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Limitless you!

November 21, 2021

Limitless you!

I’m going to tell you a story.

Me and the PT (aka the dog, called the PT as he forces me to exercise twice a day, every day) are training in dog agility.  Frankly, he is much better at it than me but I’ll bore you with the videos of that in 2022. 

Anyway, he’s too young to do it properly yet so every fortnight we go off for a private lesson with the fabulous Hannah who is expert.  I’ve confided to Hannah that we want to take part in competitions (I think the PT will be jolly good, me, not so much but it should be fun).

Now Hannah is lovely, super super lovely but she’s firm.

“Karen, he can’t join the group lessons if he doesn’t have a basic recall (he doesn’t) or wait (not so much on that either),” she said.  “He’s also got to stop weeing on the equipment as you get disqualified for that (who knew?) but we’ll worry about that later.”

We had a bit of banter about that, I told her I didn’t like her tone and she looked at me and said “I’m serious.  The only homework you two have is to get a basic recall and a wait.”

To get good at agility the PT has to join the group lessons first because it’s way cheaper than the private ones and second because he needs to be around other dogs to learn from them and as that’s pretty much how competitions work – there are other dogs there and he need to be calm around them.

Bear with, this is going somewhere, trust me.

I went away and thought about what Hannah had said.  Without the recall the PT hasn’t been off his extending lead on walks, a situation I knew couldn’t continue but to let him off the lead required trust, trust that could only be acquired if I felt I’d trained him to at least come back when called some of the time.  I was also terrified of losing him.  What if he ran off? What if he got stuck in a rabbit hole in the woods and I couldn’t find him – what if?

In short, my fear and – frankly – my lack of commitment to training him religiously so he understood what I wanted was doing nothing short of limiting the life he led.  His mental health requires him to be off the lead, to sniff stuff out, to chase squirrels, to explore the world, to be a dog.  His progress in agility was being limited by my laziness in being the best dog owner I could be. 

His life was being limited by my fear of what might happen.

Now we’re there at what I wanted to talk about, fear of what might – but hasn’t – happened.

How many of us limit what we might achieve because either it is effort to do so or because it pushes us outside of our comfort zone, to a place where we are fearful.  Most of us will recognise this and I can take it right back to new make up and skincare.  Many of us don’t try “new” because we are fearful.  Fearful that it will be a waste of hard-earned money, fear that new colours won’t suit us, fearful that we will look stupid, but here’s the thing – who is judging us and why would we let anyone’s opinion rate higher in our estimation than our own? 

In midlife I want you to start being the only influence in your life that really matters.  Of course, listen to other viewpoints, consider them, but if you feel you want to do something, try something, go somewhere do not let anyone, least of all the voices in your own head, put you off.

Ant Middleton of Channel 4’s SAS:Who Dares Wins (yes, him again) said two things:

  1. There is no growth in comfort.  It’s true, there really isn’t.  I’ve had to push myself to train the PT this week when I’d rather be vegging out watching “Place In The Sun”
  2. We all fear, even a highly trained SAS operative will feel a bit squeaky on a mission.

My job at TOYL is to help you overcome fear in the world of beauty and how you look.  Fear of making expensive beauty mistakes by giving you great pricing, fear of looking stupid by showing you how to use products and to give you the confidence to try “new”.

Why bother?  It’s much easier to stick to what we know, isn’t it?

Well, here’s the thing.  This week the PT is off his lead and into the shrubbery on his walks.  He is literally having the time of his life.  His life is so much better for this change. 

For you, the benefits are an open mind, not limiting yourself before you’ve even tried, not thinking “you can’t” when, in fact, you really, really can.  Now, let’s try pushing ourselves when the opportunity arises and not wait for the Hannah’s in our lives to hold up a mirror.  You are limitless in what you can achieve, if only you put your mind to it.

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