What Did I Learn?

When something goes wrong, what’s your attitude?

Do you beat yourself up?
Blame others?

Do you look for what you can learn?

It’s all too easy to take your results as proof of how ‘good’ you are – as if any result can ever actually measure your intrinsic worth!

If you find yourself getting frustrated when you’re not ‘perfect’, or you make a mistake, then I dare you to question WHY that is.

It’s not that you’re so ambitious and have such high standards. It’s not that you’re not good enough.

You are frustrated – at least in part- because you’re focused on the wrong thing.

You’re focused on the outcome as a benchmark, rather than the performance you put in and where that sits on the scale of what you had to give at that moment.

What does that mean?

It means that, rather than asking ‘Did we win?’ or ‘Did we go clear?’, you begin to ask yourself a different question:

Did I do my best with what I had to give in that moment?

You may be tired, fighting illness, dealing with work stresses, relationship or financial worries, you may be hungry, dehydrated, hormonally challenged… good grief, there are myriad variables in what you have to offer at any given moment, let alone how many variables there are when we add your dog into the equation, and your partnership with that dog!

So again, ask:

Did you do your best with what you had to give in that moment?

This pulls you out of the ‘worth’ trap (finding your value or lack thereof in your results), the comparison trap (well OF COURSE that handler beat me, I can never match up to them…), and gives the clear round/Q gremlin a kick too (‘I haven’t had a clean run in 3 years, 8 months and 2 days!’)

It also acknowledges that this competitive journey is not linear, and no matter how consistent you become at bringing your excellence to the start line, you remain human and your dog is still not a machine. And that’s ok.

What Did You LEARN?

Once you’ve established that you were doing your best- even if it didn’t work out as you wanted, then you can ask the great big question:

What did I learn?

When you start asking this question, you can begin to focus on what you are DOING, and the data that gives you. It becomes more about the big picture, the long game, and less about this particular round, other than as part of a journey beyond itself.

Having freed yourself from recriminations and self-flagellation, you can take the good stuff – the LESSONS- from even the rounds where the wheels really came flying off.

You might learn that actually you hadn’t fuelled your body well enough, so dehydration had tanked your concentration, or hunger had made you more frustrated than focused. Maybe you’ll learn a preference your dog has that you’d never noticed before. Something that you would not learn if you were still focused on taking your worth from a run, or beating yourself up for being #human and not being perfect.

So are you giving your best with what you have to give in that moment? And what are you learning along the way that can help you do better next time?


What stands out for you in this article?

What action are you going to take because of it?

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