As 2023 comes to an end I want to encourage you to reflect on this year and COUNT YOUR WINS! 💪 and I'm not necessarily referring to trophies, medals, or recognitions. These are wins that can not be labelled and are often completely overlooked.
🧠 Our mindset has a big impact on our ability to be successful and what we choose to do in our life. It can either increase our sense of confidence and push us to achieve our goals or it can really undermine us.
We are hardwired to remember negative thoughts, emotions, and experiences better than positive ones! So, to help you set your intentions (and keep them!) for 2024, I want to propose an easy-to-implement mindset shift implementing a concept called "The Gap and The Gain" that I recently learned through a book.
We often measure our success and progress based on ideals or what other people are doing/have done or accomplished. How many times have you said to yourself - "I wish I had more XYZ (e.g. money, accomplishments)?" How often have you watched online videos of various trainers and thought, "I wish I had those skills," or "Geez, my dog will never be able to do that"? This way of comparison thinking is called being in the GAP, where you think primarily about where you currently are and where you want to be. In summary, you're looking at the present and the future.
Comparison is the Thief of Joy.
"The only way to measure the distance you've travelled is by measuring from where you are back to the point where you started."
In this mindset, this reference point is internal and YOU make the call on what success is, regardless of what other people think. Thinking "In the Gain" has enormous benefits, including feelings of liberation (you have stopped comparing yourself to others), more happiness, more success, and overall less anxiety. 😁 You start to become grateful for all your experiences knowing that your choices and life are based on YOUR measurements. By focusing on measuring your own progress, you will also become more productive in accomplishing your goals.
The best part is that this GAP AND GAIN concept can be applied to ALL areas of our lives, not just dog training! Think about where you can start implementing a GAIN mindset:
As a life example, I will turn to an experience I see at agility trials all too often; someone will come out of the ring after running with their dog and automatically focus on what went wrong:
Imagine what would happen if we started to think in the GAIN, and instead, flipped the post-run narrative to what we have accomplished:
🤩Changing our mindset can have an enormous impact on our success level.
I hope this has helped you reframe your thinking as you take inventory on the year that's ending. I look forward to connecting with you in the New Year. Cheers to 2024! 🍾
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About the Author
Hi, I'm Carolyn McIntyre, an animal rehabilitation trained and registered physiotherapist, and I'm the owner/operator of McIntyre Canine Rehabilitation located in Erin, Ontario, Canada.