The past year has been full of uncertainty and fear: COVID, politics, racial tension, fires, and even hornets. As we watch the evolving nature of the COVID-19 and the hopeful rollout of the vaccine, it seems every day we are still told something else we can’t  do. Out of necessity we have left the top levels of the needs pyramid of self-actualization, to pure survival mode with concern for the basics of having enough food and toiletries.

Remember when this began and the stores were silent. The customers were quiet, staying distant, with somber and scared looks on their faces. Ironically, people now have a hard time meeting eyes. Do we feel if we don’t look at anyone, maybe that will help us not get the virus?

These are, indeed, unprecedented times. We don’t know the answers to the questions of how long this is going to go on, or what is going to change tomorrow. People still worry about getting sick, keeping their businesses afloat, or losing their job.

Your mind is likely swirling with everything you have been told that you can’t do. You can’t go to large gatherings, to you can’t have any gatherings; you can’t go to a restaurant or your church, to you can’t see your parents, grandparents, co-workers, or friends.

Over and over, we have been told what we can’t do. In a time of unknown fear grows, and our mind naturally tries to solve the problem. We can’t. We do not have the power or the knowledge to fix it. This is such a helpless feeling and naturally so. However, if we focus too much on what we can’t do, we will find ourselves completely paralyzed and not able to think clearly or move forward.

So, what can you do? Many things. Shift your thinking from what you can’t do, to what you CAN do. Shifting your mindset takes work, but you can do it.

I encourage you to make a list of all of things you can do right now. Here are 7 “I CAN” statements to get you started:

  • I CAN go outside for a walk. Enjoy the fresh air and get your body moving.
  • I CAN turn off my electronics for a while. Give yourself a break from news alerts.
  • I CAN read a book. You likely have one or a few you have been meaning to read.
  • I CAN learn something new. Enhance your skills with an online course or training.
  • I CAN call a friend. Reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while.
  • I CAN encourage someone. Who is struggling that could use your support?
  • I CAN pray. When you pray, you release your burdens to your loving Creator.

Ok, pick one of these and get started. Take action. Say aloud I CAN ____________________. There you go, now say it again, louder and stronger. I CAN __________________________.

Remember, you can choose your mindset. Choose to shift your mindset on the positive things you have in your life.

Focus on what you CAN do, not what you can’t do.