Do you have control?

As a leader — of your pack, your pet business, your life — the question of control is a good one.

What is control to you?

And, if you’ve not considered whether you do, or do not, have or care about control, this article may be mind-altering in how you proceed during this second quarter of the year.

Here are the greatest truths to consider as you ask yourself about control:

  • What I have control over: my thoughts, my words, my actions
  • What I have no control over: everything and everyone else

If you let the above truths sink in — and one could possibly argue that a person usually doesn’t have complete control of his or her thoughts ... which of course we want to use to explain how words pop out of our mouths unintentionally — you must realize there is deep certainty that these statements are true.

Knowing that you have control only over what you think, say and do is extremely freeing as a pet professional.

Because it puts the life and business you are creating completely in your control. Regardless of everything (the economy, state of the union, etc.) or everyone, (ungrateful customers, uneducated pet parents, etc.).

Most of us do not like this fact. Let’s face it, it’s much easier to rally against what is happening in the news, the weather, the world, than it is to consider that our results are completely dependent on what we think, say and do.

If we break this down, and use our thinking to determine how to use these facts to our advantage, one would be smart to determine that everything begins in your thinking.

Have you ever heard or uttered, “What could they be thinking?”

That’s the key: They weren’t, we weren’t, we didn’t, and yet we’re surprised. Interesting, huh?

So what do we do now?

Get control of the one thing you can control: your thoughts. How? Start with some simple questions for yourself:

  • How can I think about this situation differently or better?
  • Who do I want to be in this situation or exchange?
  • What’s the best way to think about this offer or opportunity?
  • Who do I know who can challenge my thinking around this?

Then ask yourself:

  • Am I filling my mind with good things?
  • Am I reading or listening to positive and encouraging people?
  • Who am I surrounding myself with? Is this OKwith me?
  • Who can I surround myself with that will help me think better?
  • What do I need to learn to make me better?

This is the start, and it’s an intelligent start and totally in your control. Don’t you love that?

Another thing that has worked for me is: Put these truths where you can see them. For me it’s on the refrigerator and my bathroom mirror. The constant reminder that I control only my thoughts, words and actions helps me think, speak and act better.

The last thing I’ll share this month is something I say to myself constantly and it’s this: “I’m smart enough to figure it out.”

I use this every time I get stumped by technology, someone being obstinate, situations I think are unfair or things that happen I have no control over. I simply say to myself, “I’m smart enough to figure this out.” And then I go about figuring things out.

Try this, it works, because after all you are in control of what you think, say and do.

Shawna Schuh  is a certified speaking professional, an executive coach, master neuro linguistic programming practitioner and president of Women in the Pet Industry Network. Email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


 This article originally appeared in the April 2018 edition of PETS+. 

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