I think I can. I think I can. I…think…I…can.

Remember “The Little Engine That Could (1930, Platt & Munk)?” The rain is heavy. The hill is huge. The train engine is giving it his all to carry the weight and preserve. The engine motivates himself and whispers words of encouragement to cross the proverbial finish line.

If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you can’t. Sometimes, we have family and friends who motivate and encourage us to get across that proverbial finish line. And sometimes, we don’t. The biggest cheerleader in your life should be you.

When you are your biggest cheerleader, it does not matter if a partner gets tired and distracted. It does not matter if a best friend takes a new job out of state. It does not matter if your co-workers are too distracted by water cooler gossip, to see that you need a little attention.

Most of the time, we are our own worst critic. Turn that around. Use the power of words to carry you through challenging times. You can borrow or write your own personal affirmations. Speak the words to yourself in the mirror or jot them down in a journal. You can borrow or write your own prayers regardless of your particular faith. Ask for help, ask for guidance, or just say “thank you” for what you already have. You can borrow or write your own meditations. Take ten minutes out of busy day to sit down, close your eyes, and breathe deeply. Through meditation, be in the moment and drop the resentment of the past and worries of the future.

The words you feed yourself, determine your path. If you keep the words positive, you can persevere through the heavy rain and up the huge hill. If you keep the words negative or rely on everybody else to lift you, you get stuck in the muck.

Take a moment to check in with yourself. How are you feeling? Which cheer would you like to dance to right now?

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