I Can't, I'll Try, Its Done (Audio)

November 13, 2006

Listen to Marlene read the article here.

"Do or do not... there is no try." (Yoda)
"Argue for your limitations and they're yours." (Jonathan Livingston Seagull)

So many times in our lives, we wallow in the mire of stagnation - of ideas, of behavior, of growth. Repeating past patterns out of fear, habit, boredom or plain laziness, we move from one comfort zone to another and our lives pass by without our even noticing our repetitious complacency. Still, others cut through the choppy waters of life with a trireme-like force that leaves the rest of us rowing about in astonishment as we bobble in the wake of their success. When faced with the exhaustion of our excuses, life then demands we move forward and lovingly disguises the navigation so we can discover for ourselves the amazing journey which awaits us.

What makes us stuck in "I can't?" We learn "no" and "I can't" early in life when our fear of the unknown comprises most of our consciousness. With little experience to draw from at the early stages, most of life itself is unknown and we react with hesitation instead of curiosity. Faced with providing an explanation, most of us confess the "I can't" we so readily declare arises not from the experience of trying and failing, rather the unwillingness to try at all. Veiled in the cloak of impossibility, our "I can't" attempts to absolve us from moving forward. Surely, not many of us challenge another's "I can't" lest it embarrass the person or force them to admit their inabilities. When the veil is lifted, the face of "I can't" reveals itself as mostly fear and old thought-patterns. Moving from "I can't" to "I'll try" we lull ourselves into believing we're taking control of our lives by making this step forward.

The quality that sets apart "I can't" mentality from "I'll try" appears at first attitudinal. You take notice of your readiness to own your inabilities and recognize the need to forfeit your roadblocks. But this, too, soon evolves into habit of non-commitment and excuse for immovability.

"I'll try" makes no promises at success or even evidence of effort. It dissuades both the listener and ourselves into a hope of accomplishment rather than a promise of achievement. This hope of "I'll try," akin to "we'll see," acts as an up-front apology for non-delivery. Usually, in order to honestly live up to "I'll try," we make feeble attempts at the situation and feel satisfied in our trials that we lived up to our declaration. "I'll try" quickly becomes either an enlightened surprise of success or yet another presentation for failure.

How then, can we move from the concentric negative thought patterns that ripple out of our limitations, into the proactive pebble which pierces the still waters of our own inertia?

Moving into "It's Done" challenges our confidence as well as our purpose. Seeing beyond the many obstacles and ignoring the billboards of self-doubt along our highway of experience, the mountain of success awaits in the distance. It presents itself as a "done-deal" and we have only to keep heading down the road to reach it. When we can approach all of life's challenges with the clear vision of the solution in front of us, we quickly speed past the rhythmic mental chants of doubt and insecurity along the way. Shifting our thinking from seeing only the obstacles to visualizing the end result, brings us from an "I can't" modality into the full reality of "It's Done."

Both Yoda and Jonathan Livingston Seagull teach us, neither so gently, that limitations emanate from within. Move beyond your perceived boundaries or you'll own "I can't" for the rest of your life.

May you speak your truth out of who you are instead of what you fear.


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