American Girl I Can
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How An American Girl Bracelet Reminds Me That I can do it

I (mostly) promise I'm not becoming a motivational speaker.

How An American Girl Bracelet Reminds Me That I can do it
Laura Peck

When I was a little girl I was obsessed with American Girl, like most other female children in the United States. I got the catalogs in the mail a few times a year and dreamed of the doll I would get and what accessories would fit well.

Unfortunately, I never got an American Girl, but when I was older I got a miniature version of the Julie doll, and that was a pretty good consolation prize.

I thought American Girl was pretty cool, and that was only verified by a cute little bracelet they were selling in some mall store one Christmas season. This bracelet, that I'm sure was actually fairly priced, was a black bracelet, with the words American Girl printed around it. On the front of the bracelet was a giant American Girl star that circled the letters I CAN in the American Girl logo.

I wanted it. Badly.

And my parents knew. In fact, I happen to know that they actually tried to get me one of these bracelets, but the store was sold out. Sad, right?

To make up for it, I got an American Girl comb, which wasn't really what I wanted but was still cool for the fact that it said American Girl.

Isn't it so interesting how attached I was to this bracelet that reminded me I CAN? As a pre-pubescent little girl, I'm sure I was grappling with self-worth and value, wading through a sea of information about who I was and who I could/should be.

And today, the same phrase comes back in my head.

I can.

We get so bogged down with our falling down and bumps in the road. Not to sound like a cheesy, motivational speaker, but I believe in the power of can. If we walk around saying that we can't do something, that we will never be able to, that it is too hard, then our actions will be a manifestation of our words. If we believe that we can't, and say it again and again, then we can't. Case closed.

But, what if we left room for curiosity?

What if we saw something difficult, something we wanted to be able to do, and said to ourselves, ever so gently but with extreme confidence, "I can."

I can learn how to do a handstand.

I can learn this jump on the ice.

I can learn how to do this spin.

I can write this paper.

I can have this conversation.

I can make this decision.

I can take a break.

I can say no.

Whatever it is. I can do it.

Let that be your manifesto: "I can do it. I can."

Does that mean you will be able to do it right away? Of course not. But when you set yourself up to believe that you can achieve something, your success is a lot more likely.

Are there still going to be times you want to give up? Times that it are hard? Of course, but when you fall down, you stand back up, dust yourself off, and slowly make your way back. You remind yourself that you can and you try again.

And sometimes saying "I can" reminds us that we can pause. We don't have to jump or run or work until kingdom come to achieve what we set out to. If we overwork ourselves then we are only believing that we will only succeed with effort, with beating ourselves up. But that's not what it's about.

It's about creating a dialogue in your mind that is gentle, as if you were talking to the four-year-old version of yourself. It's about pretending you are a little one with an American Girl bracelet on your wrist, reminding yourself that you can.

You commend yourself for trying, you give yourself a hug, you tell yourself that you can do it and someday you will, because you can.

I know you can.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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