I had a webinar at FDSA (April 6th at 9 pm ET to be accurate) on Creating Your Winning Formula.
Typical of my webinars I had to leave out at least as much as I jammed in. The four part formula was easy for me – starting with Setting Priorities and ending with Taking Action, both the design and recording flowed quite nicely.

I did my usual growth mindset thing and left my little blips in so you could appreciate that I too make mistakes.

Plenty of them in fact. Sigh. It was a rough weekend I’ll blog about separately but thanks for all the love many of you have shared with Big T and I. There is lots of new information and lots I am planning on fitting into the discussion at the end as well.

I did realize partway through recording that I did not spend ANY time on what winning might actually be for you. A little obviously, it varies enormously from person to person and likely dog to dog (or horse to horse) as well.

It’s really important to remember that sometimes winning is simply getting out of bed in the morning, training, going to the fun match or whatever else not too many people might call winning.

Sometimes winning is coming first in a world level competition. There is a lot of ground between each of these points.

So, there are some key aspects I recommend taking into consideration.

Save this post for later!

Defining Success - Why you should define what success means to you and your dog, horse, or yourself.

Defining Success – What does “Winning” look like for you?

When you are outcome focused, winning probably involves titles, qs and ribbons. Awesome.

A pretty classic definition of winning right? But have you ever had a winning run that felt yucky? I sure have.

Perhaps you’ve had a class where everything worked but the judge didn’t use you in a class (quite common in some subjective sports). That doesn’t look like winning but may in fact be a bigger measure of success than a ribbon.

If a ribbon is all you need – great – go for it. If not – keep reading!

What does “Success” feel like for you?

I ask my youth (at the treatment centre where I work) where they feel anger or where they feel sadness sometimes.

Today I ask you – where do you feel success? Does it warm your heart? Settle your stomach?

Perhaps it sets off glorious happy fireworks in your brain. I hope it makes you feel competent, strong, confident and capable. Because if you are meeting your success markers, you are all those things. No matter what someone else says about your winning ways.

That is to say – if you didn’t get the ribbon or earn the q but your team was connected, focused and made the work you have been doing effective and smooth … that’s success worth holding.

It is from that success we can build forward to ribbons, qs and placements after all. Have you had the experience of feeling good about a run then not earning the ribbon or score you wanted and suddenly feeling deflated? I have.

I regret that now and wish I had been able to focus on the feeling of success and hold it. My dog Brody, for about the first 6 months of competing in agility would occasionally have runs with 1 or 2 seconds of time faults, that were otherwise flawless.

So frustrating until I realized speed would come and my rockstar was worth his weight in gold.

Related Reading: How to Recover When Things Go Wrong (in training or trial)

Why does defining success matter?

Deciding what success feels like in your body, and figuring out what winning means to you – these things won’t suddenly make you A WINNER every time you go to a trial. They will however help you keep progress in perspective.

There are so many elements to a winning formula – around training, and working and having a team that lifts you up.

Your brain can be a partner to victory or it can be a saboteur trying to pull you down.

Learning what winning is, feels like and looks like for YOU or YOUR team is much more important than you might think.

I encourage you to take time to define success on your own terms.

What’s next?

I hope you were able to join the webinar live. Winning for me was getting this written in time for it!

For more about what I am up to you can always sign up to get the blog delivered to your inbox or check out what’s available on the homepage.

If you missed the webinar I’m sorry. I have a recorded webinar Think, Plan, Do Plus that is designed to get you working successfully too.

Sign up for it here!

You may also like:
Growth Mindsets & Positive Training Methods
Building a Better Partnership (for all species)

How to Cope with Disappointment