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What If You Succeed?

This past Sunday’s church sermon revolved around faith and the power of words; you hear something enough, you believe it, right?
So if you hear, over and over again, that you can’t do something, eventually, that’s gonna start to wear you down, right?
What if it didn’t have to be that way? What if every single rejection you ever got served as fuel to spur you onwards?

It started when I was a kid; it seemed like no matter what I did, or whatever I was into, I couldn’t avoid getting demeaned. I remember when I won a Stratos He-Man figure in the fifth grade; I got excited and the entire class laughed. And then there was my father (who I’m not bashing, we’ve made peace and get along fine now, just telling a story), who told me that no matter what, I couldn’t do it.

Stop playing video games.

You can’t make a living doing it.

There’s no future in it.

Stop living in fantasy-land.

Now, after years of hearing this same tripe over and over again, I have to confess that the rumor is true; you hear this enough, yeah, it tends to break you down.

But somewhere along the way, something started to dawn on me. I think it was my late teens. I started noticing the names in the credits of my favorite games (even though they made no sense). Thanks to my mother, I started reading game journalism. I started reading how-to books on comics and graphic novels. I started paying attention to those names, too. I started to read about professional gamers, and writers, in mainstream media

And then it hit me. These people aren’t doing this for free. They earn full-time income for doing this. And they wear really, really cool clothes.

And the barbs of my father, and the world around me, began to be filtered through a brand-new bullshit sensor.

Is it REALLY that I can’t do this? 

Or is it that YOU can’t do this? 

Is that YOU can’t do this and you’re angry that I CAN?

Rejection is one thing; when you attempt something and then are shot down, for whatever reason, at least you can say you tried. But those who try to break you down before you attempt the impossible, instead of letting it get to you, flip it on them. They’re not saying that you can’t do something; they’re saying they can’t, and if they can’t, then you shouldn’t be able too, either.

I say screw that.

Maybe you can’t do everything you attempt, but how do you know what you’re capable of until you try? We’ve all failed at one point in our lives or another, so we know what that feels like. Failure shouldn’t be what scares us.

Rather, we should ask ourselves before we attempt the impossible; what if we SUCCEED?

The harder our endeavor is, the bigger the payoff upon completion, even if the only payoff is raising the ceiling of your abilities. Chances are that the people telling you that you can’t do it have never tried themselves.

It takes more courage than you might believe to simply give it a shot. Yes, you may fail. But what if you succeed?

Don’t let the words of those who never tried hold you back. Instead, use them as your example for what happens when you never try.

And then surprise yourself by giving it all you’ve got.

Thanks for reading.


linda said…
As always, great writing! And you're right. It's all in how you take it and use it.

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