In the beginning...
Remember the first time your agility dog went through a tunnel all by himself?
Do you remember how excited you were?
Every discovery, every new skill was a thrilling milestone.
You loved seeing the happiness in your dog's eyes as his skills and confidence grew.
Eventually you went to your first trial. You were scared and excited all at the same time.
You entered the ring, your heart pounding and off you went. What a rush!
You were hooked!
Fast forward several months...
You worked hard to get better and improve your confidence.
You started to run well and your expectations changed. You wanted more Q's, or wins, or titles.
But the failures and disappointments began to pile up. You weren't meeting your goals.
And suddenly, agility didn't feel so fun anymore.
In fact, at times it even felt like a chore.
What the heck happened?
You lost touch with what you loved about agility.
You lost touch with your 'why'.
Outside goals and extrinsic rewards (that were largely out of your control) became too important.
You're human. It happens. We've all done it.
When your core values and your needs —the things that are intrinsically rewarding — get shoved to the side because you are chasing external results, you feel dissatisfied, unhappy, frustrated.
Ribbons and Qs give you a quick hit of adrenaline, but the feeling fades quickly and leaves you feeling empty and longing for your next hit — one you don't have much control over.
This happens in more than just dog agility. It can happen at work, in your hobbies, even in your relationships.
But the good news is agility acts like a "life lab" where you can work out some of the kinks and then apply what you've learned to real life.
In fact, learning to balance the lure of extrinsic rewards is an important part of maturing as a competitor and as a person.
So when you feel like you are losing the joy, close your eyes and try to reconnect with what originally made you passionate about agility, what you love about it, what gives you that warm fuzzy feeling inside.
Let go of your expectations and focus on the process, on the moments, on learning and experiencing and growing.
Results are a by-product of passion.
Reconnect with your passion, and the results will come naturally.
Want to get control of ring nerves? Check out my Tame Your Trial Nerves course!
Want to develop an amazing mental game? Check out The Winner's Circle course!
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