Setting Yourself Up for Success

A lifetime ago, I studied and worked with animals using a system called TTouch. While I thought I was learning it so I could work professionally with animals, it turns out that it has been an amazing base for my coaching work with people.

One of the things that sticks strongly in my mind is the idea of setting up for success.

It’s like this. If you have a dog that gets really reactive around other dogs (read that barks and lunges and goes a little bonkers) don’t immediately try to get him to be calm around other dogs. Start working with him in situations where he can start calm and remain calm. Can pay attention to you and what you want him to do.

Don’t ask him to do something he can’t do.

With time and attention you can bring him into different situations, until he is able to remain calm in what was once a reactive situation. Where he can have a choice.

I remember what an amazing moment it would be when a once reactive dog, would notice other dogs and then look to me. You could see him making a choice in that moment.

That’s what I want for you (and for me).

You know what it’s like when you get triggered. The emotions that suddenly wash over you. The sense that something is happening to you that you have no control over.

And yet, that’s not exactly true.

You may or may not be able to change the external stuff. You always can change your response.

Let me say that again. You always can change your response.

Oh, I know. It’s not always easy. And sometimes you need some help. Or to step away and reassess, and remember what it is you really want.

Now imagine if you didn’t have that reaction in the first place. How much easier would things be?

That’s how you can begin to set yourself up for success.

Like what I did with my race on Wednesday. By knowing that just by showing up early on a holiday morning, I met my primary goal.

It’s why creating habits and making them really really tiny and totally doable is so very important.

Becoming aware of any patterns that overshadow your success.

It’s about knowing what is success and when are you done (at least for now).

Photo Credit: Dogs on the trail by footloosiety on flickr


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