the struggle to believe

I can’t do this.

I just can’t.

I’m in over my head.


Rinse. Lather. Repeat. Re-branding, moving, 3 kids, having no making new friends, sorting out life after Lyme disease and trying to figure out where to put everything in a house you didn’t actually see beforehand (true story) can do this to a person.

Add to that letting people down that mean so very much to you and you get one discouraged person.

I sat at the computer working through my galleries for my new website that the fabulous ladies of Earl & Layne have been blowing me away with and I felt the tears welling up in my eyes.  I hit my wall.  I was convinced I just couldn’t do it.  There were too many decisions.  Too many changes I needed to make to my business.  And too many fears to face.

I walked downstairs to avoid eye contact with my computer that seemed to be staring at me.  And laughing.


As I walked down the steps, I had one of those moments.  The “I need to stop everything because this next thought might change my life – God, I’m listening” moments.  For a moment, I told the “I can’ts” to hush as I asked myself, “What if I told myself I could?”


It lingered.  As did I – mid staircase.

What if – when I encounter something hard – I immediately say “I can do this.”

Even if I don’t yet believe it.


I decided to try it for a week.

I walked through the kitchen, “I can finish my website.”

I grabbed my coffee refill, “I can give my clients the experience I want to give them.”

I poured in the half-and-half, “I can be the mom my kids need.”

Tears started to well up .  So.very.much of me didn’t believe a word I was saying.  But in that moment, I vowed that I’d try it for a week.  No more “I can’ts.”  This week I would speak the words I would want to speak to my kids – over myself.  The kind of words God writes about us.

I would love me.  I would say the kind things that I needed to hear.  I would speak words of belief into me.

I can be a consistent friend.

I can do hard things.

I am worthwhile.

I am worthy of love.

I am beautiful.

I am fun.

I bring out beauty in people.

I see the world in a way that needs to be shared.


I could finally see: I had never really loved myself.  I was always waiting for someone else.  Someone to come along and speak those words over me.  To see that in me.  To do whatever it took to bring it out in my life.


But it never worked.  I couldn’t hear or accept any of those voices.  When your mind is feeding you another story, you simply cannot accept truth.  It was time to take God at His word and start speaking His truth over myself.

That week changed me.  Sure… I did not always believe what I was saying.  Some moments felt like what I was saying was the furthest thing from the truth.  But I kept coming back to this: what if?  What if I’m right?  What if I believed it?  Don’t I have enough people saying “I can’t”?  Can’t I just let them take over my old role?

Maybe it’s time for us to speak the words of love over ourselves.  Whether we believe them or not.  And to then do so over those around us.

After all – what do you have to lose?



Added bonus: some adorable people I love.



  1. Annie says:

    I feel right now as if I could have written this. I’m struggling with the overwhelming task of balancing home, work, and rebranding. All of it is so time consuming and emotionally taxing… It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one struggling like this!

  2. Judi says:

    I believe we all feel this way at one time or another. I am just so glad you gave the “I can” a try because I always knew you could do this. Your are after all “The Best!” Love you Girl!

  3. Joy says:


    I thank God for the creativity and thoughts He has given you and for the courage He has given you to share them with the rest of us. I’ve been struggling so much with speaking words of truth to myself – I’m still in the “but I just don’t believe it” phase. You have no clue how much you have encouraged, uplifted, and inspired me today. May God bless you for how much you bless others!!

  4. Stephanie Grooms says:

    I can relate to a lot of that, not all, but enough that it brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing!

  5. I love this idea, Amy, but you already knew that 🙂 And I love that you shared it on the blog. And I cannot wait to start implementing this as part of my May goals. Thank you for sharing! xoxoxo

  6. Sandy says:

    Dear Amy,

    You should know that in all your imperfect, chaotic and challenging life, you are an inspiration to people whom you don’t even know. I recently launched MY OWN photography business after working for others for many years. I have followed your blog and website for a while now and I find inspiration in your honest writing and your faith in God. Keep your chin up. It will all get better. Soon you’ll have a new house (you get to purge and organize), new friends (to add to your collection), a new website (I can’t see why you would want to improve on something so beautiful, but I guess evolving is always good) and lots of lovely new experiences with your little ones (they are really cute!). Lots of hugs from a huge fan in Chicago. 🙂

  7. Mandy D says:

    Aims I love you. Take it from me – one day at a time. You. Can. Do. It. I know you can, always have believed that. I’m always here to listen to and edge you one. I miss you dearly, and way too much. The pictures of your kids make me smile so much but miss them too. Ugh – distance, is no fun. Thanks for sharing your heart. Hugs.

  8. vikki says:

    I just read this and it felt like something I have been going through for a while. I am so proud of you and all of your hard work. You have this unbelievable talent that God wants to use you for! enjoy and thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  9. Yes yes YES! Thank you so much for sharing this. It seems like it should be something that we’ve always done, but unfortunately it’s not. I don’t know where we learned that we CAN’T speak positive words to ourselves, but I’m joining you in doing this for myself! Thank you Amy!!

  10. KEEP JOURNEYING MY FRIEND!!!!!!!! Thinking of you. Thanks for your HONESTY. It is REFRESHING and so are YOU!

  11. […] tell herself “I can…” or “I am…” even if she didn’t believe it at the time. She posted this idea on her blog too, and on May 1st (because I have a thing about starting new goals on the first of somethings), I […]

  12. Brittani says:

    I found this blog post from Alexandra at Heart Love Weddings, and it’s a truly inspiring read. Thank you for sharing the changes you made, because this is something I want to now implement in my life. I know that positive thoughts create good things, but the reality is that it’s hard. The reality is also that nothing worth having is easy, so why not give it a shot? Today starts the “I can” and “I am” positivity train for me 🙂 Thank you Amy!

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