This past month I've been watching the Olympics, or at least catching a few minutes of it while I'm at the gym. Watching strong, competitive, and fierce athletes doing what they love (and being pretty darn good at it), is so inspiring. I wonder if people ever told them they can't become a professional athlete, or that they'll never make it to the Olympics. And if there were such people, what would have happened if they believed them. Can you imagine?
This thought has made me reflect on my own dreams.
During my sophomore year in college, I thought about pursuing law. I purchased LSAT study guides and would study on my free time. It was hard, without a doubt and the questions gave me headaches from thinking so hard. But defending people who are unable to defend themselves sounded awesome. When I told someone that I was interested in pursuing law, they said they couldn't see me becoming a lawyer. In their eyes, I wasn't aggressive enough. I was too nice.
I started doubting myself. And eventually, I stopped studying for the LSATs all together. By no means am I saying I want to be a lawyer, or that it was a lifelong dream of mine. However, it was a dream and for a short moment, I believed in myself.
On a different occasion, I called myself a runner. I was running every day and my endurance grew a lot. When I told someone "I'm a runner," they sort of laughed at me. Like "You? A runner? Ha." Again, I believed them. I thought "Yeah, I'm not a runner. I don't run ten miles a day. Who am I kidding? I simply enjoy running."
If I could go back in time and speak to my younger self, this is what I'd say:
"Sarah. Stop believing every word that comes out of people's mouths. If you have a dream, pursue it. Fight for it. And don't let anyone stop you. Some people will always doubt you. And one person's opinion can change everything. You may begin to doubt your abilities, strengths, and purpose, and a little voice will tell you you can't do something. If or when this happens, shut it down. Because your dreams aren't up for debate."
I can do all through Him who gives me strength.