Can or Can’t

Haley - McConnelsville, Ohio
Entered on January 12, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

My father took me outside one day when I was about four years old. He decided that we were going to play some basketball. We were playing on a ten-foot hoop, and at the age of four, there is no way that I thought I could make a basket. I kept saying that I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t make a basket. “I can do it, I can do it,” my dad kept encouraging. I made the basketball in a ten-foot hoop. I was so proud of myself, and my dad was very proud of me as well. He told me, “Look, you made that basket because you believed that you could do it. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you cannot do something. If you believe you can, you can.”

As I have grown, I have always told myself that I can do anything that is put in front of me. I just tell myself that I can do it. Saying this has helped me get through rough times in my life. Whenever one of my friends says that they cannot do something, I look at them and tell them that they can do it. They just have to believe that.

One of my friends was really bad at saying that she couldn’t do something. We got into many fights because of it. She has had a somewhat difficult life and her confidence was not very high. I didn’t like that she thought that anything difficult was unattainable. We played about three years of volleyball together, and both of us had trouble with overhand serving. I kept trying to improve on my serve and kept telling myself that I could serve overhand. Eventually I accomplished the serve. My friend on the other hand, kept saying that she couldn’t serve the ball overhand, that there was no way it was going to happen. I looked her in the eyes and told her to stop saying that. It was starting to make me angry. That was when the big argument took place. She was yelling that she couldn’t do it and I was yelling that she could. Because of that argument, she didn’t talk to me for a couple of days. Eventually she conquered the overhand serve. Hopefully, going through this she will believe in her ability to do anything.

When you say you can or can’t do something you are correct. Have faith in yourself; it makes life’s challenges easier. When people are telling you that you can’t do something, don’t listen to them. If you believe you can then you can.