“Whether You Think You Can Or You Can’t, You’re Right.” – Henry Ford

I love this quote.  

Do you have a mental list of things you “can’t do?”  I do, or – should I say – I did.

This was my list:

I can’t go back to school.  I’m not that smart.

I can’t start a business.

I can’t run a half marathon.

I can’t get that dream job.

I can’t travel alone.

I can’t live by myself in a big city.

After a while of this negative self-talk, the question became: why can’t I do those things?

We all come from a variety of backgrounds, educational achievements, and support systems. However, we make the choice be a product of our upbringing or a product of being influenced by the wrong people.

I had an overwhelming fear of failure because, sadly, my first husband told me that I would fail: that my ideas would never work and I would make myself look stupid. After 17 years of that nonsense, my own determination lit a fire beneath me and challenged me to pursue my dreams through pure hard work. 

I was undeniably scared and repeatedly asked myself “What if I fail?”  

Yes, I would fail…if I never made the attempt. The weight of regret – of not trying – would be a heavier burden.

I made a deal with myself to attempt one new skill or activity every year that took me out of my comfort zone. Sometimes, it wasn’t pretty. Sometimes, it didn’t go as planned. Sometimes, it didn’t work out at all. But I tried. And isn’t there success in trying?

I remember a movie from years ago called “Yes Man.”  It was about a man who always declined opportunities in life until he was challenged to answer “yes” to every invite and possibility. That movie always stuck with me because it emphasized the reality that we can alter our lives if we welcome change – if we say “yes.” 

Sometimes, we put up our own roadblocks. If we put up those roadblocks ourselves, however, we have the power to knock them down, too. We tend to create fear when we’re challenged by the unknown, the unfamiliar, or the worry of things going haywire. Perhaps we need to rethink the messages we tell ourselves. Would you tell a friend that they were stupid for chasing after their dreams?  If not, why do we believe it’s okay to tell that to ourselves? Let us be our own best friends – our biggest cheerleaders. We’re stuck with ourselves for the rest of our lives. We might as well make this journey enjoyable. 


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