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You Can Do It!

Updated on January 28, 2010

You Can Do It!

That's what I had heard all of my life from my teachers, my parents, and from my extended family. Nice words, but how many of us REALLY live by this philosophy?

There's no question that believing in oneself will lead all of us to much greater success in life than when we don't believe in ourselves. Belief in oneself is a positive self-fulfilling prophesy. Okay, ENOUGH! I believe this, I espouse it, and so does just about everyone else I know. So, how do we put this philosophy into practice?

The answer is COMMITMENT. It's not enough to say "I believe in myself". It's not enough to say "I can do it". These positive thoughts and statements are not sufficient in and of themselves to make a real difference in our performance. They MUST be coupled with a real commitment.

Here's My Story

When I was in elementary school, I learned about all of the things I could do with ease and quickly learned all about the things I couldn't do well and would likely never be able to do. Like most people, I overcame obstacles and finally learned readin', writin', and rithmetic'. However, just like everyone else, the things I couldn't do well began to coalesce into a small number of things that I would eventually label as the things I would never be able to do as long as I live.

Fast forward to age 47. I had already spent a lifetime accepting my strengths and weaknesses. I already knew what I can do and what I can't. And it's for sure that dancing was number one or number two on my list of "I can't do's". However, I was faced with a dilemma. For reasons too complex to explain, my wife and I were separated at that time in my life. I missed her more than one could imagine and I had to find a way to be with her in spirit. Since she was an avid Latin dancer, I decided to learn how to dance. What am I saying? I can't dance and there's no hope of ever learning! Wrong! I was COMMITTED and that's what made the difference. I didn't simply tell myself that "I can do it". I made a real commitment to myself and did everything within my power to learn to dance.

Living in a community where Latin dance clubs were almost non-existent, I had to commit myself to traveling. I began by going to a Latin club 45 miles from my home. I went there on the first night, danced once, and ran home like a bandit after a bank robbery. Here's where the commitment kicked in. I returned the very next night and repeated the process. And you guessed it, I danced once and robbed another bank.

Dancing a total of two times each weekend didn't seem like a good plan to overcome a lifetime of being convinced that I would never be able to dance as long as I live. So, I decided to get some lessons. After two different teachers, hundreds of miles traveled, and the spending of a good couple of bucks, I had learned a small number of steps that I desperately needed to practice so my muscles would remember them. It was a sure bet that my head wasn't going to remember them. After all, I wasn't a dancer and I was never going to be one.

Armed with a meager repertoire of dance steps and a very poor short-term memory, I went to Latin dance clubs as frequently as possible. About two to three times a week. After a month or two, I really began to believe I can do this. I had developed muscle memory to offset my poor ability to memorize anything and my stiff, non-dancer's body began to relax. In fact, I remember the day my dance teacher finally had me to the point where I was ready to lead a woman into a turn. I was able to do it and cried like a baby all the way home while thinking to myself "I can do it".

Post Script

Although I learned how to dance salsa and other Latin dances, I also learned that "commitment" is the quintessential ingredient necessary for anyone to make positive changes in his/her life.

Further, when we make changes in our lives, we open the door to new experiences and our lives go off in directions we would never have anticipated. In my case, I not only learned to dance, but I found my passion in life, the fun exercise that saved me from a heart attack and has keep me healthy, and have become so proficient that I have combined my teaching skills with my passion and have taught more than 800 people in my community to dance. I invite you to visit my Website and to make a commitment to overcome your own nemesis.


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    • ElGringoSalsero profile image

      ElGringoSalsero 7 years ago from Palm City, Florida

      Again, you are very gnerous with your compliments. As an educator, your comments about being motivated are music to my ears. Please let me know what you decide to do and let me know the impact it has. I'm rooting for you!

    • nadp profile image

      nadp 7 years ago from WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA

      Well, you suggested that I read this hub of yours, and you were right. I do find it inspiring. I will keep this story in my mind as additional impetus to propel me into taking action with my online business goals. Thanks ElGringo. I look forward to reading more of your hubs.

    • ElGringoSalsero profile image

      ElGringoSalsero 8 years ago from Palm City, Florida

      Thank you Angela. Learning to dance is such a great thing to do because it provides both emotional and physical health in addition to giving you a skill that you can use for recreational purposes throughout your entire life. My father is 94 and still dancing. How's that for inspiration?

    • angela46725 profile image

      angela46725 8 years ago from Northern Indiana

      Very inspiring words. I have always wanted to learn to salsa!! lol Keep up the good work

    • profile image

      Damaris 8 years ago

      That you committed to make that change took much bravery and mind set. I'm glad that you took that next step and it has lead you to what you love to do. Change for most and probably all is very hard. I'm proud of you Tio Jack and I hope your words of encouragement help others to take it to the next level in their lives.

    • profile image

      Helena Aramendia 8 years ago

      Nice article. I totally agree, it is about commitment. Have a great holidays.

    • ElGringoSalsero profile image

      ElGringoSalsero 8 years ago from Palm City, Florida

      Thanks for the nice comment. I took the time to look at each of your websites. I like the MBT's. My friend just bought a pair and loves them.