Learn to say “I can”

September 05, 2018

“This is for you,” my friend said on my birthday.

I opened the tiny box with that feeling most women get when they know they’re about to receive jewelry. I was right. I lifted out the necklace and held it in my hand.

“Read the brochure that comes with it,” my friend encouraged.

I picked up the tiny leaflet. The necklace was more than a piece of jewelry. It was an ancient symbol that represented self-confidence—that intangible thing that can so easily enhance, or distract from, our ability to joyfully and peacefully live our lives.

It was exactly the reminder I needed.

The next day, I drove to the airport for my flying lesson. I wasn’t exhilarated to be flying that day, but I wasn’t dreading it, either. I was simply living each moment. It was time for me to get into the pilot’s seat and fly the plane.

I taxied down the runway, then pushed in the throttle, wearing the self-confidence medallion around my neck. The plane lifted happily into the air. I gently took us up to five thousand five hundred feet. Following Rob’s instructions, I turned left, steeply. Then I did a steep turn to the right. I did a power-on stall, something that had horrified me in the past, then a power-off stall. The airplane and my flying worked!

It was a breakthrough day in flying. Until then, I had been acting as if, going through the motions, making myself fly. Today, I genuinely enjoyed my time in the air.

The necklace didn’t have any power. The power came from remembering to believe in myself.

It’s easy to give up confidence in ourselves. We can give it to people from the past who encouraged us to not believe in ourselves. We can give it to mistakes we’ve made, building a solid case against ourselves based on some lessons we went through, past errors in judgment, and learning experiences. We can forfeit our confidence to a traumatic event—like a divorce, a death, or a loss.

Don’t panic.

Breathe.

Stop saying, I can’t.

Part of the language of letting go is learning to say, I can.

Give the gift of confidence to yourself.

God, I believe in you. Now help me learn to believe in myself, too.

From the book: More Language of Letting Go

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