How Do You Know?



I arrived early for a get together with a friend at our local coffee shop.   Sitting in the booth my friend and I always try to snag was a group of high school girls chatting and, of course, giggling.

I was eavesdropping so I couldn’t help but overhear them talking (!!) about a girl they all knew who had a leading part in a play in the local theatre program for teens. Then I heard one of the girls say that she could never do that, be on stage and have everyone looking at her.

That statement stopped me dead in my tracks.

The girl was seventeen, tops, but most likely fifteen or sixteen–far too young to be limiting herself.

I wanted to walk over and ask, “How do you know; how do you know you can’t do that?”

Had she tried, really tried? 

Even if she had and her attempt was met with failure, that doesn’t mean she’s automatically disqualified from ever trying again. And it also means that she isn’t barred for the rest of her life from trying other professions or taking advantage of other opportunities where she’d use words and gesture to persuade people to see the world a certain way, if only for a little while.

The truth is, she doesn’t know what she can and cannot do.

I wager that’s a true statement for all of us. Emerson was right when he said most people live lives of quiet desperation.  Like the girl I overheard, we think we can’t do a thing and we come up with reasons and justifications and “proof” that we can’t.

Well, how do we know for sure?

Have we really committed to the thing–gone all in, gone for broke with it? More likely, there’ve been parts of us that have hesitated and hung back and, as a result, we really didn’t give ourselves a good chance.

We’ve let other people’s arbitrary measuring guides tell us whether or not we’re qualified and whether or not we were successful. Sometimes it isn’t about achieving but rather it’s about the experience.

Stop holding yourself back!

When you hear that little voice saying “I can’t”, ask it “how do you know?” Then go for it.  Take the next little step toward your dreams!

You can do it, I’m sure of it!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,



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