Friday, January 11, 2013

I Can't Do That

When I was a little girl, my dad loved to take movies of me and my sisters, especially during our swim meets.  There is an hilarious movie of me when I was about 5 trying to put a dirty, dropped scoop of ice cream back onto my ice cream cone, and it kept falling right off.  I had the cone upside down, so there was no way it would ever work, but I tried and tried and tried to put the ice cream back onto the cone, every time picking up the ever-deteriorating blob of pink bubblegum deliciousness and determinedly placing it on the tip of the upside down ice cream cone.

Finally I looked up at the camera and said, "I can't do dat."

Ha-Ha-Ha, right?  It was truly funny, but after years of the countless retelling of my silliness that day, I came away with a whisper of a sense of inadequacy.  I Can't Do That became a quiet mantra that allowed me to avoid life a little bit at a time.  The words took hold deep inside my psyche and became a tough pattern to break, as I let opportunities slip by because...I Can't Do That.

We all have things we degrade ourselves over, right?  We make mistakes, but often beat ourselves up over the simplest of errors.  We wake up in the morning, stub our toe on the corner, swear under our breath, and exclaim, "STUPID," referring to ourselves.  Or to save face when we make a mistake in front of others, we say, "Oh that was so stupid of me, ha, ha."

Then with the big mistakes we go all out with our self-flagellation.  When we get disqualified because of a false start at our swimming championships, or when we miss the winning touchdown pass for the football game against our rival high school, that burning humiliation that comes with our disappointment seems lessened later if we say, "God, I am such and IDIOT."

One thing to remember, though, is that what we say over and over and over to and about ourselves can eventually define us.  You know you aren't Stupid, or an Idiot, or Incapable of Doing Anything Right, but those mean words can start to chip away at that confidence.


Be Nice To Yourself.
Be Kind With Your Words to Your Self and to Others.
Say, "That was Silly," instead of, "That was Stupid."
Notice Your Victories and Say, "That was Fabulous of Me!" or "Well Done."
Be Generous with Your Praise of Your Self and Others

And, if you want to do well in school, sports, music, art, and in life,


I Can't Do That.

Be Well,


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