If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
Vincent Van Gogh
This is good advice. I usually live my life this way. If a voice in my head says “I can’t”, my first impulse is to grind that voice under my heel. That happens with real voices too, which is a story for another time. I’m lucky because most things I set my mind to I can accomplish well and gracefully.
At one point in grade school, my inner voice said, “You can’t play kickball.” Of course I could. I can do anything, right? I convinced my team to let me pitch. Three consecutive runs later, I was done as pitcher. It was unanimous. Okay, so I was relegated to the outfield. In comes a pop fly. I did catch it, sort of. With my face.
My team’s turn to kick. Yay! I take a running start, swing my leg to kick and the next thing I know I’m on my back, not able to breathe with the gym teacher looking down at me. I pulled a Charlie Brown. The only thing I was missing was an “Arrgh!” I think it’s safe to say that I can’t play kickball. That’s ok. I learned not only that I can’t play kickball, but that TRYING is what silences that voice. Trying let’s you find your gift or learn more about yourself. We have limits, no matter how superhuman we may feel, and limits are are not bad things. Decades after the Great Kickball Debacle, I am still certain in my bones that I can do anything. Learning a limit did not damage my confidence one iota. Some of us need a boot to the head now and then to remind us we’re not superhuman.