This I Believe

Mary Rachel - Dallas, Texas
Entered on October 14, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that people can do anything they set their minds to, that all our limitations are self-imposed. Your thoughts and feelings make a direct impact on your actions. If you think you can’t do something, then you can’t. If you think you can, then nothing is holding you back. Remember ‘The Little Engine that Could’? He chanted “I think I can, I think I can,” over and over until he reached the top of the mountain. That’s all it takes to overcome obstacles – knowing that you can do something makes all the difference in the world.

That is, of course, assuming you try. You can believe with all your heart that you’ll win the lottery, but it’s pointless unless you actually buy a ticket. Attempt + Belief = Success. That’s the formula.

Rock climbing used to frighten me to pieces: I could get about five feet off the ground before I tensed up and started breathing heavily. Best case scenario I could make it up a few more steps very, very slowly; worst case, I froze on the spot, and couldn’t move until I slipped and fell, which was more gravity’s doing than mine. It would strike me as unbelievably silly – once I got back on the ground – that I spent most of my childhood climbing trees twice as tall as the rock wall, yet I could hardly get off the ground. Yet I’d frozen up once, so I could only believe I would freeze up again. So I kept freezing up.

My middle school does a ROPES course every year, involving – you guessed it – a rock wall. And guess who was first up? Yours truly. I was determined to do well. Failing in front of the whole class was not my idea of a good day. My friends, two of the bravest girls in school, were utterly convinced that I could finish, and they were the sort of people weren’t afraid to tell you you’d fail; if they thought that I had that type of courage in me, it was probably because I did. I started up believing that I could make it — and I was at the top in what felt like an instant. I have no doubt that if I thought I would freeze again, I wouldn’t have made it all the way.

And that’s just one example – I can think of hundreds from my life alone. I believe that everyone has the ability to do anything they want to do, they just have to know that they can.