About a week ago, I was tumbling uncontrollably down a giant snow-packed mountain, attempting to do something I once thought I would never try to do again: I was skiing!
The last time I tried to ski was on an 8th grade class trip. That day, as I went haphazardly careening down our little North Dakota ski hill, I saw my history teacher laugh for the first–and only–time (Yes, I was that good!). Since then, I just figured skiing was one of the many things I was not cut out to do. I never played sports or did many physical things when I was younger, because I never thought I’d ever be good at them.
Last week, I went skiing simply because it’s something my husband loves to do. I expected that I might not have very much fun, but I vowed to give it an honest chance.
How did I do?
I will admit that on my first trip down the mountain, I fell several times (and I usually rolled several times after each fall!). After one of my last falls, I immediately got up and said two big words that wouldn’t really be appropriate to repeat here. And then, I shook myself off and kept going. I knew that getting frustrated and doubting my abilities would do nothing but make the day even harder for me. Not only would I not get any better at skiing, but I also would be miserable. So I pushed out all of the negative thoughts and did my best to concentrate on what I was doing, without thinking too much about it. I was determined to do my best and try to have fun, no matter how difficult that mountain was for me.
And you know what? Even though there was definitely a learning curve, both my husband and I were pleasantly surprised at the progress I made that day. I destroyed any doubt I used to have at my own abilities–because even though I by no means am ready for the Winter Olympics (and even though I still could get creamed in a race against some of the 8-year-old skiiers I saw that day), I proved to myself that I am capable of doing anything I set my mind to.
The same is true for you. The key is not letting any negative thoughts–yours or anyone else’s–get in the way of your success. Even though anything worth doing is usually hard, it is possible as long as you learn to become your own best ally. Don’t stand in your own way!