The definition of repetition according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is, “the act or an instance of repeating or being repeated”.
Repetition is key for so many situations, but probably the most important is learning. When we learn something new, we repeat what we’ve learned to remember how to do it again. We practice the action repeatedly so our brain solidifies the data to store for retrieval when we need it.
About seven months ago, I adopted a young standard poodle from a local rescue named Star. The rescue was unsure of how her previous owners treated her, but she’s seems to be scared of many things.
Rescue dogs have very special needs, especially training, so I contacted an expert. Shane Wisdom of DogWisdom actually trains people. He helps humans think like a pack leader since dogs are pack animals. They rely on their pack leader to keep them safe and also take their cues from them.
As Shane is teaching me about being a pack leader, one of the things I practice is repetition. Every time I work on a particular issue, or command, I repeat the same action. This helps my brain, and Stars, solidify the data for retrieval, as mentioned above.
I’ve incorporated working with Star into my daily activities, and her anxiety levels are decreasing. She is looking at me as her pack leader and understands that I will keep her safe. She looks to me to give her direction on what to do in the moment.
The act of repetition is also an important part of a routine. When you repeat the steps of the process of a routine over time, it becomes automatic, and then a habit. You don’t even think about the steps involved in the routine.
As I continue to work with Star, she will become more confident and less anxious. Her actions will become habits due to repetition, and also because she now has her furever home complete with a pack leader.