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Stop Moping and Discover Your Capacity Today!

The old saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” is being sorely tested these days. Amid government bailouts, struggling schools, and declining communities, one searches far and wide for the kind of toughness that gets going to turn things around.

It seems our national self-image as rough-hewn pioneers has melted down to hollow-eyed wanderers with outstretched hands.

That’s not an image I want anything to do with. My clients don’t either, although many of them admit behind closed doors that they’re anxious and uncertain about what to do.

Make a decision. Take action. Move!

It is only by actively working through challenge that you begin to discover your capacity.

Remember when you fell down as a kid and scraped your leg? It was painful to you and your parents. Nobody likes to see a loved one hurt. But the leg healed and you continued to play and scrape your way through life, getting tougher with each episode.

Later, when you met greater challenges, perhaps you remembered the healing more than the pain, so you embraced them. You did not expect easy sailing. You did expect some pain and you believed that you could and would endure.

The process of life is deeply challenging, especially if you intend to accomplish something. Taking action can feel scary, but sitting idle should be scarier. When you sit still, atrophy settles into your muscles, your mind, and your soul. Fight it!

Parents, guardians and teachers, take off the psychological bubble wrap that protects your children. Kids need to explore the world and challenge their environment. Anyone with toddlers knows the truth of this. If your everyday mandate is “no, it’s too dangerous,” you are robbing your child of the opportunity to test, understand and appreciate his capacity. Provide safeguards, of course, but manage your own fear so your child can grow.

The somber warning of danger surrounds us as adults. We are told of the hidden perils in our food and drink, our water, our environment, our government, our schools, and even our friends and neighbors. We are warned not to be offensive in any way and especially to guard our utterances, lest we unintentionally insult another.

And therein lies the proof that protecting against all conceivable ills creates a timid and weak-kneed populace. When we worry more about who will be offended than what we might accomplish, we waste the energy that could be put to use creating new and better conditions for all.

The key to a better existence is not complicated, but it requires a measure of resolve and persistence of effort. It begins with discovering your capacity.

Are you, like many others, worried about finances? Stop spending. Today. No, you really don’t need a new gadget, another pair of shoes, or three lattes a day. Discover your capacity to limit your desires and curb destructive habits.

Enjoy what you already have: games, books, electronics, sporting equipment, your partner, your children, your friends, your home. Give away the things you no longer want or need.

Develop a skill or talent you have, not for the purpose of making more money, but for the sheer joy of feeling good about your gifts. When you feel stronger, you feel more capable. This leads to a greater sense of control and a desire to build on what you already know and can do.

Ironically, in a society that is pathologically “all about me,” now is a time to focus on you. Forget about how others see or judge you. Concentrate on discovering your many assets. Challenge your capacity in order to realize that you have the wherewithal not only to get through this challenging time, but to thrive as a result of it.

I would much rather live among people who are awakening to their abilities and finding new energy than among people who are moaning about their disadvantages and weakening themselves with loss. Wouldn’t you?

Categories: General Advice

About Susan Marshall

Susan Marshall

Susan A. Marshall is author, speaker and founder, whose mission is to create a stronger, more confident future, one person or team at a time.  Through personal experience and hands-on work with executives from diverse industries at all levels, Susan has had the privilege of helping thousands of people do the difficult and exhilarating work of growth.