Hello Friends! It’s Wednesday, March 10, 2010, Alan here:  I’m sitting in the puffy chair now.  Some of you know what that means.  Chemo Clinics have the poofy-est recliners known to man for chemo infusion.  My bloodwork was good this morning and now I’m hooked up and getting my anti-nausea drugs before they hit me with the hard stuff.  I’ve got some stuff on my mind and I’m gonna see how fast I can impart it to this page so I can post this now.  If I don’t hurry up, I’ll have to wait a while to post as the chemo drugs mess up my vision.

I wanted to talk about self-perception a little bit today.  Have you ever had doubt?  A little self-doubt or insecurity?  Ever thought, “I can’t do this?” or “I’m insufficient for this task?”  Unless you are within the extreme minority you’ve thought this and either demurred from the task at hand or faced it with a half-defeated attitude.  Most of the time we learn that our estimation of self was overly pessimistic and our estimation of the task or challenge that we faced was overly generous.

Left to our own, when challenged to the point of assessing our selves, we may or may not have the fortitude to meet the task successfully.  Sometimes, the difference is based merely in a word of encouragement.  I used to really enjoy lifting weights.  Pressing yourself to and beyond your limit is how muscles are broken down and stimulated to grow.  In a gym, frequently, you’ll see one meathead “spotting” another so that Meathead #1 can lift at the extreme limits of his capability while having someone  (Meathead #2) stand ready to lift the weight off his chest at a highly potential failure.  One thing that I’ve noticed as I was either Meathead #1 or #2 is that a well-placed “Push it” is as good as grabbing the bar and applying a little bit of assistive force.  I don’t know why, but it works.  It just causes you to dig a little deeper if someone is watching and if they tell you that “you can do it!”

In life we have different mirrors with which we can choose to examine ourselves.  We don’t have to choose one or the other.  We can take a blend.  I think that one mirror is our self-estimation (very much like self-esteem) and the other is the communicated estimation of ourselves from others.  Internal and External.  Somebody telling me “Yeah Baby!  You can do it!!!” can make me lift more weight than I thought I could.  So many of you have reached out to me and given me a “spot” in this battle.  I thank God for you.

My Vectibix just showed up, so I need to hurry or you’ll start to see a lot of errors in my typing.  Getting to the point, I want to mention, in summary, how important the external spot is.  Folks have told me I’m strong when I feel that I’m really weak.  People have told me I’m brave when I’m so very frightened.  People have told me that I can do this when I’ve had terrible doubts running in my head.  It is so important to have that external mirror help describe our capability to meet a task.  An encouraging friend is, indeed, a treasure.  So many of you have reached out to me and all of it has been appreciated.  I’ve been struggling over the last couple of weeks and words of encouragement have helped me get a handle on my bootstraps.

Let’s have a great day and remember that people all around us are estimating themselves against their tasks and probably underestimating their capability.  Encourage them.  Give them a “spot”.  “YOU can do it!”

I can still see, but I’m gonna draw to a close here.  The next couple days will be blotto for me so I’ll talk to you again soon…but not too soon.  Thanks for your encouragement.  I’m lifted by it and all your prayers.  Love!


PS.  Something funny:  Here in the chemo clinic I just received a huge compliment.  I was just asked, “is that a toupee?”  Yeah Baby, YOU can do it!!!!!