Last week was the 11th anniversary of my mother’s death. It’s a hard day for me every year. She was one of the people who believed the most in me. She was an absolute force of nature. There wasn’t much she wouldn’t tackle; home repair, bookkeeping for Dad’s and her business, furniture restoration or even fixing the rusted out panel of a pickup truck. Whatever it was, once she had her mind set to do something, it was done.
She used to tell me that I could do anything I set my mind to because I had intestinal fortitude. I often recall those words when I am facing something difficult. The other thing she used to tell me was, “this too shall pass” to remind me that difficult times don’t last forever.
I need to remember that I do have willpower and am stronger than I think I am. If you are anything like me, you might have faced some real temptation recently. This year we had way to few trick-or-treaters and way too much candy. It seemed that every time I walked by that bowl of candy I had two or three pieces I told myself that I couldn’t resist it, when the fact if the matter is that I have plenty of willpower when I choose to use it. I can look back at situations where I have completely overcome food temptations for days, weeks, or even months. I just needed to remind myself of that.
If you are anything like me, you tend to minimize your accomplishments and magnify your short comings. Yet I know that if my friend or family member had achieved some of the things I have in life I would be impressed and would tell them so.
I also know that I have had and still have those who believe in my dreams and abilities almost as much as I do.
Do you have believers? Think back to your top five accomplishments. Now recall who was there to support you.
I want you to make a list. On the left side of the page write down those accomplishments. Your list might include graduating from high school or getting your GED, paying off bills and saving money, serving in the military (graduating boot camp is a huge deal), going to college, having a successful marriage for 28 years, losing weight and getting fit, you get the idea. You don’t have to stop at five. I encourage you to think of more when you have time.
Now on the right side of the page write down the names of those who have been your supporters even if only for a short time. These are also the people who have inspired you to do better, to go after your dreams, and who motivate you.
Your list might include your parents, a special teacher, your drill sergeant, your spouse or kids, your work friends, even your dog. Make this list as long as you can too.
Now I want you to go hang that list on your bathroom mirror or somewhere where you will see it every day. The next time you have a big scary goal or obstacle in your way I want you to look at that list and remind yourself that you have lots of people who know you can do it and more importantly your history shows you that you can.
Connie Glandon, a regular columnist for the Globe Gazette, lives in Charles City with her husband, son and dogs. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.