Kicking the “Cannots”

I have always been a somewhat negative person due mainly to my life experiences.  I have become jaded.  I am positive of that statement!  I understand that we all have our fair share of storms in our lives that can make us or break us.  It is how we handle these encounters that determine how we navigate through life.


I grew up in a family that was more prone to pointing out one’s flaws rather than congratulating one’s success.  Therefore my first instinct is to perceive something in a negative way rather than a positive way.  I became a product of my home environment.  The major problem with this is that I let go of many opportunities in my life because all I could focus on was the negative side.  I never took advantage of the opportunity or gave myself a chance to prove otherwise.  Of course, I say this now with much regret.


I may be an old dog, but I still believe I can learn a new trick or two.  I decided once and for all to push the “cannots” out of my line of thought and pursue the “I can” train of thinking.  It was not going to be easy.  I had to override my natural train of thought and switch it with a new thought.  Unfortunately, I am a very stubborn person; thus the struggle.  Now due to time constraints, I need to soften my heart and surrender my rebellion and give this a try.


I took pen to paper and put down all of these missed opportunities that came into my life.  I noted the reasons why I chose not to take a chance and follow these dreams.  Every single time I let fear, doubt, and my reliance on someone else’s opinion shadow my own desire or opinion.  I found ways or rather excuses to avoid trying something new.  I wasted my time is basically what I did.  I was weighing myself down with a huge anchor of negativity.  Instead of listing my traits and what I can do, I chose to list what I could not do and stuck with that list instead.  It soon became my mantra:  I cannot.  I followed it faithfully.


Today I tried something new and I started by saying what I can do and before I knew it, I had compiled a list of things I can actually do.  I just had to open the door to let my confidence enter and to kick out those “cannots”.  I am not saying this is easy or that it will turn around overnight.  I am saying it can become a habit if you, yourself, decide to pursue all of your open possibilities.  You have to forcibly decide to focus on what you can do and how you can achieve whatever the dream may be.  You have to use all of your willpower to push down the feelings of “I cannot”.  It is in your hands, but you have to take action and not let fear steer you away from your goal.


I have never been very good at confrontation, but there comes a point in every life in which you have to stare it down and take action.  I missed out on so much because I was afraid of changing a perception others told me was correct.  I never challenged them and how they determined what I could or could not do.  I blindly accepted their opinion and I squelched my gut reaction in the process.  Maybe it was easier to believe I could fail rather than believe I could succeed.  When failure is your highest expectation, then you never have to try that hard to meet the bar you’ve set.


Shake the “cannots” from your life and change your attitude.  I call it a life tune-up.  I focus now on what I am capable of doing at this moment and capable of achieving in my future.  Yes, I may fail and fall, but I tried and that is the key.  I now have no boundaries and the sky is really the limit.  I want to run and pursue everything I can while I still can.  Sadly, I wasted quite a bit of time by being held hostage by negative thoughts.  I cannot get that time back, nor do I know how much time I have left.  I do, however, know whatever time I have left is going to be used much more effectively.  I am willing to take a chance and willing to believe I can do something for the good of myself and others.


So I put on my black boots, gathered up all of my strength and gave the “cannots” a good old-fashioned kicking.  Toss out those thoughts that weigh you down, that prevent you from getting the most you can out of life.  Heed advice from others, but also heed what your heart is telling you as well.  Follow your heart, take a chance and see what you can do.  Life is made up of memories formed out of our experiences.  Wouldn’t you rather they were good memories of risks and chances you took, rather than memories of times you pushed it away because you already decided you couldn’t do it?   I want good memories to sustain me.  I do not want a lot of regrets to take its place.  My new mantra is “Yes, I can!”  This can be yours as well.

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