Monday, May 17, 2010

Thoughtful Quotes to Live By

****I thought it would be fun to play with some quotes in my blog. My friend Chellie and I were talking about different ideas for blog topics and she suggested finding a quote and writing my thoughts on it. I thought it was BRILLIANT! Tell me what you think about it, cause I might try and make it a weekly thing.****

Today’s Quote:

They can because they think they can. – Virgil

I’m certainly not the only person in the world who feels insanely frustrated with lack of ability to do something well. I often get discouraged because I see somebody do something absolutely incredible, and I think ‘I would LOVE to do this, but there is absolutely no way I am able to.’ So, I don’t bother. I feel a little like that when I’m writing. I see people write and they are so good. Other people flock to them like bees to a flower. Why should I write when others are better?

I also tend to make a lot of excuses for why I can’t do something. A lot of times it boils down to something in my subconscious that is saying ‘you can’t do this, you can’t do this’. “Oh, I’m too busy.” “Oh, I have to do this first.” “Oh, what’s the point if nobody’s going to notice?” I just board the excuse train and don’t get anything done.

My therapist (yes, I DO see one) constantly tells me that I’m very much a perfectionist. The definition of perfectionism, at least the one I feel most applies to me, is a disposition to feel that anything less than perfect is unacceptable. A lot of times you’ll find perfectionists only apply that standard to themselves. My dad is different in the fact he applies his perfectionism to people around him: his coworkers, I would assume his girlfriend, me. If I don’t maintain his image of what is perfect, then he freaks out. There are those types of perfectionists too.

But I am a perfectionist in that I don’t feel like I am good enough. When I am often looking at another’s creations, I think that it is AMAZING! Terrific, wonderful, flawless. Something I could never create nearly as well. What they made is perfect, in my opinion. But is that realistic? Probably not so much. I have to realize that they probably feel insecure about their own creations; they notice the flaws, the inconsistencies, and the mistakes that they make too. Chances are, they do probably feel some of what I feel: that it’s not good enough.

Perfectionists like me also make excuses because they don’t want to put effort into anything they don’t feel like they are going to do well in. By choosing to take the excuse route, we are often labeled as ‘careless’ and ‘lazy’. That really isn’t the case. We care immensely about some things, but often it gets very stressful to put that much care and thought into everything.

Yet, every day I see something incredible made by another person’s hands. What sets them apart to somebody like me though, is that they believe they can do it, and they JUST DO IT. They don’t let things like perfectionism stop them from doing what they want to do. They don’t make excuses, they don’t give up, they don’t get scared about performance, and they don’t let other people stop them. Get this- They CAN because they THINK they can. Isn’t that cool? And when they do, chances are people will appreciate it! Even if it’s not absolutely terrific, at least somebody is going to appreciate that the individual had the courage to do what they wanted to do.

I think about all the different instances where I let these fears and excuses stop me from doing what is interesting. I know this quote isn’t going to be ‘life-shattering’ and things aren’t going to make a 180. I will still make fears and excuses, because I’m human and I’m imperfect. But, when I feel like something is stopping me from doing something that I would really enjoy, I plan to try something different now. This time, I will remember that everybody faces the same obstacles that I face. I will pray for guidance and direction, and I will go to friends and family for encouragement and motivation. I will also tell myself repeatedly that I CAN do it. If they can do it, so can I.

I can, because I think I can.



  1. Found you on 20sb (and I saw you joined my blog - I appreciate it, always love meeting new people!) Anyway in response to your post I have a couple more quotes for you:

    "I am my own worst enemy." - Lit (and probably someone else though I don't know who.)

    "I am my own worst critic." - (Again, no idea.)

    I know how you feel. I too, suffer from perfectionism. Last year in college I had to take a writing 100 class. All the students had to share their papers with everyone else, and I hated it. I always thought mine were horrible, and I never wanted to share. But what I saw as horrible, other people either hardly noticed or enjoyed. Sharing actually helped me feel better about what I had made (wrote). Lesson learned: If you think it isn't good, share it with someone who will give you an objective opinion and be ready to take in any constructive criticism.

  2. Love this post! I have never thought of myself as a perfectionist, but I believe I cannot do things, and I tell myself I can't. I have NO idea why and I would LOVE to stop. For instance serving the volleyball in gym. I ahem stink.I got it over the net 1 out of the 4 days we played. Everyone else could. I have no clue why I couldn't!

    So I am totally thinking I WILL past my science final tomorrow :). Thanks.

  3. I agree with you. People can, because they think they can. The mind is a powerful thing, and the one thing that we forget is that we have complete control over our mind. For example, I don't like how heavy I've gotten, and I've always looked at thinner people and gone "Oh I wish I were THAT size" and you know what? I can be that size. I just have to have the positive outlook that even though its going to be hard - I can do it. Since I've changed my outlook on things, its been a lot easier.

    So nice to meet you, BTW! Your blog is awesome!

  4. Thanks for the quotes, those are important, and the advice was cool too. I know that's one area I struggle in is objective criticism. I know it's important, but I take things so personally.

    Way to go Sam! A positive attitude can get you anywhere! :)

  5. 1) i really like that quote idea ALOT.
    2) i enjoy reading your blogs, and I think you're an excellent writer.
    3) i know it's so easy to become discouraged when you look at things other people have done, but try and look at you and what YOU'VE done and be proud.
    4) i know i give up way too easily with things because other people are better than me at it, like running. I've always been fast with like sprinting but i can't run distance for the life of me... but that's my problem i say i can't so i can't, but if i said i can i know i can.
    5) sorry if im not making any sense
    6) attitude is everything, and i believe that you can do whatever it is your heart desires and you'll be great at it :)

  6. Rebecca- yes, it can apply to weight loss! I definitely need to change my attitude and stop making excuses. And thanks! :P It's always a nice thing to hear when your blog is awesome, ya know?

    Colleen, you ARE making sense :) And thank you VERY much for the compliment!

  7. I'm definitely a perfectionist too - it's really hard to just jump in and give new things a try for fear of failure or it not turning out good enough. And you're right... you can do anything you put your mind to!

    And keep up with the quote idea!

  8. Hello lovely lady..... This is Ratz here from 20 SB.... i read your reply to mine on the forum.. if you could change the world.... beautifully written... thanks... :-)