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The Size of the Pan

man fishing from a boatOnce there were two men fishing from the same riverbank. The younger fellow was not catching a thing, while the older guy was catching something every time his line hit the water. The young man noticed, however, that when the old man caught big fish, he threw them back into the water—but when he caught little ones, he kept them. After a while, the frustrated young angler asked his mentor, “Why are you throwing the big ones back and keeping just the little ones?” The older fisherman responded, “Because I only have a nine-inch frying pan at home!”

This story clearly illustrates self-imposed limitations or “thinking inside the box.” Rather than seeing the possibility of obtaining a larger frying pan, the old man limited his success to only the small fish. Sometimes we use predefined pigeon holes in which we place success. Maybe we feel anxious, fear we won’t measure up to others’ expectations or are simply afraid to do differently. Each of us must define what success means to us and how we will measure our progress and direct our paths. We need to allow ourselves to take down mental barricades and freely explore all possibilities in our journeys.

We all have those little voices of self-doubt in our heads. Some talk louder than others. I know I can identify some self-imposed limitations that are keeping me from accomplishing my goals. “I don’t have any willpower, I don’t have motivation, I don’t have time, I don’t…”

However, on reflection, I do have the right stuff and I know what it takes! It is how I choose to respond to those voices that makes the difference. The voice of reason allows us to respond to a situation and not be affected by the consequences. It is time that I turned up the volume and listened to my voice of reason!

Like the old angler, I certainly know how to catch fish. Maybe all I need is a bigger frying pan.

I Care, Barb

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