I am a person who tends to see the can’ts. Like giant lumo painted signs, I find them everywhere. I’ve made many decisions based on these boundaries, a lot of them sensible and necessary. But I am discovering that some of these can’ts are not helpful to me at all: I can’t do that; I can’t be that kind of person; I can’t say that. Can’t also likes to invite its cousins couldn’t, never and won’t to stay in the recesses of my mind. There they lurk, waiting until I have an idea or a dream. Then they pounce: You couldn’t possibly achieve this, you’ll never manage that, you won’t get there. “Who do you think you are?” they ask. “What makes you think you have anything to contribute?”
As I said in my last post, I am beginning to discover again a sense of my own strength and capacity. I am finding it easier to replace those can’ts with cans. Doing this is liberating; it is also hard. Part of me wants to stay in those shadowy corners, where I expect less of myself and can find all sorts of reasons not to do anything other than what I already know and enjoy. Why make the effort to push through into unfamiliar territory? It’s uncomfortable; it’s tiring and, worst of all, it’s sometimes downright scary. But the more I thought about it, the more I realised that staying with the known would be settling into a kind of laziness and mediocrity of the mind and spirit. So I took some risks, tried some new things. Breaking through the resistance, so ingrained in my thinking, took effort and determination. I didn’t expect to succeed, but I did. (More about that in future posts.) I was surprised and delighted, but of course a little unsettled too. Now that I had taken the leap, and accomplished what I set out to do, I could no longer make excuses. I had to move forward.
With every new step, come fresh questions. As I explore new areas of competency, I realise how much I have to learn. I know that this will probably never go away. No matter how far down the road I go with any of the things I pursue, I will make mistakes and need the perspective of people on the same journey, especially those further ahead. In the weeks ahead I plan to share more about all of this. For now I am committing to more time to write, and to gaining more knowledge and skill in the process of writing and getting my work out there.
What about you? I would love to hear about the challenges you are facing and the new areas of discovery in your life. Drop me a note in the comments section or get in touch on Facebook.