Just because you were unable to perform a given task yesterday doesn’t mean you’re still unable.
Variables change. But often our memories linger on perceived failure, allowing that to dictate our impression of current capabilities.
In high school, I couldn’t do math. I did my best. My best back then just wasn’t connecting with mathematical concepts.
So I went into adult life thinking, “I cannot do math.” So I didn’t even try. Didn’t even think of trying. I’d leave math to math people.
Over ten years later, I went to college. Had to take pre-algebra. Decided to put my game face on and do my best.
Suddenly, my best could handle math…
I fell in love with math. Took more algebra courses in later semesters just for the thrill of it. Thought about teaching math, for a hot second or two.
What I realized with grand enthusiasm was that there were surely other skills and interests in my life I’d talked myself into believing just weren’t for me. But maybe the variables changed without me realizing it, like removing the chains of an elephant that’s been chained to the same fence her whole life, and the elephant just stays there because the fence is all she knows. Because she tried to walk away years ago but the chains held her in place. She has conceded to a life of learned helplessness even though she could walk away and be free at any time.
Math was only the beginning. I’ve come to the same epiphany with learning music. Entrepreneurship. Getting published. All these things used to seem out of reach and would stay unattainable for the rest of my life if I didn’t keep revisiting them failure after so called failure.
What are you convinced that you cannot do? And why? Is it because you gave it your best and it didn’t seem good enough?
Are you clinging to chains that don’t even exist anymore?
If you are, then how would it feel to run free? To do what you couldn’t do before? To discover new layers of your potentialities and capabilities? To stop believing your own bullshit? And fly where you used to crawl…
Or maybe you already know all of this for yourself. If so, let me ask you. If this all can be true for an individual, could it also extend to humanity as a whole?
Could humanity accelerate beyond war, hypocrisy, greed, and belligerence? Most are conditioned to think we can’t, because they look at the past as a conclusive reference point for the future.
Just like I was conditioned to think I couldn’t do math…
But variables change.
Chains break away.
New frontiers are within reach.
Also published on Medium.