Audrey Hepburn is often quoted as saying, “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” I can’t help but admire her optimism.
Recently on The Private Practice Startup, my co-host, Katie Lemieux, and I had the chance to talk about our goals for this upcoming year, as well as our goals from last year, or a “year in review”. (Check out that episode here for a free giveaway!)
It was a really humbling experience to be able to sit down and talk with a close colleague and friend (and our audience!) about the positives of the past twelve months and plan ahead for the upcoming year.
If you’ve been checking out my blog as of late, you may have a read my post recently on New Year’s Resolutions and I how I don’t always subscribe to the idea of making a resolution once a year. I’m more of a “Do one thing every day that scares you” type of person. It might be a tough pill to swallow at first, yet I promise you the rewards are worth the pain.
When I think back on the past twelve months one word immediately comes to mind: empowerment. Not only for myself, but also for the individuals and couples with whom I work. The feeling of empowerment is so incredibly valuable to the process of change; without it, change wouldn’t be possible!
People find empowerment in the most unlikely of places and when I first began my journey towards becoming a clinician, I struggled with how exactly to put empowerment into words. I had a supervisor who once said, “I empower you to make these decisions on your own.” Direct, just not the feel I was going for when talking to my clients.
Imagine my surprise when years later, I’d come across a Barbie ad, of all things, that would really put it in perspective for me. “When a girl plays with Barbie, she imagines everything she can become.” YOU CAN BE ANYTHING.
YOU. CAN BE. ANYTHING.
Let the phrase sink in for a moment.
Some of you reading this may find this phrase a little too optimistic for your taste. You might immediately think, “No, I can’t really be anything. I can’t be an actor. I’m over 40 years old!”
I’ll break this you gently: You’re wrong.
Before you begin to build your argument about why I’m wrong that you’re wrong, stop for another moment and really explore the idea of becoming an actor at over 40 years old. It’s possible. Perhaps your local town or city has a community theater you can become a part of and you perform on evenings or weekends. Maybe your son or daughter’s school would like to develop a drama club and you step up to fill the role. What if you happen to see a blanket casting call for adults over 40 years old and you decide, “What the heck, I’ll audition.”
You can be anything.
You can be anything you set your mind to, I promise. Part of the beauty of making up our minds to become something is the invaluable knowledge we learn about ourselves along the way. We learn our tolerance threshold for pain, as anyone who’s ever worked out rigorously, or attempted a new eating pattern can tell you. We learn about how long we delay gratification. We learn what’s worth it to us and what isn’t worth it.
A very close friend of mine taught me this lesson while we were still in college, staying up late one night, talking about our respective futures. She lamented on how she felt, which is how many college students feel at times, wayward and without direction. And then she said, “You know, my uncle was an accountant for a really long time. Then one day he decided he wanted to become a neurosurgeon. And he did.”
Seems almost insane or unbelievable, doesn’t it? It’s real. Although we’ll never know the intricate details of how he accomplished this goal (perhaps he used a large portion of his savings, took out loans, moved his family back into his parents, asked his wife to work more hours, etc.) this story is incredibly inspiring to me, because it shows just how powerful humans are when we make up our minds.
Social media is flooded with the successes of our peers (occasionally to our own chagrin). We see individuals who’ve finally overcome struggles with weight and fitness; we see individuals move to that place where they’ve always wanted to live, do that thing they’ve always wanted to do. Some individuals choose to view these posts as disheartening, with accompanying thoughts of, “I could never do that” and “Of course she did that, she’s richer/smarter/better than me”.
If this sounds like you, today I challenge you to change those immediate thoughts to something a little less hurtful. I challenge you to wonder how your peers made such incredible life changes and then learn from them and begin implementing some techniques into your own life.
It all begins and ends in your mind. What you believe you can become, you will.
This year, become what you’ve always wanted to become. I’m just a phone call (954.391.5305 ext. 1) or click away from getting you there.
Kate Campbell, PhD, LMFT