How many times have you said to yourself or others “I cannot do this”? How many times an idea in your mind was quickly erased by the words “I cannot do that”? How many times the idea of not being able to do something prevented you from moving forward? The truth is that just a simple statement like that one, with such simple words, can completely limit yourself, by closing every door to new challenges and opportunities. In order to move forward, we must do the things we thought we cannot do.
You could have the best idea, or you could have been offered a wonderful new opportunity or experience, you could be in the middle of a challenging moment in your life, but if you let your mind to make you believe that you cannot do something then you will be limiting yourself, erasing from your life the opportunity to become stronger, more confident, the opportunity to experience something new, the opportunity to see how far you can get despite the fears. In order to erase that concept from your mind created by your fears, you will need to stop and look to the fears in the face, you will need to express to them “I am not afraid anymore” and you need to prove it by doing the things you once thought you couldn’t do.
It is important to overcome the most dangerous fear of all: The fear of failure. The fear of not being able to achieve what we want to achieve. We need to understand the fact that failure is not a dead-end but a detour. It only pushes us through a different path, and if we are committed enough as to keep moving forward we can use it as an advantage to become stronger and wiser, and sometimes what we learn along the way is more valuable and important to our success than the destination itself. Sometimes we even end up in a better place than the one we have imagined before. Therefore, do not fear failure and you would have taken already the first step towards doing the things you thought you cannot do.
“You always pass failure on your way to success.” – Mickey Rooney
The interesting part of doing the things you think you cannot do is learning that after you do them, you cease to be the person you used to be before, this change is inevitable, but it is rewarding because you not only become better, but you come to realize how capable you are, it gives you self-confidence, it widens your horizon and makes you realize that sometimes what we fear is not as bad as we thought it was, and even if we do not succeed, as I said before if you do not let failure to stop you but you embrace that failure and you use it as an advantage to improve yourself, then nothing can stop you.
In my life, I have learned that once you decide to look to your fears in the face then nothing can stop you. I have learned that deciding to do what you think you cannot do is the best way to make your fears disappear, and this becomes a lifestyle, you become stronger and confident and then nothing can stop you. I have tried, I have failed, I have tried again, but I have never ever let anything stop me from having new experiences, from learning something new, from becoming better. Challenges can be our best opportunity to reveal the best version of ourselves. It is important to accept the fact that maybe we are not going to achieve what we want or maybe it is going to be more difficult than we thought, you need to learn to accept failure, become its friend, do not be afraid of it, and do not fear disappointment, if you are able to accept the life that were given to you and deal with the current circumstances with the best of your abilities then you will live your life in a completely different way.
“He who is not every day conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
After high school I tried searching for a career that would make me happy, I went from wanting to be a police officer to a graphic designer, I failed both but I do not regret trying because now I know that both options were not for me and that took me to new and exciting paths. After that, I decided to start traveling, I was scared to travel thousands of kilometers to a new country with a totally different language, and to learn a new language is very challenging, to be part of a new culture is also very challenging, it was tough and scary but rewarding at the same time, it opened many doors and change my life completely, now, at my 31 years of age I decided to go back to the University to study Psychology, perhaps I will fail or maybe I will be successful, probably will face my dear friend called “failure” again but that means that I am trying, that I am experiencing something new, that I am pushing the limits and that is living!
Last year I got my first road bike, I changed the pedals to those where you can click your fancy road bike shoes so your feet stay stuck on the pedals, on the first attempt I ended up in the floor like a bag of potatoes but I stood up and tried again until I got used to them. I started biking around, mainly from home to work sometimes just max 15km a day, and one day I decided to go around an island, around 94km. I said to myself “You are absolutely bananas!” but once again I decided to do the things I thought I couldn’t do. Worst case scenario I would just stop and turn back. In the end, I did it all the way to the end. It took me more than 5 hours, my legs were in such pain I could barely pedal, once I arrived I was so happy I started crying, I couldn’t believe that a person like me, a couch potato would do such a thing, but I did it and that changed everything. Now I do the same route like a piece of cake and I continue pushing my limits, and even though I wouldn’t pass the first stage of the Tour de France, if someone would ask me to join, I would definitely try, why? Because if you do not try to do the things you think you cannot do then you are not living your life to the fullest because even if you fail you will still gain something if you are willing to see failure not as a dead-end but an opportunity to learn something and to experience something new. Now I love biking and exploring beautiful places, I enjoy pushing the limits, I even bike at home to practice and become faster. This new passion, this new me, was the result of my decision to do the things I thought I couldn’t do.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr., P.S. I Love You
The same happened when I learned to ski last year, on the first day I fell every single time, I had bruises all over my body, but I kept pushing forward because I wanted to learn, I fell in love with skiing from the beginning even if it was painful, and that is the key to do something you think you cannot do, you need to really want to do it, you need to like, enjoy and love what you are doing otherwise what is the point anyways? And after a few days, I got better and better and I found out a new passion! This year I even tried what is called “Ski Touring” where you go up the mountain with your skis on your feet and you go down skiing. I went up and down the mountains of different heights in different weather conditions. In the beginning, it was so difficult, I thought I would never ever try to go up a mountain on my own again, my heart was beating like crazy and I felt tired and frustrated but day after day I became better and better and being on the top of a mountain with that amazing view and going down feeling the snow under my skis is a wonderful sensation I got to experience thanks to the fact I decided to do what I thought I couldn’t do.
The thing is that if you don’t dare to do what you think you cannot do then you will never know what you could achieve and some things can only be achieved if you are willing to go through the pain and suffering of doing what you think you cannot do in order to achieve extraordinary things!
Do the things you thought you cannot do and explore new horizons, discover a whole new world of opportunities, and live your life to the fullest!