Are you over all the articles about New Year's resolutions? Post after post explaining why you should or shouldn’t make them, the things you should do or not do to stick to them etc etc.
Therefore you’ll be pleased to know that while this blog post is about resolutions it is not about New Year's resolutions. Instead, it is an invitation to think about things in your life that need a resolution, for example, a friend that has become awkward, an irrational controlling fear, a staff member whose unhelpful behaviour is condoned, unrealistic expectations being added to you job, tidying out and cleaning-up jobs, disrespectful gossip-fueled conversations happening around you. I’m sure you get the picture and if you are like most people you have probably assigned these things to your ‘too hard’ or ‘maybe-later’ box.
Let me tell you about an irrational and controlling fear that I have recently taken to resolution.
I have always been nervous around dogs. Maybe this was caused by me witnessing a neighbour’s dog biting my sister when I was quite young, or the experience as an adult when an unrestrained Rhodesian Ridgeback decided I was fair game as I was running past his place. Whatever it was, I became very nervous and uptight to the point that I planned my activities around places where I could be certain I wouldn’t meet dogs. I knew that dogs can sense nervousness but this only made me more nervous. If I happened to be in a situation when a friend expected me to show affection towards their dog I could fake it, all the while thinking ‘be still my rapidly beating heart’.
And then about 18 months ago my daughter and her husband announced that they were getting a dog. Hmm, now this presented me with a bit of a challenge because I often stay with them when my job takes me to Auckland. I decided it was time to take my fear of dogs to resolution.
I first met Hazel when she was just a puppy and I deliberately spent lots of time with her, getting to know her and desensitizing myself to the rough and tumble play of canines. As she grew, so did my confidence in handling her, along with how to get a dog to do what you want via treats!!!
And then along came bumptious and playful Charlie. Not the refined, yet enthusiastic Hazel, but full-on, in your face, I can jump as high as your head I am so excited to see you again, Charlie. But do you know what? Spending time with Hazel, tackling my nervousness head-on, building my first-ever relationship with a dog meant that I have been able to handle the much more boisterous Charlie with a confidence I never expected to have.
This photo was taken at Christmas time as Hazel and I were heading to the beach for a walk. Unbelievable that I would ever be this happy this close to a dog.
Bringing a resolution to my fear of dogs took three steps:
A decision to no longer accept the current reality (i.e. being irrationally scared of all dogs)
Taking time to deeply understand what will be required to get to a resolution (deliberately spending time with Hazel as she grew from puppy to dog)
Using relationship to create a new norm - (Having an established relationship with Hazel meant I never feared Charlie, even though he displayed the types of behaviour that in the past would have had me running for cover.)
Even though the steps outlined above are about overcoming a fear of dogs they would equally apply to any situation you may need to resolve. Make a decision to change the current reality, deeply understand and unpack what will be required to get a resolution, using relationship as your path to resolution.
If there is something in your life that requires a resolution, decide now to do something about it. You’ll be so pleased you did.
Til next time
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