This weekend my sweet friend and I were walking on the beach (which by the way is the place where I feel the most inspired) we were dreaming and I found myself with a reoccurring thought.
WHEN DID I STOP BELIEVING I COULD DO ANYTHING?
We let the waves wash over our feet while God’s truth washed over our hearts. Maybe you’re thinking “I don’t think I ever believed I can do anything” sorry friend but that’s an absolute lie! You might look around at your current situation, current skill levels, current pant size and think there’s no way.. but you were ONCE a little girl with big ole dreams.
We tell children they can be anything, do anything, achieve whatever they put their minds to… but then what? When do we stop believing it.. when do we stop speaking life over people and instead start discouraging them from being brave by playing it safe.
I don’t think there is necessarily a cut off time but rather unbelief starts to gradually leak into our lives. It comes on slowly.. the first time we try something that doesn’t go as we expected and instead of hearing “do it again, until you get it right” we are told “you’re not very good at that.” At first it’s no big deal.. it’s a few flopped sporting events, a squeaky violin recital, a forgotten line during a speech… each time you leave a little belief behind that you can do anything leaving more room for the enemy to set up camp and convince you that trying new things is terrifying and that if you failed once you are a FAILURE so do not even try.
We walk into our adult lives with the last remaining glimmer of bravery and realize those dreams of how life would be “when you were a grown up”..well you have zero plan to make those dreams come true..and these stupid things called bills keep showing up each month and multiplying like rabbits. Just like that we settle into a life of ” I wish I could but I just can’t.”
” I wish I could travel but one time I planned a trip to the beach and it ended horribly and I remember it costing a lot of money so I never go anywhere.”
“I wish I could lose this weight but I tried a plan last year and only lost 2 pounds and quit after 1 month so I can’t stick to anything.”
“I wish I got to do what I actually loved instead of clocking into this job I hate and missing out on all the reasons I wanted to make money in the first place but this job pays well so I can’t follow my dreams.”
These lies take root and our ability to dream is long forgotten… I said forgotten not lost.. as in we simply just have to remember!
Little kids know how to dream, they also know the right answers to all of these questions:
“Are you beautiful?”
“Are you strong?”
“Are you brave?”
If you ask any of the children who come with their mamas each morning to workout with MBS they will all tell you “YES!” without hesitation.
On the flip side if you asked them “Are you stupid?” “Are you ugly?” ” Are you too scared?” they would look at you like you just lost your mind and also tattle on you for using mean words!
Hopefully you see my point.. why do these children know a truth that seems to escape us? The answer is tucked away in Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Our thoughts make our words and our words make our world.
Henry Ford said it like this:
“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t either way you are right.”
Truth is if we want an uncommon life we have to think, speak and act uncommonly.. we must be different, go against the grain. I know, I know, yikes.. that sounds uncomfortable.. and honestly, it is. I wish that instead of people telling me that I could do anything I wanted people in my life had said YOU CAN DO ANYTHING THAT YOU ARE WILLING TO BE MASSIVELY UNCOMFORTABLE FOR AS LONG AS IT TAKES.
I have recently been working on my own thought life in the area of “excuses.” I don’t know about you but my excuses are almost always disguised as legitimately inconvenient and borderline impossible reasons. So I had to spend some time unpacking this quote by Jim Ron: “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t you’ll find an excuse.”
After some time I decided I needed to hear it said like this: ” If you want something BAD ENOUGH, you’ll find a way to make it happen, if you don’t want it as bad as you say you’ll settle for any reason why you couldn’t do it.”
Just so you know this topic feels a bit like sandpaper to me too.. like it doesn’t feel good but it’s refining places in my character that I have not been entirely satisfied with lately. I know that many people reading this are going to have to back up a smidge and begin working on smaller areas of discipline because you’ve spent a lifetime learning to think the way you currently think. So where do we start? How to we do things differently?
First we have to address the places where we have fallen trap to STINKIN’ THINKIN’ …these places are easy to spot..what areas in your life are you currently the most uncomfortable? Your best thinking brought you to those places..so it’s fair to say that you are going to have to elevate your thinking if you want to grow!
Secondly, once you have zeroed in on the places where you want to see change.. you are going to have to replace your old thoughts with NEW ones. What you put in is a direct reflection of what will come out! You are going to have to seek out new words, new ways, new thoughts. The music, movies, people, places, books, foods, experiences that go in SHAPE what comes out. You’re going to have to get intentional about what you allow to take up space in your day and in your mind.
My suggestion: find someone who actually has what you want and do what they do. This part is IMPORTANT: I said do what they do.. I didn’t say be someone you are not. I also said “actually has” don’t be fooled by people who pretend on social media, find mentorship in someone willing to teach you, pour into you and most importantly BELIEVE in you (especially while you are still learning to!)
Lastly, and I personally find this one the hardest but ultimately the true game changer. MASSIVE ACTION. You have to actually DO.. this step is not about thinking or believing this step is about putting your foot on the gas peddle. Rolling up your sleeves an getting down to biz! Full disclaimer: I have gotten stuck on this final step too many times to count so I’ll share with you the secret sauce that worked for me..
“DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT.”
every part of who I have been for the past 28 years hates that quote… because I like things done JUST right. I prefer to wait until everything is perfect before I put anything out into the world.. this very part of who I have been is the reason I:
Failed projects and papers that I was more than capable of acing.
Never reached my full potential in gymnastics.
Turned my college applications in late.
Did not show up for my finals Freshman year of college.. or ever again.
Intentionally choked during a summer swim meet so that I could quit swimming.
I could go on… boy could I go on. For the longest time I thought that I was just a quitter or that I just couldn’t operate well under pressure but the absolute truth is my battle with “perfectionism” which by the way.. no matter how many times this has been spoken over you IS NOT A COMPLIMENT like I thought it was growing up. It’s the a byproduct of the “disease to please” and it is crippling. I suspect you or someone you know also struggles with this idea that if you can’t do something perfectly then you CAN’T do it at all.
Friends let these words wash over you like salty waves..
You can do ANYTHING
..how am I so confident? Because, the bible tells me so.
God is within her, she WILL NOT FALL. Psalm 46:5
See ya next week,