An Inspired Life
Her parents left her behind in a Romanian hospital the day she was born. They said they had no choice. Soon after, a loving couple from a small town in Illinois adopted her. They raised their new little girl, Jennifer, the same way they raised their three sons – without limits on dreams. There was only one golden rule in the house – ‘”Can’t” is not part of your vocabulary. If you just put your mind to it, you can do it.’
Jennifer had a passion for tumbling and gymnastics and was inspired by her idol, Dominique Moceanu, 1996 U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist. Jennifer’s father faithfully helped her develop her skills. Her hard work and strong desire paid off. She was a common competitor in power tumbling over her many years of competing and eventually became the Illinois state champion. She continued improving her skills and went all the way to the Junior Olympics in 1998 where she came in 4th place as a power tumbler. Not only was she an accomplished athlete in gymnastics early in life, but by the age of 7 she had taught herself to swim and roller skate. She also played other sports, too, like softball and basketball. And if that isn’t enough, Jennifer was a featured performer in Britney Spears’ “Circus” tour. Want to know the kicker? She did all of this without legs.
Jennifer Bricker is amazing for a million reasons. Though she had a birth defect that left her without legs, Jennifer never let that stop her. In fact, she didn’t see herself as disabled or handicapped, even when others did. Jennifer did what she wanted – she followed her dreams. Of all of her accomplishments, this is the most amazing one. Her positive attitude, her determination and her story are truly inspiring. But, this cool story doesn’t end there. Jennifer’s parents sat down to tell her about her life before she became a Bricker – her life that began in Romania sixteen years earlier. The most important piece of information they had to tell her had to do with her previous last name. Get ready for this – it was Moceanu. Jennifer’s sister was her Olympic gymnast idol. Jennifer wrote to Dominique, with all of the evidence in tow, to let her know the incredible news. The two met and have been close ever since.
Jennifer’s story starts with the words, “Yes, I can”. When we think we “can”, we do. When we think we can’t, we are left wishing, hoping and wondering. That turns against us over the years as it breeds resentment, guilt, shame and unhappiness over anything we thought we couldn’t do.
When we think we can’t do something, we don’t try something new, we don’t do something different and we don’t follow our dreams. When we don’t do what we want to do, we are usually being held back by false justifications that tell us we are not good enough or there is not enough of something – like time or money. But, it’s time to let go of false justifications. They are not real. Nothing false can ever be real and true no matter how much you think it is or how much you justify it.
It is only fear that keeps us from living the life we truly want to live. So many of us allow fear to keep us from fulfilling our dreams. We are afraid to fail, we are afraid we can’t do something for this reason or for that reason and we have a habit of anticipating the worst when we are poised with something new or different. But, by rejecting opportunities to expand and experience, we are really saying “No” to life, missing out on what may bring us happiness and fun. And we deserve happiness and fun no matter what anyone says – including our own mind.
Fear can trick us into thinking our justifications are true. I’ve seen it hundreds of times in my own life where my mind makes up reasons I shouldn’t follow a dream. The justifications span the spectrum from “I don’t have time” to “I’m too old”. Whatever the false justification, we let go of our dreams in lieu of our fear-based thoughts and mind tricks.
If you take a moment to really look the justifications your mind tells you to keep you from realizing your dream, you will see that they are all just made up nonsense. For instance, the false justification of not enough time isn’t true because we make time for other things, so we can make time for a dream we have. And trust me, there is enough time. The false justification of, “I’m too old for that” doesn’t apply to most anything because there are stories all over the world of people doing amazing things at all ages. Our age doesn’t limit us – our fearful thoughts do. Break down your fearful justifications. Use truth to dispel them and then go follow your dreams.
Break the Habit
Thinking we “can” or “can’t” is just a habit. We get into a rut of saying “No, I can’t do that” so we don’t have to get out of our comfort zone. But, not doing what we always dreamed of doing is, in fact, uncomfortable for us. An unfulfilled dream sits on our shoulder and torments us, ridicules us and weighs on our mind – even if it’s in the back of our mind. And this feeling of “something I always dreamed of but never did” never goes away. We have to change our thinking. We have to change the energy of our life experience. When we walk in our ruts long enough, they become trenches that unrealistically limit our view of life.
Everything is energy, including words, whether they are thought or spoken. Some energy is light, positive and inspiring and other energy is heavy, negative and lifeless. The energy of the word “can’t” is negative as are all of the words associated with it, such as
- Never and
Using such language sucks the life out of us, but this negativity is just a habit – one we learned early in in life. With our initial training, or mind conditioning, we tend to focus on the negative side of life. On average, science says we have about 65,000 thoughts a day. Of those, approximately 45,000 are negative. This is training, not how we really feel in our heart.
The energy of “Yes, I can” is not only positive, but full of inspiration and high frequency energy to help you fulfill your dreams. Don’t buy into the repetitive, false justifications your mind spits out every time you want to explore something new. Do something different – listen to your heart. This is where your dreams come from anyway. And your heart is connected to love. With love, we can do anything.
The Freedom of Yes, I Can!
“Yes, I can” expands us. It expands our view, our experience and our life. By contrast, “No” blocks us in every way. “Yes, I can” is powerful for us and gives us the freedom to be who we are. “No” leaves us powerless and keeps us from our true identity because when we don’t follow our dreams we aren’t being authentic to ourselves. Instead, we are following a pre-programmed life someone else downloaded on us and a lot of that program is filled with “No”. It is time to break free.
When you think you “can” do anything, you are free to explore, create and experience. This is living in the present moment, enjoying all that life has to offer – and the opportunities are truly unlimited. If you think you can’t, it is time to change your mind and rewire your brain, to work in your favor. All you have to do is add “Yes, I can” into your vocabulary more often. Your brain will begin disconnecting from “can’t” and begin making strong neuron connections to “can”. Then, “Yes, I can” will become your new habit. Wait until you see how your life changes for the better.
Don’t let anyone else squash your dreams either. If I had listened to all the people who had their own justifications of why I shouldn’t become a writer, you wouldn’t be reading this right now. Writing has been a dream of mine and I decided to follow it one day. My dedication to that dream, and my hard work, has paid off – not in money or fame or anything I could obtain outside of me, but with an internal life experience of following my heart and doing something that is fun and full of joy. Follow your dream, not someone else’s idea of how your life “should” or “shouldn’t” look. They are only telling you what their fears are anyway and that has nothing to do with your life.
Life is a culmination of our experiences. Our dreams are a big part of those experiences. Find inspiration in a daily affirmation, such as, “I can do __________!” Find inspiration in a person, a passage from a book or anywhere you can. Change your language to reflect opportunity and open-mindedness. Use words that are supportive and encouraging. Follow your heart, not your thoughts. Your heart knows the real you. Connect with that and you will find a best friend who will stand with you and help you realize your dream. I challenge you today to say, “Yes, I can” to a dream you always had, but never fulfilled. I know you can!
The story of Jennifer Bricker and Dominique Moceanu is truly awe-inspiring. But, any story that includes you fulfilling a dream is also awe-inspiring. We don’t tend to think of ourselves in that way, though. Sometimes we think our dreams only happen to other people. But, Jennifer and Dominique are just like you. They are people with dreams. If they can follow their dream, you can follow yours. Set your mind to it and do it. Let the story of Jennifer and Dominique jump start your inspiration for your own dream today.
Link to the YouTube video of Jennifer Bricker HERE.