“What are we supposed to be looking for?” Stanley asked him.
“You’re not looking for anything. You’re digging to build character.” . . .
[Stanley] glanced helplessly at his shovel. It wasn’t defective.
He was defective.
— Louis Sachar, Holes
Sometimes when faced with a difficult obstacle in life—a new job, new school, new anything—it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and to start believing the worst about ourselves. Maybe we really don’t have what it takes after all, we think. Maybe we should just stay where we are—whether we like that place or not.
One of the wonderful things about being human is our ability to adapt to new situations. Another is our ability to change and grow.
What new situation is facing you? Whether it’s beginning a recovery process, starting a new job, going for your master’s degree, learning to be divorced, or learning to be a happy spouse, you’re up to whatever life is asking you to do.
It is important to start at the beginning of things, and often that means feeling ill prepared for the task ahead. That’s good. If you were completely comfortable with everything going on around you, then chances are you wouldn’t be growing and learning anything new.
Be aware of how you talk to yourself, whether you’re telling yourself I can or I can’t. Then let the words be filled with cheerful confidence. Recognize any feelings that prevent you from believing in yourself. Then let those feelings go. Let go of fear and feeling overwhelmed.
You can learn the new task. You can harmonize with your new boss. You can learn to take care of yourself. You can. You can. And you will. You can and will grow into this role.
You’re not defective. Neither is your shovel. Grab it, and dig in.
God, give me the strength and the confidence to grow, learn, and see the wonder of this world.
From the book: More Language of Letting Go
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