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anxiety coping skills PhD Life

the difference between i can’t do it and i can do it

Most of last week, I felt overwhelmed and thought to myself I can’t do it. I had a sermon and a chapter of my dissertation both due on Thursday of last week. On Monday at noon, I got a call to schedule an interview for that day, had the interview and got hired later in the afternoon to teach an Ethics class that already had their first class that morning. Class meets, MWF mornings. Tuesday evening, I was finally “in” the school system and got access to email and online textbook. Somehow made it through class on Wednesday. Thursday, on the day both sermon and a chapter were due, I found myself with a headache and unable to get anything done! Friday comes, after teaching second class, turned in sermon. I’m still behind on that chapter that was due on Thursday. What was holding me back last week, was the thought that I can’t do it. I felt and believed that I couldn’t possibly teach class, write up a syllabus, make the class web page, and write a sermon and turn in a chapter. If I couldn’t, I wasn’t sure how. Well, sure enough, my belief or disbelief in myself, rather, made reality come true. Got most of the things done last week, but didn’t finish the chapter I planned to finish last week.

So normally if I’m behind, no big deal, right? Practice grace on myself and just get it done the next week? Yes, but this coming week, I have another sermon, another (different) chapter due, and 3 classes to teach. But our minds are something else. All last week, the thought that I can’t do it had me believing I can’t get everything done. Then this afternoon, just like that, I had a different thought. I CAN do it. The two thoughts are but a difference of one word “not.” I lived by “I can not do it” last week. After having the new thought this afternoon “I CAN do it,” I am feel and believe I can do it. Can I write a sermon, teach 3 classes, and finish 2 chapters of my dissertation this week??? The answer is Yes! Yes, I can. And be careful friends, you can live by the thought “I cannot do it,” or you can live by the thought “I can do it.” The difference of that one word, “not” can create a new reality, empower you, and lift you up out of your doubts, or the thought you cannot do it, can paralyze you, rob you of your potential, and fuel your self doubts.

Thanks be to God. I feel and believe and think – I can do it. And that’s the power of my mind that will create the reality of this week.

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