Many of us have been experiencing one setback after another in our personal and professional lives.  Sometimes, unkind or discouraging words said to us as children can leave such a deep scar in our hearts and minds that we don’t know what to do but live down to the self-fulfilling prophecy that someone bestowed on us.  Since discouragement likes to rear its ugly head and keep us from achieving our purpose, I will share powerful examples with you of individuals who overcame debilitating odds and changed the “I can’t” to “I can and I will!”

I’d like to encourage you that with perseverance, you CAN do so much more.  If these individuals I write about can accomplish their dreams and overcome major challenges, who are we not to accomplish ours?

Today I’ll start with myself.  Grew up poor, no self-esteem and felt unloved by my father who thought the horse races were much more important than taking me to the doctor when I was really sick. Sitting on that bus with my mom (dad had left for the races), a seed was planted in me that said, “You are of no real value, not even as important as a horse.  You don’t deserve the love and care of a man either.”  The fear of failure, rejection and abandonment had their long claws deep within my side as I grew into a mature adult.  My life was spent in destructive behavior, quitting everything I started, multiple jobs and bad relationships, being a battered wife (twice), with drugs and drinking to forget who I was.  Later when I asked God to please take over, I still didn’t think I was good enough and continued many of the same destructive patterns for several more years before I let Him love me.  Meanwhile, I was commuting to take care of ill, elderly parents.  Living with the loss of my son for most of his life growing up (which caused constant guilt and self-condemnation that made me even more destructive).  Losing a good husband to cancer who had come into my life between abusive marriages. Through it all, God had a plan for me to win the Mrs. Nebraska pageant although my husband was dying. It was excruciating.  Exactly a year after being in the Mrs. America pageant, I ended up on missions in Haiti, a widow covered with bug bites and sleeping on a rock floor.  It was the worst of times and the best of times because of the lessons I learned.  That story is at   After  living most of my life as a fearful “reject,” I now live my life helping others with that magical epiphany that says, “You are valuable, a pearl of great price, and you deserve only the best that life has to offer!”

So, believing that I “couldn’t” accomplish my life’s purpose was finally silenced.  There is no such word as “can’t” and nothing will tell me otherwise.  You CAN, no matter what has transpired.  It’s a new day!  Stay tuned for several true examples coming your way in these next two weeks! Tomorrow:  Wilma Rudolph, the Olympic gold medalist once crippled by polio.