"I could never do that."
Does that thought ever enter your head?
I could never run a 10K?
I could never start my own business.
I could never go back to school or pursue my true passion.
I used to think, "I could never write a book." It seemed too outrageous and beyond reach.
Who was I to write a book? That's something only experts do, and I am far from being an expert at anything.
I told myself I didn't have the time. I'm a full-time pastor. We have three young kids eight years old and under. Life is too full, and there's no way to squeeze any more time out of the day.
Also, why bother? Let's say I did have the time to write a book. No one would read it anyway. It would be like throwing time, energy, and effort away.
But somewhere along the way, I realized that all of those thoughts were merely excuses I told myself to keep me from taking the risk of actually doing it.
The irony was that while I was telling myself, "I could never write a book" I was frequently writing. Quite a bit to be honest. Blog posts. Sermons. Devotionals and articles for two different magazines. But for some reason, the idea of writing a book seemed unattainable.
But deep down, in my heart of hearts, I knew if I never attempted it, I'd regret it at the end of my life.
So, near the end of 2017, I decided to give it a try. And what I learned was the following:
1. Reaching a significant goal takes focus. I had to say no to much of my other writing to have the capacity to write a book.
2. It's hard, and it takes discipline. I had to get up early in the morning and stay up late at night to get the work done.
3. It requires a solid motivating reason. Without having a strong and self-convinced “why” undergirding your work/goal, there’s a good chance you won’t complete it.
4. It's so worth it. By the time the beginning of 2019 rolled around I had the privilege and joy of going to the print shop (I self-published my book) to pick up the finished copies. It was one of the greatest feelings of accomplishment I'd felt in a long time.
5. I also learned that the phrase, "I could never do that" is simply a lie we tell ourselves to avoid doing risky things.
6. Doing something you never thought you could do gives you the confidence to do it again and again. Now that I've finished my first book, I'm already starting to think about when I'll write another book.
So what is it for you? When have you said, "I could never do that." What is your "that?"
The things we speak to ourselves have significant power in our lives. So perhaps the thing we need to be saying is, "I wonder if I could do that?"
I believe you can. Don’t let your own doubt stop you.