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“I think I can” Magic

My 2 ½ year old daughter, Annabella, recently became enthralled with the book, “The Little Engine That Could.” You remember the one, right? Where the little tiny engine tries with all her might to haul a big train over the mountain and succeeds by chanting over and over again: “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”

It hit me like a ton of bricks – this book had been my very first encounter with affirmations. I remember saying, “I think I can” when I was faced with a challenge as a kid. And as I saw myself overcoming difficulties, I learned deep in my heart that our thoughts and beliefs are powerful. We have the power to create what we want in our lives.

A sticker I recently encountered states:


“You don’t have to face reality. YOU CAN CREATE IT!”

Case in point: the story of the 4-minute mile. In 1954, runner Roger Bannister defeated the widely held belief that running a 4-minute mile was impossible. Before his triumph, people thought it was impossible for a human to go that fast. But he didn’t let that belief stop him from going for it. He applied “I think I can” magic and broke the record. And then, lo and behold, a month later another runner followed suit, and many more have since. All because the belief became reality.

I have experienced the power of affirmations over and over again in my life. From making manifest the small but handy statement of “I love rock star parking” to the biggest “Happy, healthy Zen baby” and “I love rubbing elbows with leaders I admire.” My life has unfolded in the most magical way over the last couple of years due in large part to the “I think I can” mindset.

So, where in your life could you use a little “I think I can” magic?

Is there an area that you’re saying “I can’t” or where you’re believing that what you want is not possible?

Apply the “I think I can” principle and see how shifting your perspective changes the situation. Comment below and let me know what you find…because I don’t just think you can do it: I know you can!



  1. Jessica says:

    Oh, Amy, this was a great post, and a treat to get to see my inner mean girl illustrated. I laughed out loud when I saw her on top of your web site, with her upside-down heart and scowling eyes.

    I’ve been learning with you for the last couple of years, and as a witness to your public growth in interviewing the people you admire, I give you kudos.

    Let’s see, I’ll dig deep for some elementary school memory. I remember trying the I think I can in the 2nd or 3rd grade because I wanted to be able to compete with the boys in a chin up competition. As hard as I tried, the teachers wouldn’t allow me to compete because girls weren’t allowed. I was crestfallen. I later argued my case as to why I should be allowed to sell cleaning systems door to door when men were the only salesmen. This time, though, I was “allowed” in to a men’s only domain. I stayed with the door-knocking routine for only 4 months before my car gave up and I switched to biking to an office job.

  2. Maya says:

    Hi Amy,

    Such wonderful words of wisdom. I had never thought of this as my first affirmation and you are absolutely right! I remember not only thinking, “I think I can, I think I can,” but I changed it to “I know I can, I know I can.” I had completely forgotten. I will bring this back into my life because it worked then so why not now? Thank you so much. What a great gift on this fine morning.

    All my gratitude and love!


    May you walk in beauty.

  3. Heather says:

    One of my favorites is very similar….

    Think it
    Believe it
    Achieve it

    I have it in my office bulletin board and it keeps me inspired..

  4. Ariana says:

    My dad has the great bumper sticker, “I’ll see it when I believe it”. I am so thankful that my parents raised me with this belief because it is so deeply ingrained in my worldview that I know I can create whatever I dream! And it has worked thus far!

    Isn’t it wonderful to think what Annabella and Teo will manifest for their lives!


  5. Love IT! Love the reminder of the power of affirmations.

    I just finished a Foundations course with Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith at Agape…AMAZING! AND Stage Two of his Visioning Process is Manifestation. Stages Three and Four are Allowing Spirit to move through you and Being ONE with Spirit, respectively. I have this intense desire now to truly MASTER Stage 2: Manifestation, so that GOD can USE me MORE in Service to this WORLD.

    THUS, this spoke to ME. Thanks AMy!

  6. Vickie says:

    I have 7 grandchildren and telling them to always say, “I think
    I can. How will you know if you don’t try. You are not a
    failure if you try but you failed when you never even tried. So putting positive thinking in your mind is for sure an effort of trying to think you can. How about that?” Sometimes they
    look at me with a little confusion and, of course, I will repeat myself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Marie-France says:

    It’s cool. Lately, I had a couple of dreams. I felt and thought I naturally could” and those dreams came true. I married the man whom I loved and who loved me back AND we moved to the most beautiful spot on earth (the second dream).
    Now, I have yet another big dream and I find it much harder to do: I am good at my job but I am sick and tired of it and would LOVE to be working from home. But how? Trouble is: I make too good a salary for me to quit and go to…what? Nothing? NO way. I can’t do that. So what now? How can I possibly work from home and make sufficient money to live on?

  8. trine says:

    hey this stuff really works,its amazing us what weve been able to achieve in a few short weeks weve moved from mean girl to queen girl and found a fab venue in wales Uk.In June were partying its Sue’s birthday while were there,weve changed the way we think,with you all helping us were on a working holiday and its fab fun

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Wake Up Call Coaching

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