dog becomes so much more enjoyable.
2. Focus on what’s important
I know it’s difficult to break a bad habit but focusing on the unimportant things in life is definitely a habit you want to break. The moment you start focusing on what’s really important, is the moment that your life with your dog gets a lot easier and happier.
I saw a meme recently that I think has a very important lesson behind it:
“Life is like a camera. Focus on what’s important. Capture the good times. Develop from the negatives and if things don’t turn out, take another shot.”
What do you focus on the most? Do you focus on all of the ‘bad’ things your dog does? Do you always see the problems instead of the solutions?
We can get so caught up on trying to be perfect and have a perfect dog that life just stops being fun. Consider where you put most of your focus and whether it’s important to focus on those things or not.
If you keep focusing on the things that are not that important, you will feel stressed and overwhelmed and those feelings will transition to your dog. Don’t let negative thoughts stand in the way of enjoying life with your dogs. I know it’s easier said than done, but with patience, you’ll get there.
To help you, I suggest looking for what is important. For me, it’s that my dogs are attentive and responsive to me and vice versa. We are always in-tune with each other and when we’re not together, we’re still there for each other in a sense. We have a bond and this bond (modeled by the same teachings I share inside my Brilliant Partners Academy) is what I choose to focus on. I don’t focus on what they don’t do right. I focus on the positives.
So, now it’s your turn! Start looking around at your own life and put your focus on what’s truly important to you. Doing this will help you weed out the pointless thoughts and things that only cause you and your dog unnecessary stress.
3. Choose your adventure mindset
Your life with your dog is an adventure. What you might not realize is that you get to choose the adventure you want to have with your dog. Sure, things with your dog may not be perfect and you’ve both got a long way to go. But, even if your dog’s behaviour is not aligned with your vision for the future, you can still enjoy life with your dog – even when it’s far from being perfect.
A part of being able to choose our adventure mindset is learning to think about how our thinking influences what we experience with our dogs. If you’re constantly thinking about everything that’s ‘wrong’, that becomes the focus of your adventure. However, if you remember that your thoughts influence your emotions, actions, and life, and you actively try to focus your thoughts on the good things about life with your dog, everything changes.
I see ‘failure’ as the first attempt in learning. This mindset helps me to stay positive and search for creative solution rather than focusing on the negatives. It’s great to have a vision of the type of life you want to have with your dog, but you must also learn to enjoy and trust the process.
There’s a quote I want to share with you by Kathy Kinney that I believe captures the essence of this idea of choosing your adventure. So, here it is:
“One day, she finally grasped that unexpected things were always going to happen in life, and, with that, she realized that the only control she had was how she chose to handle them. So, she made the decision to survive using courage, humour and grace. She was the queen of her own life, and the choice was hers.”
Choosing your own adventure gives you the ability to paint a clear picture of your vision, reprogram your thinking and learn from you experiences so that you continue to grow together with your dog.
I hope you find these tips helpful and I want to invite you to imagine what life will be like when you and your dog can finally understand one another on a deep level. You can get there, it just takes time, patience, and a little bit of grace.
If you’d like to work with me and learn how to create a partnership lifestyle for you and your dog, you can request an invitation to join us in the Brilliant Partners Academy when the doors open for the next enrolment!
You can listen to everything I talked about in this blog post over on my podcast – Enlightened By Dogs. It’s episode 111, which you can listen to here.
Watch a short trailer for the episode below: