My oldest son wants to qualify for Tri-State for swim team. He is the only one of his brothers who hasn’t already qualified in one of their meets already this year. He told me yesterday he can’t do it. He told me he’s not going to make it. And I got upset with him. I told my son that as long as he tells himself he can’t do it, he’s crippled himself from the start. I told him knowing in your brain that you CAN do something is the first step to achieving it. I firmly believe that.
I’m visual. If I can see myself doing something, accomplishing a goal, meeting a deadline, doing what I dream of doing – If I can see it, I can make it happen. I’ve run plenty of marathons in my adult life. And one of the main reasons I tell people I was able to finish each of those marathons is because I pictured myself doing it. Marathons are a mind game. At the starting line I saw myself at mile 10. Then I saw myself at mile 13. I visualized crossing mile 18, then 22, then 25 and that last mile I always had enough to kick it in and pass anyone in front of me. I sprinted the last .2 miles of the 26.2 mile race. Why? Because I told myself I could and I saw myself doing it. I wanted to be able to say at the end, “I did it and I did it well.”
The hard stuff we do starts in our minds. God did not create us to be quitters, to say I can’t, to limit our abilities because of comparison or self doubt or low expectations. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy to achieve goals. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. And of course there are some areas we need to be real with ourselves. I will never be an elite basketball player or a famous singer. My hand eye coordination is lacking and my voice is better left in a crowd, but for the dreams I have that are not determined by my physical make up, I can do it. God wants us to thrive. He wants us to reach beyond ourselves to do what may seem impossible. We must BELIEVE and then we must WORK.
If my Micah wants to qualify for Tri-state, I have no doubt that he can. But he needs to believe it himself, and then – we cannot forget this next step – and then he has to work for it. We each need to believe that we are capable of more. Don’t compare to others. Don’t doubt because someone once told you you couldn’t. Don’t let someone else’s opinion of you matter more than God’s design for your life. He created each of us for more. I believe that. And I’m going to reach for more to prove to myself that I can, but more importantly to say thank you to God for knowing better than me and having a plan that goes beyond what I can ever imagine for myself.
Dream big today. Believe in yourself, and more importantly, believe in the God who made you exactly the way he wanted you to be and whose plans are far greater than our limited imagination.
Dream. Believe. Work. Thrive.