J is for Just Do It!
Nearly everyone is familiar with Nike's "Just Do It" slogan. Their massive advertising campaigns have promoted it so successfully that it has become a common household expression epitomizing the desire, energy, and drive to make a move in life, to stop making excuses, to stop talking about it, and just DO IT! That hasn't been an easy concept for me to assimilate in my life.
I was raised under the conservative parental banner of Don't Do It... Don't do that, you might get hurt... Don't do that or you'll be sorry... Don't get involved with that, it's none of your business... Don't try that, it's too difficult. The unspoken but none the less clear message between the lines was "Don't do it, you can't handle it" (translation - you aren't smart enough, fast enough, pretty enough, capable enough, mature enough... not good enough.)
The effect of such programming is to grow up with little or no self-confidence, lacking not in ability but in belief in oneself... fearful to try, to participate, to get involved, to take a stand. Programmed to fail before you've even begun. How sad.... but not hopeless. We do not have to accept the negative messages we've been raised with as a death sentence. Let me restate that so everyone got it, because I am tired of hearing people use their childhood experiences as an excuse for their failed adult lives... WE DO NOT HAVE TO ACCEPT THE NEGATIVE MESSAGES WE'VE BEEN RAISED WITH - OR LIVED WITH IN THE PAST - AS THE TRUTH FOR OUR LIVES NOW! We can replace the "I am not" and "I cannot" message tapes that play in our heads with "I am" and "I can!" We can learn to believe in ourselves. We can learn to live a life of dignity and self-respect.
But, as the slogan says, it is not enough to hope, or to believe. Wants and wishes will get us nowhere. I can spend my whole life dreaming of becoming all that I'd like to be, of learning things I'd like to learn, of experiencing things I'd like to experience, or... I can make a plan and JUST DO IT! That's the key, the point that separates the dreamers from the doers... the inner desire and determination to make it happen, the willingness to take the first step instead of making a million excuses for why we can't do it - at least not yet, or shouldn't, or whatever. Just Do It!
Sometimes we have to just take a first step of faith and leap into life! Sure, it's a risk, everything involves taking risk, breathing the air is a risk! But the alternative is to die never having really lived at all. Join me in learning to take first steps, and sometimes leaps of faith, into living a life of purpose and meaning... and joy! (And if your in a situation where you are bombarded by negative messages on a regular basis... find a way out!) Stop waiting until all possible obstacles and objections have been overcome, and JUST DO IT! I promise you'll be glad you did!
(Note: This post was written for the letter J in the awesome A-Z Blogging Challenge. We're having a great time blogging our way thru the alphabet this month! Click on the navigation buttons at the top of my sidebar to read what some other bloggers had to say about the letter J.)