This is the unspoken question that I get asked a lot in my training classes.
When I show someone a new skill for them to learn with their puppy or dog, I can see it written on their faces. "How on earth am I going to be able to do that? She makes it looks so easy!" 8-O
Do you know what - it's okay to feel like that. I think everyone feels like that when they're trying to learn something new.
But just like when we learned to drive and our heads were full of getting our hands in the right place on the steering wheel, checking mirrors, being aware of what was around us, never mind the complicated art of gear changes! Through practice these became second nature in time.
What we're looking to do with these skills is make them an unconscious part of ourselves, so that we're able to do them without thinking and without conscious effort.
This is the reason why I believe that Daybreak is such a special place, because our tribe spans brand-new puppy owners who have never had dogs before, through to experienced, grown up with and have multiple-dog homes - and pretty much everyone else in between.
The lovely people that I am surrounded by know that failing is an essential ingredient in learning, that getting it wrong is as important as when it finally clicks and you get it right.
Funny that our dogs accept this concept far more easily than we do - perhaps it's just another one of the important life lessons that these furry angels have to share with us.
Last week I faced this question myself in the lead up to the UK Agility Grand Finals. Feeling desperately poorly and as a result my last training session before the weekend going badly, failure seemed a very real possibility. The challenge might have been different to that of a new puppy owner teaching a 'Down', but the scary feeling of being inadequate is pretty much the same whatever the circumstances are that prompt this question.
Fortunately through the excellent coaching skills of Dr Katherine McAleese of Mind To Win, I have learned that when asking "What if I fail?", I also should finish the sentence with "What if I fly?" :-)
Here's a video summary of how my beautiful Border Collie Ella and I did on Saturday. We were guaranteed 3 runs, throughout the day but through a good, though not perfect, run in the morning we did 4 overall.
Our dogs are with us for far too short a time. Whilst I still didn't feel as fit and healthy as I would have liked, running Ella (who will be 9 whole years old next March!) is an opportunity too good to be missed.