Get off the strugglebus.

mental skills Aug 06, 2019

People love an underdog. In movies, in books, on the small screen … we cheer for the little guy or the girl in the back of the room to finally get the glory they deserve.

We love this archetype because it’s rooted in fairness, in being able to believe that it all works out in the end. It affirms that struggle eventually pays off, that the podium moment comes, that the prince shows up.

We also love this story because we identify with it – we all struggle, don’t we? We all work hard, overcome unfair treatment, and fail many times before we succeed. It’s a “romantic” tale in its truest sense.

So my dog is my prince?? Huh?

I mean, your dog might be your prince, but what I’m actually getting at is, you don’t HAVE to struggle before you “deserve” success. The struggle is not actually required.

Hard work helps us believe we’ve done enough and therefore “earned” it. And when we believe, really believe in ourselves, things start to shift. We can see ourselves struggling, or we can see ourselves doing what we love and working to improve. Failures become feedback and curiosity replaces judgement.

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

Seneca, Roman philosopher

Until we can conjure like Harry Potter, we must all continue to train, to prepare, to put in the work. “Train, don’t complain,” goes the adage. HOWEVER, we do NOT have to put ourselves down, align ourselves with the sorrows of Eeyore, or otherwise play a victim. We are not the underdogs in our stories.

In addition to my issues with the #strugglebus concept, I’m also a little cranky about the concept of “deserving.” A piece of the definition includes: “To be worthy.” Personally I think we all deserve to Q and we all have infinite worth. Plus, life isn’t pie – there is more than enough for everyone.

“She deserves to win, she’s worked so hard.”

Think of a handler you admire. Does she/he toil and tell? That is, make a big show out of making sure everyone knows how tough she’s had it? Or does she quietly and joyfully put in the hours generously sharing as she goes? To be clear, they are BOTH deserving, but who do you want to emulate?

Oh, and can you cheer for someone? YES! Please do! We all need to do more of that! Just cheer for them to perform the best that day, for them to have the run of their lives, to absolutely crush it. Wish for them to soar.

I believe that if we are staying connected to why we got into this game in the first place, then the struggle fades and is replaced with the love of the dog and the sport. You get to choose for it to be easy. You get to decide. You can call in flow and get out of your own way and grow as a handler.

You, me, she … none of us are the underdogs in our stories – we are the m-f-heroines in our tales and we’re all deserving of our wildest dreams.

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