There is no simpler way of damning ourselves than by saying: "I can't do this!"That's the thought that came to mind as I was battling over some thoughts a little while ago. Internal conversations can be a source of tremendous insight (or frustration). As I thought about this prompting, I began to realize that there are some big implications to it.
We can be our own worst enemyWhat is it that stops us from doing something? It might be that we don't want to do it, like it, or believe it's possible. Each is a choice that keeps us from accomplishing something. It can be as mundane as "I don't like eggs", with the result being you don't eat eggs. On the other hand, it can be something as critical as "I don't believe I can change", "I don't believe I can be forgiven", or "I don't believe that God exists". The implications of these statements are far more profound than a dislike of pre-poultry. In a very literal sense, by making these conclusions, we stop, or damn, or progress. That's where I was at with my thoughts in regard to my personal change.
When we determine that we don't believe that something is possible, when we make a qualifier of "that can't happen", we effectively put up a wall which stops us from progressing down a path. What would have happened if Thomas Edison thought that making a light bulb was impossible? What would have happened if Moses didn't believe that God could help him lead the children of Israel out of Egypt? What would happen if you or I didn't believe that we could change? Well, the world be a different place.
We can open the way for progressOn the flip side, when we have a belief that something can be done, we open the window to accomplishment. If we feel that we can change ourselves, family, community, or world, and have a determination to act, things will get done. It takes dedication, persistence, and perseverance, but in the end, change can be made.
Can you think of a time that you found success when you were expecting failure? When you were expecting things to work out, did things go horribly wrong instead? Well they do from time to time! Does that mean that if it was worth while you gave up? I'd imagine that most people have had experiences both with persevering and giving up. I know I have. I'm also pretty sure, that if I would have been a little more devoted and tried a little harder, that those times I gave up could have turned to successes.
"I can do this!"While each of us may have had past experiences on giving up, we can move forward with faith that things can happen. Sometimes our resolve may fail. Sometimes we may face unexpected challenges or concerns that cause us to think we may have tackled the impossible; however, I can testify, that if you are trying to do what is right, and put your faith in Christ, it can be done. I also testify that having faith in Christ is central to your success. No matter how much you think you can or can't do, He is capable of making your efforts shine. All you have to do is involve Him.
You may also need a simple mental reminder of "I can do this". Envision success, not failure. Take time to pray, study the scriptures, go to church, remember who you are, and remember why you started on your journey. As you do so, I know that progress and success can be made. As President Monson has said, "The future is as bright as your faith" (2009 Ensign, "Be of Good Cheer"). I testify that it is true in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.