I spend a lot of time in an online community of sober people. One thing that I see time and time again is the line “If I can do this-anyone can do this.” This is said by people who were so strung out on drugs and alcohol that they were on their 9th arrest, 6th detox, and 3rd hospital visit. It’s also said by the people who are still in college and decided that they want to stop drinking. I hear it from moms, dads, men, women, tattoo artists, bankers, Christians, Athiests, and the list goes on. In other words, this idea isn’t reserved for any certain type of person.
Interestingly, I also hear this a lot in the business world. In real estate investment there are a lot of very wealthy people. They gave up a lot, went against the “American” dream, and by doing so they made a bunch of money. When asked “how did you come to be so rich” they say “If I can do it anyone can do it.” They were once in debt, they lived in their parents basement, they ate ramen noodles, they worked five jobs. They saved every penny, they lost it all, they started over.
If you listen closely many other successful people will say it too. They moved away, they lived out of their cars, they did horrible gigs, they worked jobs that sucked, they were broke, tired, and scared. They were once (and still are) just regular people that stopped being scared and just……..went for it.
As I sit here writing this a few things come to mind. Most of the things that I have accomplished were all things that I (from the bottom of my heart) did not think I could ever do. I NEVER thought I could quit drinking. Not because I was addicted necessarily but because of my false beliefs about what I thought my life would look like without alcohol.
There was also a point in time that I thought I could never run a 5k. In fact, the first time I ever ran I thought would be my last. It was so hard with the sweating, the side cramps, and lack of air. I said “I can NEVER run again.” Now I run 3 miles before breakfast.
I thought I could NEVER stop eating meat, give birth, clean up vomit with my bare hands when my kid throws up in my bed, get my real estate license, climb a mountain, and the list goes on. I don’t mean any of this to sound light. I literally did not think I could ever do those things. But when it was all said and done-I could.
It might not be easy, there will be failure, and I will probably cry a lot. But I’ve realized I can do…..anything.
Drew and I recently watched Free Solo. It’s a movie about a guy who climbs up a really freaking high mountain with no ropes. For someone scared of heights and any kind of danger-this movie terrified me. But, I learned something. We are far more capable than we think. Our bodies and brains are fascinating! Our thoughts? Not so much. They limit us, restrict us, they lie, they play too safe, they scare us, they inhibit us.
It’s really not about what you think you can do. Accomplishing something is way more about action than thought. It’s the decision, the application, the studying, the reading, the walking away, the quitting, the starting, the action. It’s one big gulp of air and one giant step in a different direction.
For so many of my sober friends it started with the choice. The very tiny and simplistic decision to say yes, I will try this, I want to stop drinking. From there it was just forward movement. They pushed aside fear, asked for help, and accepted mistakes as part of the process. Then, day after day they met the milestones that furthered them from what once felt impossible.
I wonder….What can you do?