If You Think You Can; You Will

“Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right.”  Henry Ford

Right now, looking at your task list and all the things on your plate can be an invitation to overload and hopelessness. We are working from home, dealing with kids at home, spouses/ partners working from home, uncertainty in the economy, questions about whether it’s safe to go out, on and on and on. On top of everything else you have dreams and goals that are important to you. So how do you move forward? How can you make it all work? What you believe is possible will determine what you accomplish and it’s okay to not get everything done right now. 

If you are confident in your abilities, you are more likely to get more things done. That confidence leads you be more positive about the impact you can have in you work and your life. In the past if you reached goals or prevailed in difficult situations you will have confidence in your ability to do it again. Past behavior can be a good predictor of future performance.

Here are five tips to help you move forward: 

  1. Get real. Make sure that your goals are set up for success. They must be realistic and achievable. You may not be able to work 60 hours a week, home school 2 kids, keep the house clean, make 3 meals a day and get 8 hours of sleep each night. However, you may be able to get the key work tasks done each week, love your kids fully, keep food on the table (even if it’s a quick simple meal), and be at peace with what you are doing. 
  2. Recognize success. Stop and take inventory of the things you have accomplished. What are you getting done now, how is your family really doing, are you safe and are you doing your best? Look further back and review what goals have you reached, when have you met seemingly impossible deadlines, or how did you exceed expectations.
  3. Create milestones. As you look at what you want to accomplish, set milestones so that you can check your progress along the way. These will give you points to re-evaluate your goals and timeline if things are not working well or they will give you an opportunity to celebrate success. 
  4. Take action. Even when the list is overwhelming, it won’t get smaller unless you act on it. Pick a starting point and dig in. Once you get going, the momentum will carry you further than you thought possible.
  5. Be adaptable. As you get working you may find that one of your goals really isn’t what you want, something may not be realistic given current circumstance, or something will take longer than you thought. Give yourself permission to change your goal, move a date (if within your control) or otherwise change what you are doing. Good plans allow for course correction as new information becomes available. Adjust to what you learn as you move forward.

It is so important right now to find your successes, focus on what is going well, and celebrate milestones. These will give you a boost. When you focus on the positive you will see more of the good around you.

Equally when you focus on all the bad, negative things, then that is what you will see in your world. Difficulties show up everywhere when you are focused on the negative aspects of your world. This shapes your thoughts and it becomes what you experience.

The things you think about, focus on and believe are the things that will hold your attention. Your thoughts shape your emotions which in turn guides your actions. So, if you believe you can get things done, you will get it done. If you believe it’s too hard or impossible, then you will fall short of what you want to do. 

As my son’s middle school principle would say “Have a great day, or not; the choice is yours.”  Believe in yourself and the rest will follow.


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