October 25, 2008: I Can Do It

One of my favorite TV shows is PBS’s “Ask This Old House.” It’s sponsored by The Home Depot, so there’s a commercial at the beginning and the end that includes what sounds like Gene Hackman saying, “You can do it. We can help.” I keep thinking of that as I think, “I can do it.”

This is one my new mantras. A day or two ago, I was thinking about polishing the new opening scene of Dragonfly, and I was getting a little anxious about it. I know the anxiety was partly driven by perfectionism, but whatever the cause, it was doing a very good job of winding me up and paralyzing me, so I was like truck stuck in mud, the tires spinning wildly without any traction.

Then, out of nowhere, I thought, “I can do it.” I have no idea why, but that calmed me instantly and made the idea of tweaking the scene much less intimidating. When I pulled the scene out, I had a brief wiggy moment, but I thought, “I can do it,” and my confidence returned.

So now, when I start to get overwhelmed by the idea of pretty much anything, I’m going to think, “I can do it,” and see where that leads me.

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