Quite often, when I tell someone that I have 5 children (update…now there are 6!), or that I home school, or that we raise and butcher our own meat, or that we cloth diaper, etc. etc. they will respond like this: “Oh, I could never do that!” Of course, this is not meant to be a criticism; they are just saying they think they can’t do it for one reason or another.
That response always brings to mind a saying I heard once from Dave Ramsey: “It doesn’t matter if you think you can, or if you think you can’t. You’re right!”
That is to say, when we think we can’t do something, then we generally won’t do it.
But the fact is, there are a lot of things we COULD do if we only put forth the effort, educated ourselves and made conditions ripe for the adventure. If we would “set the stage for success” then saying “I can do this” would be much easier.
Despite the many things I’ve undertaken, I am still very guilty of this way of thinking sometimes. Like many, I fear the unknown. I keep saying I’d “like” to bake all of our bread and sew clothing for my children, but I’m not taking any steps to make those things happen.
Another saying I love: “If it is to be….then it’s up to me!”
Here are some leaps of faith I’ve taken and the outcomes that resulted. It’s good for me to look over this list from time to time for encouragement. The fear of failure is usually a lot worse than the outcomes we imagine (and that rarely happen):
1. I got married. Yes, this counts! It’s a big leap to commit yourself to one man for the rest of your life, till death do you part. The outcome? Ten years together so far – and the security, comfort and happiness this brings. And did I mention all the beautiful children?
2. I started using cloth diapers. One day I just quit buying disposables, so I was forced to go “old school.” In came the prefolds and diaper pins and covers. The outcome? Lots of money savings. Some failures and foibles along the way as I learned what worked best. Four years later….here we are. I’m one of the biggest cloth advocates you find anywhere!
3. I started budgeting. Actually, this is something my husband and I do together. And it’s hard. But it works. Do I like having restrictions on spending? Not really. Do I like looking at the budget every month and going over the numbers with my husband? Hardly! Do I like that we’re not living from “paycheck to paycheck” anymore? YES! Do I like that we don’t overdraw on checking anymore? YES! Do I like that we finally have savings AND a growing emergency fund? YES!
What are some things you keeping saying you can’t do, and what are your reasons? What would it take for you to go ahead and try?