261 Days ’til 40: Big or Small, You CAN Make an Impact!

05 Jun

I have often heard individuals complain that they are not capable of making a difference.  When they complain, they are full of tons of self denigrating examples, I call them the “I’m Nots”  I am sure you have heard the “I’m nots” from time to time, perhaps you have even spoken them yourself.

The “I’m Nots” tend to go like this:

I’m not:

good enough

smart enough

pretty enough

confident enough

wealthy enough

patient enough

talented enough

disciplined enough

liked enough

experienced enough

energetic enough

rested enough

bold enough

brave enough

strong enough

….. the list goes on… and on… and on.

The tremendously sad reality is that this list is often created on false beliefs and premises, and yet those false beliefs become paralyzing forces in a person’s life.

When I was in college I had an acquaintance who talked about his own battle with the “I’m Nots.”  For him, it manifested when he was in a group that likened the community to being parts of one body that worked together.  Because he had a serious case of the “I’m Nots” he said, “Well, if we are all a body, all I am is the little toe.”  Ironically, this individual worked in a hospital.  As it turns out, not long after he self-proclaimed as a little toe he was asked to sit in on a case discussing the rehabilitation of an individual who had lost their little toe.  My acquaintance learned that day that the little toe is greatly responsible for balance while walking and the loss of the little toe was indeed traumatic and required an intensive amount of physical therapy in order to retrain the body to compensate for life without a little toe.  He learned in that moment that no matter how little one may think they are, their function can be very critical in our world.

I chose the photo today because caterpillars do not seem like much, but when they transform themselves and blossom into gorgeous butterflies they give the world such a gift with their beauty.  I always love watching young children come to the understanding that this fuzzy little worm is really capable of transforming into such a beautiful butterfly.  This metamorphosis is really one of the great wonders of nature.

Today, 261 days ’til 40, I remind myself that I do have value and I can make an impact.  I will strive to make an impact, rather than make excuses.  If I am willing to admit that I can make a difference then I will reap great rewards from being active in contributing to our society.  I am sure you will too.



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21 responses to “261 Days ’til 40: Big or Small, You CAN Make an Impact!

  1. viveka

    June 5, 2012 at 00:51

    All those … “nots” are our own so well created ghosts – we put pressure on ourselves through looking at others and listen to others, can be massive problems in the end if we don’t stop compare ourselves with others. Just ghosts – they will go away if we ignore them and when we look “under the bed” they are not really there.

    • 400daystil40

      June 5, 2012 at 07:56

      Yes, you are so correct – as is often said, “We are our own worst enemy.”

      • silverbells2012

        June 6, 2012 at 00:42

        Yes, we are. It is easy to talk ourselves out of doing something, even if it’s a no-brainer, simply because we underesteem our strengths and fear change.

  2. Charles L. Mashburn

    June 5, 2012 at 01:01

    Excellent post! Much ado is made these days about our carbon footprint–don’t get me started!–but no one seems to pay much attention to the footprints that truly impact our fellow man–and that would be those we leave as we pass through their lives, whether it be briefly or for an extended period of time. We leave something with every person we come in contact with, and many times, even the smallest thing–to us–can leave a lasting impression on another. We may be the little toe, we may be the entire foot, but we are important, and if anything matters, everything matters. Every smile, every handshake, every hug, everything we do leaves its mark.
    Sorry… I got carried away.

    • 400daystil40

      June 5, 2012 at 07:56

      Yes, definitely (and, yes, even though there is carbon footprint overkill – you will LOVE me next week! what you are saying is similar – we leave footprints everywhere… emotional ones, etc.) 🙂

  3. rabidmongoose

    June 5, 2012 at 01:47

    Hi there, thanks for bringing up this excellent point! In some of his letters to the early church, the Apostle Paul likens the members of the church to various body parts. As you have done in your post, Paul also pointed out that although there are many parts to the body, and though some parts may seem more important than others, each part plays a critical role for the entire body that only it can do.

    I also like how you immediately identified that most of the “I’m Not’s” are false…in my case the key has been to stop using my own “I’m Not’s” as excuses for under-performing in various areas of my life.

    • 400daystil40

      June 5, 2012 at 07:38

      Thanks for your great comment, Rabid Mongoose! Yes, there are actually a few religions that talk about the body as a community in a way similar to Paul….. such a great analogy! I hope you manage to get rid of the “I’m Nots”

  4. buckwheatsrisk

    June 5, 2012 at 02:11

    thank you 🙂

  5. narf77

    June 5, 2012 at 07:42

    Its a lot easier to be an “I’m Not” to be honest…to travel along saying “sorry…can’t do it…I’m not good enough” and its a lot safer than standing up and taking on a cause, a comittment or a responsibility. We are being taught that none of us are good enough thanks to media influence and its no surprise that people find themselves lacking thanks to this ever increasing yardstick that they have to measure themselves by. Thanks for this post 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      June 5, 2012 at 07:58

      Yes, what you are saying is to true…. I also find the weight of the media messages cause many to give up without even trying, which is so very sad.

  6. speltforchoiceblog

    June 5, 2012 at 10:30

    Reblogged this on Spelt for Choice: Marian's Kitchen Blog and commented:
    I was sick for the last few days with food poisoning so this is a good one for getting back to normal. So just in case you’re in the back to work from bank holiday slump then enjoy…Now looking forward to being in my own kitchen and cooking up a storm, oh what will it be today. I fancy pastry

  7. ammiblog

    June 5, 2012 at 19:49

    An ex-boy friend taught me this: “Can’t never could do nothing” Which quieted what I call “my itty-bitty shitty committee” that says ‘not’ or ‘can’t’. But I’ll also counter that with this: During cancer treatment and recovery, I couldn’t do things emotionally or physically and living with an ileostomy, there are true ‘can’t’ in my life now. But they’re easy, can’t eat green beans or pop corn. Which I call my ‘healthy Can’ts”

    • 400daystil40

      June 5, 2012 at 22:51

      This made me laugh so much because I can COMPLETELY relate! Thank you so much for sharing this – my partner and I love your “itty-bitty shitty committee” term – so great and so true! Good point that there are things in life that become healthy “can’ts” and those are okay (I can’t eat gluten… I crave doughnuts, but I deal!)

  8. oolalang

    June 6, 2012 at 05:37

    I struggle with this a lot. When you have a habit of biting off more than you can chew, you experience a lot of failure. But when I feel that way, I say this to myself:

    • 400daystil40

      June 6, 2012 at 14:59

      Thank you and thank you for the link!!!!! 🙂

  9. Spider42

    June 6, 2012 at 14:23

    An excellent post about a very basic lesson that we all need to learn in life.

  10. Kathy

    June 6, 2012 at 20:39

    Thanks for sharing!


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