My oldest son just entered the fourth grade. His education is now expanding to extracurricular activities such as music. In fact, he came home a week or so ago and told me that he would be able to learn an instrument if I gave him permission. He was excited for this opportunity and practically begged me to say yes even before we received any of the information. He was leaning toward the guitar or the trumpet.
I refrained from saying it out loud, but my knee jerk reaction was to say no.
The first thing that went trough my head was, “how much is this going to cost me?” Then I started thinking that it might be too hard for him to learn an instrument. I wondered what he would do if he was not as good as other kids in his class and got discouraged. I even found myself telling him that playing an instrument is hard work. It takes lots of practice and dedication. The tone in my voice hinted that I wanted him to not do it.
And then I realized what I was doing. I was being a naysayer…a hater even.
I do not believe that you can “do anything you put your mind to.” There are limitations and not everything is possible. I can’t fly. No matter what I do I can not run a four minute mile. I just can’t, no matter how much I put my mind to it.
I am a proponent, however, of not believing something is impossible just because someone says it is, or thinking that I can not do something just because it is too hard.
There are a lot of people that will create resistance for you. They will say that something is too hard to do, or that something will never work, or that it is impossible. Many times these people are saying these things out of fear.
Sometimes the voice that is saying you can not do something is a friend, or a critic, or your own mind.
I was almost that voice to my son.
I caught myself and thought, “What the hell am I doing?”
Of course he can play an instrument.
He chose the trumpet. Now I just need to give up a few lattes each week to afford the rental.
I can do that.