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Dog Professionals - Stop Holding Yourself Back!

Holly Leake
“Having a low opinion of yourself isn’t modesty, its self- destruction.”
– Bobbe Sommer
I’m sure you would agree, that at times we can be our own worst enemy. We may put ourselves down, undermine our abilities and doubt our own successes. Although these negative thoughts are not reality, they can still hold significant power over us. In fact, such thoughts can lead us to sabotaging our business endeavours, as well as our professional development. Why is this the case and how can we avoid self-destruction? This blog is going to discuss the potential traps and how we can avoid them. 

Comparing Ourselves to Others

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms”
- Zen Shin
Comparing ourselves to other professionals, is one of the biggest traps that many, if not all, find themselves in. It can be incredibly soul destroying if we see businesses in our location that appear flashier and more appealing to the public eye, especially if such businesses aren’t ran by qualified professionals. They may have an amazing website or thousands of likes and followers on social media and this can cause us to feel small in comparison. We can become emotionally and professionally paralysed because we feel we simply can’t compete with that, so what is the point in trying?

We need to remember that we all have different circumstances and some may have had opportunities we never have. Other professionals may have more financial means for expensive qualifications or they may be able to invest more in their business than we currently can. We have all got to start somewhere. Chances are those businesses took years to be as successful as they are and the ones running them are likely comparing themselves to others too. Don’t focus on what you have not yet achieved, as this will stop you from achieving anything in the future. Rather, reflect on everything you have achieved so far and what goals you want to pursue. You will find you are far more successful and happier when you only compete against yourself. So just focus on your own professional development and don’t worry about anyone else!

Doubting Our Achievements 

“Never ever, ever, write off anything you have achieved as merely being lucky.
You are not lucky; you are hard working and capable. Don't ever question it”.
- Chalene Walters
Have you ever concluded that your past achievements were just a fluke? Maybe you thought the course you completed must have been easy or that there wasn’t many competitors for the award you won. We can come up with all sorts of ridiculous reasons we achieved our success, but rarely do we admit that it is because we have the knowledge and the skills, despite that being the truth.

Family and friends may wonder why we struggle with our self-esteem, when we have achieved so much but it is hard to view ourselves as others do. We can get into the habit of wearing blinkers and being blind to anything that doesn’t match the perception we have about ourselves. Why do we come to these conclusions? Well the person we likely believe ourselves to be, doesn’t have the skills or the knowledge to accomplish what we have. In reality, this person does not exist and yet it has the power to undermine every success we have ever had and paralyse us from striving after other goals.

You need to own your successes and acknowledge that these only occurred because you put so much time and effort into it. So you need to regularly reflect on everything single you have achieved, because it invalidates every negative thought you have about yourself.

Positive Mindset

“Pay attention to what you choose to water. It will grow.”
- Jaiya John
Mindset has a huge impact on our abilities and successes. If we believe we can’t do something, you can guarantee we won’t try or may not be successful if we do. This then reinforces our belief that we are not good enough. The truth is, whatever, we feed our mind, grows. If we dwell on our setbacks, regrets and weaknesses, we are feeding negative thoughts and allowing such negativity to take root in our lives. However, if we dwell on what we have achieved and the strengths we do have, we feed positive thoughts and this will allow our knowledge and skills to blossom.

A positive mindset is imperative to personal growth because it moves us to be optimistic. It also drives us to achieve, not because we are competing with others but because we love finding ways to improve and grow. The mind is a powerful thing, so never underestimate its affect because it can be the very distinction between failure and success.

We are all at risk from self-destruction, no matter our background, experience, health abilities or qualifications. Dorothea Brande wrote that, “There are seeds of self-destruction in all of us, that will bear only unhappiness if allowed to grow”.

You can make yourself very unhappy when you dwell on the negative and compare yourself to others. You started this career because you believed it would make you happy and if that’s no longer the case, you may need to reflect on what needs to change. Believing you will never reach your goals can be self-fulfilling. Therefore, it is imperative that you never underestimate what you have to offer the world and acknowledge just how amazing you are. So please take a good long look in the mirror. That person looking back at you, is special and can do anything they put their mind to, if they just believe in themselves!

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