Lately I’ve been thinking about resilience.
How we bounce back from hard times or adversity, what happens when we hit a bump in the road, how we recover from that and reset ourselves.
In today’s world, it’s more important than ever for us to be a resilient kind of people.
It’s such a huge topic, where I really want to start today is with expectations.
What we expect from something determines in large part what happens, how we react, how we respond and how resilient we’re able to be.
I’ve got a good example for us.
I’ve got 2 dogs. Diesel is a 3 year old black lab and Mozzi is my goldendoodle who’s 2 years old.
Now before Diesel was even a year old, we knew we needed some extra help with his training so we sent him to doggie boot camp and he spent about a week and a half there. When we got him back, he was so well-trained! He could walk on the leash with no problem. He knew to sit, stay, here, come, go to place. He knew his place in our family. It was beautiful.
Diesel was a little over a year old when we brought Mozzi home- cute, fluffy little Mozzi who grew into a 90 lb goldendoodle. We trained him but we knew we needed a little extra help too with him so we took Mozzi to the same place for training. He didn’t stay for a week and a half. He did daily doggie boot camp and it was ok, he was learning ok.
We wound up taking the next step in their training which was to take them both to a group class. So my husband and I load them up in the car and we get there on a Saturday morning and get them out of the back seat, go over to the group class and, oh my gosh, it was a horrendous hour I would not like to relive.
You would have thought that my dogs had never seen a leash before in all of their life.
Mozzi was asked, not once, not twice, but THREE times to “please leave the class”. He was basically told to go sit in the corner because he could not behave. He just lost his mind.
And Diesel, my highly-trained lab, was not really any better. At one point, Diesel was laying on his back with all 4 legs in the air, howling. We still don’t know why though my guess now was it was in solidarity with Mozzi.
It was NOT a good experience.
So we get in the car after we survive this class, and I’m really sad.
I’m frustrated and embarrassed. It was not a good dog mom experience.
Then my husband said to me, “You know what that trainer said?”
The trainer came over and said to him, “by the way, Mozzi was the hardest dog we’ve ever had to train to walk on a leash”.
Oh my goodness, that means I’m not a horrible dog mom.
We’re not complete numbskulls.
Mozzi’s just a really hard dog to train.
He needs a little extra and we need to give him extra.
What a difference it makes to change your expectations from “Oh, piece of cake, my dog should be this way” to “Wait a minute, I need to give him extra and it’s all going to be okay. I need to be more consistent, he needs this, he needs that.”
The change in expectations gave me my power back.
It was huge.
Just last week, somebody commented to me, “It seems like you might be struggling with xyz”, whatever the topic was.
I thought, “Wait a minute, that doesn’t feel right to me. That doesn’t feel good.”
I don’t think I’m struggling- that thought feels icky and like I’m powerless.
I’m not struggling.
What I am is EVALUATING and ADJUSTING.
I’m assessing what’s going on and responding to it.
It doesn’t look like perfection, apparently.
But it feels much more empowering, just the perspective of using a different word and a different thought process with it.
I’m much more resilient when I’m assessing and responding than if I’m struggling.
So our expectations, our words, our thoughts that we’re telling ourselves and then we’re telling everybody else –
our expectations are so powerful and help us become more resilient.
Next time, I’m going to talk a little bit more about not just resiliency but about being, now here’s cool term- ANTIFRAGILE.
That’s coming up and you’re going to love antifragile.
Life coaching tips from Tracey at tbrowning