Do What You Think You Can’t
10/2/2012 9:01:00 AM
Growing up with an older brother was both a blessing and a curse. It was a curse when he would take my candy, change the channel when I was watching TV or try to make me cry. But it was much more of a blessing as I look back now and realize how instrumental he was in making me who I am today.
The two things I remember hearing from him as kids are, “You can’t do that - you’re a girl” and “I dare you.” Those two statements pushed me through my childhood, beyond my own limits, and motivated me to try things I honestly didn’t think I could do. Whether it was jumping from a high rock into a lake, getting behind the plate to catch his fast balls or taking my turn riding the bike up and over his Evel Knievel jumps, I did it. Sometimes it turned out well and I qualified to be one of the gang, and other times I took a bad hit and ended up a little bloody and embarrassed. But I did it, and came to believe that the reward of the pleasant surprise when all went well was worth the risk that it wouldn’t.
To this day, I am still unable to resist a dare, and girls have long since proven they can do anything they set their minds to. All those dares and challenges from my older brother taught me just that: I can do anything I set my mind to. Fear doesn’t matter - for me it’s an inevitability, but it simply doesn’t have to mean anything. It encourages me to be careful and nothing more.
|You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. - Eleanor Roosevelt
I am grateful for what I learned as a kid, and also grateful that I have been lucky enough to land on my feet the majority of the time, anytime I try something I don’t think I can do. Taking risks has allowed me to take advantage of some incredible opportunities, experience some amazing things and above all, dare to do it all over again. What hasn’t killed me truly has made me stronger.
I hope the same for you. Here are some things that help me “practice” doing those things I don’t think I can do.
- Don’t fear fear. There’s nothing wrong with feeling afraid to try something—it’s natural to feel fear of the unknown. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it or that you shouldn’t try, it just means you need to be careful while you’re doing it. I feel fear all the time and always have—we’re old friends now. But I walk through it and do what I need to do. If I can do that, anyone can.
- Act like it’s easy. One of my favorite sayings is, “What if we just acted like everything is easy?” That little phrase has pushed me forward more times than I can count because it’s true: most things actually are a lot easier than we think they will be. Our emotional response to the thought of doing something doesn’t equate to the difficulty of actually doing it. It really is often easier in reality than in our minds.
- Try something new for 30 days. Watch the awesome video below on trying new things. Then I dare you to go and try something you don’t think you can do!
Until next time, make yourself proud.