I have officially found my personal mantra. A couple months ago, in one of my too-many-per-day perusals of Facebook, I saw this motivational image:
While I am fairly certain I have seen them before, those two sentences stuck with me this time. I remember scrolling back up to it after moving on with my news feed. I stared at the words and whispered, “I am not a tree.”
The next day, I added it to my cubicle, right beside my monitor so I would see it often. In all caps on a Post-It: I am not a tree. There have been countless moments in which I have repeated it to myself.
Here’s what I have learned since adopting this mantra:
1. Change is possible. Without a doubt.
2. I am responsible for where I am. No one has planted me in this spot. No one has buried my feet in the soil and said, “here you shall stay.” I have chosen the route to where/who I am now and I shall choose the route going forward.
3. I am capable of more. Self-doubt is a personal plague. Oh, how I have wrestled with that demon. The wrestling matches are becoming more rare and I come out of the rounds less bruised.
4. I will never regret trying harder. On the other side of the same coin, I will regret trying less. Knowing #3, I am finding the inner resources needed to challenge and push myself to a new degree.
5. Choosing my movements should be done wisely but without fear. Life is brief. Life is full of potential. I would hate for my choices to squander that potential. Thus, I must choose wisely. I must act intentionally, not indifferently. At the same time, the fear of mistakes should not stop me from choosing at all or from taking risks. Mistakes will happen. So will starting over.
Sometimes I tell myself “I am not a tree” as a gentle reminder in a moment of decision. Sometimes I claim it, declaring it loudly in my mind to give myself permission to be bold. Living under this mantra has affected more aspects of my life than I could have predicted: attitude, time management, fitness, nutrition, writing, appearance, goals.
For whatever it is worth to you, I hope you know you are not a tree either.