There was a phrase around our home growing up that we were never allowed to say. It was, "I can't."
We were taught that the words we tell ourselves were important. That we could control our thoughts, especially the negative ones, by the narrative we replay in our minds. I don't think it was to puff us up or make us feel invincible. It was an exercise to teach us to just try.
As an adult who has accomplished many of her big life goals, I still do my best not to utter "I can't." Because if I'm being honest, I believe most adults don't actually believe it. When we say, "I can't," it might really mean, "I won't." And that is a different narrative entirely.
"I can't write a book."
"I can't start a business."
"I can't go to college."
Starting something new is very scary. Right now I am stepping into a season where my comfort level is being threatened. I start to wonder if I'm in God's will because of the friction. My prayers have been filled with anxious pleas and uncertain proclamations. Then the peace of the Lord comes when I'm reminded of the mission. The "why."
"Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established" (Proverbs 16:3).
You see, being a beginner makes us feel vulnerable, and sometimes we think that means God isn't with us. So we feed ourselves narratives that excuse the opportunity and water it down. We look at our lack of resources or abilities and we brush it off with an "I can't."
Maybe we really can't start something new. But I have found that the majority of the situations I've been in weren't because I couldn't do something. I was just too afraid of being a beginner. Of starting over. Feeling the daunting weight of the unknown. My "I can't do that" was a coverup for an "I won't do that."
We must start being okay with being a beginner. God doesn't reveal the entire plan because we are to learn lessons along the way and fully trust He will be with us. I learned to write a book. I learned to start a podcast. I learned to be a mother. I learned to be a wife. I was a beginner over and over again. That is the beauty of beginnings. We get to experience something new, and it pushes us to be better people. To be better for His Kingdom.
If a new thing is upon you and you feel an "I can't" rise up, ask God to show you the why. What would happen if you said, "I can"? How will God use you if you embraced being a beginner? When we commit our work to the Lord, no matter what it is, the Bible says our thoughts will be firm.
We will have confidence in the work because it is not about us. It is to bring God glory. He is waiting for us to be willing vessels to work through. We just have to embrace being a beginner and say, "I can!"