Whether you believe you can or cannot, you are probably correct

Self motivation and self worth are important issues when it comes to getting things done.  So often the biggest obstacle to success, either personal or organizational, is the internal motivation of those involved  and especially in the leadership.  There are so many instances that I could share, but I will only talk about one today and that will be me.

You would have never known that I was not self motivated if you knew me as a young man.  I was able to easily glide through school and get just about  any grade I wanted, usually A’s and B’s, until I graduated from high school.  During that pivotal senior year I came to a major crossroads in my life that has defined me to this day.  At that time I made the decision to find a way to go to college that would not cost my parents anything, or really next to nothing.  In having this goal I focused on two separate, but related, paths to achieve that goal.  The first was to receive an appointment to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD and the second was to obtain a Naval ROTC Scholarship at the University of Illinois.  If you know much about either of these you will realize that the ROTC scholarship is a challenging accomplishment, but the Academy appointment is a once-in-a-lifetime and rare feat.  Fortunately, I achieved both and chose to attend USNA in the fall of 1977 as a member of the class of 1981.

From the first day the place did not feel right to me and I got it in my mind that I could not be successful there.  Hearkening back to the title of this post, I immediately thought about how I could get out, not how I could survive and succeed.  As a result I ended up resigning my commission during Plebe summer and I went on to attend Murray State University and receive my BS degree in Engineering Physics.   Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy to have that degree and I also met a wonderful girl who is still my wife after 30 plus years.  God certainly had a different plan than I.

What I learned from this instance almost 35 years ago is that the biggest challenge we must overcome is ourselves.  We hold the key in determining whether we will or will not achieve or be successful.  I do fully realize that there are things I could have set out to do that would never occur.  I will never run the 100 yard dash in 10 seconds and I will never sing in an opera (sorry Sarah Smile).  When it comes to most personal achievements I have had the good fortune to achieve most of what I set out to do, all with God’s Grace, and the biggest hurdle to overcome is that first step in knowing what I could or could not do.

What about you?  What are you talking yourself out of today?  There are so many things you can do, so much to achieve, if you will let yourself do so.

Look in the mirror.  When that person says you can, you probably will.