I’ve been watching my dogs for the past few days and I’m learning from them. You see this past week they’ve discovered that chipmunks have built nests all around our yard. They’ve found a nest under my kids’ old playset, under the heat pump, under bushes and the list could go on. While listening to them bark and bark over the past week what strikes me most is their persistence and confidence.

My dogs are very persistent in their pursuit of the chipmunks. They go after those chipmunks over and over throughout the day. Also, the dogs are convinced that if they just stand at the entrance to the nest and bark long enough and loud enough, then the chipmunk will come out of it’s hiding place. This is their confidence. They are just positive they can achieve their goal.

This has me thinking about my own persistence and confidence. Do I pursue my goals in this way? Or, do I give a little bit of effort and if things don’t work out like I expected, then just move on to the next thing? Am I confident in my own efforts so that I continue forward even when I don’t see the payoff right away?

I know what I like to think about myself.  I imagine that I’m as persistent and confident as my dogs are with their chipmunk hunting.  If I’m honest, there are times when that is true, and there are times where that isn’t what is happening in my life.

So, why do I give up so easily sometimes and keep going at other times?  I think the difference is that sometimes the goals that I’m pursuing are really important to me.  Other times the goals that I’ve set really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.  I know if something is really important, then I will work diligently to accomplish it.  If I’ve been able to clarify what it is that I actually want to achieve or do and if that goal is actually attainable, then I’ll pursue it with persistence. That persistence will lead to me having the confidence that I can achieve my goal, and sometimes like my dogs have been in the past week, I’m sure I’m overly confident.

In reality though, isn’t that the only way to pursue something?  Do it completely and with all your heart.  Give yourself over to your goal if it’s really worth pursuing.

If you can’t give yourself completely in the pursuit of your goal, that’s when I think that it’s time to start to reevaluate those goals.  Goal setting is so very important in moving forward in life.  Setting a goal gives you something to work towards and a purpose in your career or family life. A goal can give you direction.

However, I believe those goals have to be realistic as well.  I mean I might like to swim but no matter how much time I spend in the water, I will never develop gills.  It would be more realistic if I set a goal for swimming a particular distance or time.

Going back to my dogs, no matter how much they bark at the chipmunks, they aren’t going to convince the chipmunks to come out of the safety of their nests.  So, yes my dogs were overly confident and not pursuing realistic goals.

How often do you find yourself acting like my dogs?  How often do you set goals only to realize that the goals you set aren’t realistic?  They might sound good, but the route you are taking to achieve them or the actual goal don’t really work for you.

When you have that disconnect between your goals and reality how does it feel?  For me, this is when I don’t achieve my goals.  That disconnect is felt in my actions and my thoughts.  I lose my confidence and I am not persistent in achieving those goals.  I basically give up.

I find that I can reconnect to my goals when I reconnect to my body.  A little time by myself to really listen to how my body feels and what it’s telling me can usually help me to find clarity again and redefine what I really what to set as my goal.  Then I can be persistent in pursuing my goal and confident that I will attain it.

This is what I can help you do in a yoga therapy session.  I can help you reconnect to your body and your inner wisdom so that you can set realistic goals that you can achieve.  You too can be persistent and confident in your actions.  It just takes a little time and awareness to connect to what is really important to you.

By the way, my dogs did finally give up on the chipmunks.  It took them almost a week.  When it suits them, they have an amazing memory.  Just not so much sense sometimes.

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