You are more capable than you think
You are more capable than you think. The next time you come across a ‘problem’ you think is too large for you to tackle, reflect on this: Think back to a time in your life when you wanted something a LOT. If you thought it was so important to have, you likely figured out a way to make it happen! Your creative wheels started turning and you suddenly became very resourceful and did whatever it took. You achieved it despite the odds.
For some reason, this comes more naturally to children and youth. Perhaps we don’t have as many roadblocks in our mindset yet to prevent us from trying. I will share with you three simple examples from my childhood. It is these simple experiences that laid a foundation for a belief mindset so that in adulthood when challenges became larger I am able to overcome them.
The first one that came to mind was when I was 11 years old I wanted a pair of designer jean overalls (back when overalls were in style!). My parents had four kids so only bought us the ‘essentials’. Anything above that, we worked to pay for ourselves. I somehow found enough odd jobs and did extra chores to pay for these. I remember wearing them every chance I could because I was so proud of myself for purchasing something (at that age) so expensive.
When I was 16, I had an opportunity to travel with my high school to Nepal for a humanitarian trip. My parents said I could go if I raised the entire cost on my own. I took that challenge on! My friend and I sold hundreds of boxes of chocolates door to door, washed cars, mowed lawns, tutored younger students, and worked extra hours at McDonald’s. My manager donated hundreds of McDonald’s toys to the trip so I could bring them to the children we would meet. This trip propelled my mindset that if I worked hard enough anything was possible. And of course, visiting a third-world country had an enormous impact upon my life.
My last example is one that my family did together. I am so thankful for parents who instilled in us that anything is possible, dream big and work hard. When we were little we didn’t have any extra money, but we wanted to go to Disneyland. My mom emptied a 2L Sprite pop bottle, cut a slit at the top and said, “Ok, if you want to go to Disneyland, start saving your pennies.” Us four sisters dropped all our loose change into that pop bottle for several years. My mom saved up Airmiles (thank you Safeway & Shell!). Eventually, we had enough for all six of us to travel for a week to Disneyland. It was our first family vacation. It taught us patience, hard work, that dreams are possible, and to really value every penny. I don’t take anything for granted. Everything costs us whether it’s time, money or other resources, but if I see value in something I know there is a way to achieve it.
There are much bigger problems we face than paying for a trip or a pair of jeans. However, it is these ‘smaller’ ones that give us the confidence from experience to tackle larger challenges.
What is your story? Large or small, what have you achieved despite the odds?