January 23, 2012

Criteria another dirty little word....

I'm sorry in advance...my head is stuffy and it is hard holding onto my thoughts. They work their way through the cotton in my head and crystallize in front of my eyes only to be just as quickly swallowed back up by the cotton....

I am taking an online course with Susan Garrett called Recallers 3.0. This is the second time I have taken the course and I am in panic all over. The course is over and I feel that I haven't spent the right amount of energy on it. I read the posts and comments and watch the wonderful webinars and I realize I have fallen prey
to my hibernation instincts. This has affected my training and behavior in my dog more than I wish to admit.
Surf still screeches in his crate if I leave, he still does not have a duration stay when working outside, and he got on the dinning room table during our football party and stole the antipasto. The worst is I reacted in the most terrible way and against all that I believe in and have worked towards. There have been consequences, as I knew there would be, not the earth shattering one I expected but still there it is. And they reach beyond my relationship with Surf to include my relationship with my husband. I blame part of my reaction on him (but in my head I realize that is not acceptable). So to get me out of this funk I went back and read again the post that I felt helped to maintain my perspective from negative (or punishment) training to positive training only. You can read the post here Susan Garrett: what is criteria? I highly recommend it and think about it don't cheat! I'll wait here for you :-)

I loved this post. Like my perspective change on the use of Failure as information vs. a negative. This also helped me to realize that having criteria is not a rigid, self abusing, failure rich place, but a chance to find joy in everything I do.

Criteria= rules, standards, expectations, that is what my initial list was when I thought of that word. Trying to change that meaning to JOY has been more of a challenge for me as the other definition is much more a part of my core being than I realized.

Rules: all relationships will break your/my rules since they usually don't know what they are.
Standards: are usually a high bar set to reach and the odds are really good that at some point you won't make it. Based off of a perception of perfection which is always a moving target.
Expectations: are a guaranteed way to set yourself up for that negative failure and they are usually performance or outcome driven not goal driven. Which if you are anything like me and way to competitive (even with yourself) this is a recipe for self loathing and a negative self image.

Criteria= JOY

If I change criteria to = joy then it releases me from all those negative feelings and reactions. If my criteria is to help my dog find the joy in the behaviors I want then I will have not just a happy dog and trainer but household also. I've lost my way for a little while and that is OK...because I recognize it and can regroup. Time to make another one of my plans and get back to work. It also helps when you have the open forum and support of others that are learning with you. Back to finding JOY for Surf in NOT table surfing! lol

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