A Question You Must Ask Yourself Today

06/18/2015 05:44 pm ET | Updated Jun 18, 2016


Four words to send you out into the weekend: "What If I can?"

After an energized brainstorming session with a possible professional partner, I had a small epiphany. Even the smartest, most intuitive and sage people I've known are human and can get clouded in that ugly space between your biggest dreams and all the reasons you don't believe their possible.

Imagine you are standing outside in a beautiful and lush beachfront forest in summer. There is a big enough riverbed flowing in front of your feet. You aren't sure if it's safe, but you aren't convinced it isn't.

You look down to see the water rippling at a speed that gains momentum as you hear whispers of all the doubts and what I call "limiting beliefs." You hear the voice that says: "What if you fall in?" "What happens if you get soaked and everyone sees?" or "You can't do that!"

Some of us are so good at listening to the whispers of doubt and disbelief that we subconsciously start listing the reasons the other side or that "destination," "that dream" isn't really necessary. We can convince ourselves that it "wasn't meant to be." or "Now isn't the right time." The rationalizations and excuses start to give us some solace, we think: 'Ya, (chuckle) what was I thinking?" or "This is the MUCH safer and responsible way to go. I'll stay here."

I'm going to say this: "Don't do that. Just Don't."

I'm not saying back up, get a running start and run! I'm not saying don't consider all the risks vs. rewards. I'm not saying, "Be irresponsible! Don't have a plan!"

I'm asking you this: "What if you can?"

What if you merely consider not filling your head and heart with all the reasons you might fail? What if you can and you will and you'll be proud when you do? What if you are scared, and it's risky but you trust in yourself and your journey and you take it one step at a time by putting your toes on a stone just out of your comfort zone? Maybe the water is breaking around it, so you don't really even get wet, but you have to go slowly and pay attention with focus and keep rebalancing.

Could it be possible that only when you take that step you do stay balanced, and it validates you? Then, maybe when you shift your weight forward in the full belief that you want to try and so far you are doing pretty well? Perhaps now that you're out there, exposed on the one stone, your perspective changes. The light and shadows change the look of the surface and you see a new solid stepping stone sitting right there where you didn't see it before.

What if you get nearly half way across, and looking back, you notice other people lining up on the other side, and you smile. They are hesitant but curiously dipping their toes too. Maybe that inspires you? Which is ironic, because you inspired them, so you feel a bit more confident and push forward. you notice how every step or hop presents a new route, a new stone, even new obstacles, but you are IN it, and quitting isn't an option. In fact, now that you have a little trust in this adventure, going back is no longer an option.

I'll save you the suspense: Life will still continue to throw you obstacles wherever you are. You cleared the riverbed. You get that dream. People are balancing on one foot, arms-outstretched behind you, and they make it too!

That's the moment you should stop, look around at the view and fill yourself with gratitude. From that place, you see the silliness of how you used to always obsess or offer yourself all the reasons something can't work. You can't believe that the old you would berate yourself for thinking it could work out when you have so much. If you saw your child, or any child attempting to take a risk of believing in their own abilities to walk, eat, try math.... Would you fill their head with all the reasons they can't?


Just as you stand back up, and move forward feeling blessed you got notice there's a new obstacle. No, you call it a "new challenge." Low and behold, there's a huge rock in your way. Guess what?

You now know to say: "What if I can?" and so you do because life will always offer you chances to evolve, grow, fail and learn or bloom into yourself. The only thing stopping any of us is how we think and what we tell ourselves.

Maybe I'm wrong. That's my problem, not yours, right? So why not try it? See what happens.

Stones, steps and little leaps of faith in yourself might just teach you how to unlearn all the ways you've sabotaged yourself, not even knowing it. I'm still learning, shit, I've failed and made mistakes, and took wrong turns, fell in water, and fire, you name it... I did it.

I'm nobody to you, but you are everything to you. Just toss up the idea that you have everything you need right now to start. Instead of fearing failure, see it as a chance to get what you want or learn better how-to when you try again.

Instead of all the reasons you think you know you can't.... go forward. Trust and live that life, realize that dream, change, begin again, go for the gold, and just think:

What if you can?

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