Which Dog Do You Feed?

Which Dog Do You Feed?

the dog you’ve been feeding will always win

Inside your mind an endless struggle is being fought. Two dogs are inside your brain struggling to be fed….you, their master, determines which dog gets fed. These two dogs are the FEAR DOG and the COURAGE DOG. Mark Divine, the founder and CEO of Sealfit beautifully explains the story of the FEAR vs. COURAGE dog:

At SEALFIT Kokoro camp we the story of the Native American elder who has two dogs that he takes to a dog fight every other month. He would often take his Grandson on the outing. The Grandson couldn’t but help notice over time that his Grandfather would always bet on one of his own dogs, and that when he did, that particular dog far outperformed his other dog and often won the fight.
“Grandfather, how do you know which dog to bet on?”

“Well, Grandson, it is quite simple. I bet on the dog that I have been feeding. That dog is the strongest and wins!”

He then went on to relate that humans also have a dog fight going on inside of their minds and hearts…and similarly the dog that gets fed the most wins. The two dogs in the human are the FEAR dog and the COURAGE dog. The fear dog is hungry, active and very eager to steal every morsel of thought food intended for the courage dog. The courage dog, on the other hand, is docile, loving and generous. He will take a back seat to the fear dog if you let him.

We can’t kill the fear dog because he is part of us. Hating the fear dog is the same as feeding him. Hate is energy – food for the fear dog. Rather, we should strive to control the fear dog…basically tame him by re-directing fear energy into assertiveness and discipline.

Meanwhile, we need to strive to feed the courage dog. Feeding the courage dog makes us more kind, patient, tolerant, powerful and present. We will avoid conflict and be better leaders. We won’t hesitate to lean into the hard tasks; fear will cease being an influence in our lives.
•How do we feed the courage dog?

•By taking care of teammates

•By encouraging rather than judging

By showing compassion for yourself, and forgiving yourself for your personal disasters

•By looking for and finding good in the world

Condition your mind to feed the courage dog. Pay attention to your mind and witness it trying to feed the fear dog. Interdict, re-direct and maintain the positive courage state!

So, what dog are you feeding now? Train hard and stay focused! –Mark Divine

Take a honest moment to think about which dog gets the most food on a daily basis. Our world can be a constant bombardment of negative shit, if we allow it. From Facebook, the internet, news, magazines, reality TV, to old school gossip…we live in a 24 hour sensory overload of bad mojo being broadcasted into your mind, telling you you’re not good enough. How much of this “connectivity” is dedicated to being positive and powerful?

Not only are we being bombarded from external sources of negativity, but more importantly how many times a day do you send negative messages to yourself (self talk) throughout the day? For example..

“God, I look fat”

“I suck at running/pullups/snatches/deadlifts/”

“There’s no way I can do that”

“I’m too old to do that”

“This workout is going to suck, I’m going to be here all day”

“The road is too long, the weight is too heavy, I need to stop”

Any of these sound familiar? They should, I’ve heard them and am guilty of saying a few myself. It’s the fear dog inside growling, and he wants to be fed.

How often do you let FEAR control your actions?

How often do you let FEAR determine your self worth?

How often do you FEAR manage your life?

How much are you feeding your FEAR dog?

The fear dog can be mighty…the key is to notice when the fear dog starts barking, then take action to control him by actively feeding the COURAGE dog with positivity.

Mark Divine explains it like this;

“Ensure that the mind is focused on the present and propelling us forward with Positive Self Talk. Positive Self Talk is akin to a battery that positively charges your energy, emotions and the very air around you. At the basic level, it keeps you feeling good, strong and able to set a “positive example” for your teammates (who draw strength from you and vice versa). There are some nuances:

First, you must learn to pay attention to your energy, whether it is positive or negative. At SEALFIT we use a simple question to draw focus to this: “what dog you are feeding?” This question refers to the two dogs we have in our outer mind vying for feeding: The dog of FEAR and the dog of COURAGE.

Our minds are energized with either courage (positive) or fear (negative) which manifest their influence in our lives in different ways. Our basic emotional “feeling” states can be generalized into these two broad categories.
Fear is the dominant energy in most because the outer monkey mind is generally negative in nature. It is constantly filled with negative programming from numerous sources – friends, family, news, TV, and our own self talk. By paying attention to what dog you are feeding, you will start to notice the patterns.

Next, as soon as you notice negative patterns, you must use a pattern interrupt to immediately stop and re-direct them. At SEALFIT we use Power-statements as pattern interrupts for this purpose. Power statements we use include some classics such as: “Easy Day,” “Get some,” and “Aint Nothin but a thing.”..

Very simply…fear can criple you if you let it. It all starts in your mind. Your mind determines your actions, and your actions determine your outcome. However, you are the one who determines the source of energy for your thoughts and therefore your outcomes. It’s either FEAR or COURAGE.

Fear tells you it’s impossible to master a new skill
Courage gives you the desire to never quit

Fear tells you it’s okay to go slow and stop
Courage propels you faster

Fear wants you soft and weak
Courage commands strength and power

It is a skill that takes practice. Notice when the FEAR dog starts to bark for food, then ignore him by feeding the COURAGE dog with positive self talk. Personally, when I’m chin deep in the suck pit (say for example the 5th round of the 7th circle Mudder workout) I use two simple words “keep fighting”. I try to repeat those words over and over and over and over in my mind. Use whatever you want, just make sure it’s strong, powerful, and positive language.

I challenge each of you, every time you train to only feed the COURAGE dog. Encourage one another, feed off one another’s strength. In what seems to be a very dark and negative world, be the light that others need.

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