Have you ever had a person turn to you and tell you something you weren’t expecting regarding your agility skills with your dog? I have. It happened in May of this year (2013). I asked Nancy Kemna to come to Las Vegas to put on a seminar. Nancy always has such practical suggestions and I knew she would challenge us. The challenges Nancy brought with her were hard. I tried the courses and the only way to get around the course was to build one skill upon the next. To be successful you could not to have any bobbles. Apparently, I was regularly committing self-sabotage. I had no idea I was saying out loud the limiting thought that “Link can’t.”
At the end of the seminar Nancy and I were on our way back to my house. I can’t remember what the conversation was about. I’m guessing it had to do with the seminar. During that conversation she told me you have to stop saying “Link can’t.” He can. I took a moment and I’m not even sure what I said in response. I remember thinking oh crap. Those are pretty negative thoughts.
Nancy being honest and telling me as she saw it was one of the best things that has happened to me in agility. Sure, it wasn’t easy to hear. Sure, I was surprised by it. Now, when I realize that this is happening I try to embrace it and say “Link can.” However, it is difficult and I don’t always recognize that I’m holding myself back with these limiting thoughts.
Last month, I was at an agility trial. I walked a particular sequence and knew a front cross would put me too far behind. But I also felt that a rear cross would put me too far behind as well. I really wanted to get the front cross at jump three. I kept walking the course with the two methods that were putting me too far behind down course. I was stumped. Then I realized I was stumped because I was limiting my handling moves by saying “Link can’t.” So, I decided to handle like I should and as I wanted.
I was practically glowing that I was going to try to get that front cross. I think you might have thought I was pregnant I was so glowing. I told several people I’m going to get that front cross after jump three. I even asked people to watch me try to get that front cross in.
WHAT WAS I THINKING? I don’t like to have people watch me. I don’t want to ask people to watch me. There I was asking people to watch me try to get that front in. It was crazy! When I actually did get the front cross in, I was a celebrating fool. So, next time I won’t celebrate at jump three and forget to show my dog where to go for obstacle four. Whoops.
The next time you are walking a course trying to figure out a tricky sequence and you really wish you could handle a certain way, TRY IT. Don’t limit your handling by what you think you can’t do. Every time you tell yourself you can’t or your dog can’t, you are right. Henry Ford said it best: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” Don’t let your thoughts hold you back. Make the choice to try to handle the way you would like to handle and don’t be afraid your dog can’t. Make it your GOAL. Send me a message on FaceBook and let me know you are going for it. I will cheer you on and wish you great success. You can even earn a GOAL Q. Once you do, it will be the best feeling in the world. You will have accomplished what you once thought you couldn’t.
P.S. I’m still super proud of that front cross after jump number three. Here is our weave video. I’m a celebrating fool over this video.