Charlie and the Mindset Factory

I want to tell you a bit of a story here, if you’re like me then having mindset work explained to you is all well and good – but for it to really sink in then you need a practical example.

Our dog, Charlie, gives me the perfect, real world, example of every mindset practice I use coming into play.

Let’s set the scene… during my hypnotherapy with the wonderful Emma Naughton, we identified that my wanting a dog was actually a need for security. To me a dog represents home, family, company and unconditional love. I think we can all admit that these things are pretty important to us all, but I had this really strong, burning desire and knew that a dog would fill all of these holes. Of course, I did the inner work too, but sometimes it’s okay to admit an external source will solve a few problems. I’m going to try and keep this punchy, so below are the mindset practices I used and how they helped me with our darling Charlie.

  1. Identifying – I may be start with something that’s not even a mindset practice, but as I mentioned above – the whole journey started by looking inwards. Yes I wanted a cute dog and a hiking companion, but I did some inner work to find out why I wanted a dog, why it was important to me and what it would bring to my life in a bigger way. This helped me to stayed focused on my greater good and to squash any worries which arose.

  2. Visualising – Maybe it was manifestation, I dunno. But I visualised the reply from my landlord saying ‘yes’ to us getting a dog. I was so nervous to send the message asking, but reminded myself that nothing bad was going to happen even if they said no and really focused on how I’d feel when they said yes. Which obviously they did, else Charlie wouldn’t be here.

  3. Affirmations – The first few nights were rough, he was adjusting to his new home, I was adjusting to life with a dog. Sophie was excitable, I was exhausted and I also got a wonderfully timed stomach bug. How did I get through that? I used affirmations constantly. I am a great dog owner. I am equipped to deal with a dog… etc etc. Every time I felt my heart race or anxiety creep in – I repeated these until I felt calmer.

  4. My Future Self – I knew with absolute certainty that getting a dog was right for me, I’ve had dogs before and also a Springer so I was genuinely as prepared as possible – but wow the overwhelm once he arrived. I was honestly physically shaking when I thought about the responsibility I’d just taken on (note the exhaustion mentioned earlier too). So in those moments where I felt almost terrified, I forced myself to focus on my future self. Charlie running next to me on a hike, coming home without Sophie but still having someone to say hello to… these reminders of my future self and my greater good honestly transformed those first few days.

  5. Gratitude – Again, it’s a huge adjustment for human and dog so it goes without saying that it took a few days for us all to get used to one another. Rather than obsess over what was difficult, my daily gratitude list was pretty Charlie-centric. Every good thing we’d achieved that day was celebrated, where focus goes – energy flows remember.

  6. Instinct – It’s really important that you trust your gut. The night before we got Charlie, I started panicking if I was doing the right thing – but that was coming from a place of fear. My intuition was screaming far louder that it in fact was the perfect thing. Asking myself where these feelings were coming from, what part of me was it serving? Were these worried feelings serving my greater purpose? Or were they keeping me small?

  7. Forever Tested – Okay this isn’t quite a mindset practice, but it is important to remember. I’ve banged on pretty consistently about being prepared for Charlie, but that doesn’t mean that the universe didn’t test me. Sometimes, and I find it more often with ‘bigger’ things, the universe will take you 99% of the way there and then throw in a test to make sure you really, really want it. It honestly felt as though I had a huge presence hanging over me, hands on hips, leering down with one eyebrow raised saying ‘well, are you gonna fail?’. Yes, maybe the ‘easier’ route would have been to stay dog-less, but as I’ve said before I knew it was for my greater good, so I stuck my tongue out at this huge presence and forged ahead.

Honestly, I can’t quite put into words how full our lives feel now that we have Charlie. We did get super lucky with an excellently trained and trainable dog, his personality and temperament is a dream – but these mindset practices made all the difference to those early days and even making the decision to get him in the first place.

Not only that, but these can be transferred to almost any situation. Firstly asking why you want something, visualise the positive outcome, affirming you’re worthy or capable, remember your future greater good, staying grateful for the journey, trusting your instinct and remembering that you may be tested but to stay firm.