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There’s Only So Much You Can Do

You can work and work, and break your back, and make every sacrifice possible and put every last resource you have on the table, but at the end of the  day, I’m realizing, there’s just only so much you can do.

Not everything is up to us.

We are not in control.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, feeling this tension because I want to inspire people to believe anything is possible, and want to give them the tools to go make their dreams come true. I want to remind you that you have what it takes, that you are beautiful and important and you matter (no matter how many people do or don’t follow you on Twitter).

And for most of you, that’s what you need to hear. Most of you think too little of yourself, rather than too much. Most of you need to know you are talented. You are capable. You are courageous.

You have more to give than you’re giving.

But lately I’ve been wondering if I need to say this, too:

There’s only so much you can do.

In the beginning of my journey, I needed someone to push me to do more, not less. I needed someone to give me permission to throw my whole weight into, to quit holding back, to put my money where my mouth was, to give this thing my best shot.

I needed to stay up later, wake up earlier, to work harder. I needed to know I was capable, and that it was possible to see success. I needed to see how I hadn’t reached my limit yet. Not even close.

But these days… I don’t know. I feel like I need to be reminded that it’s okay. I’m okay.

Not everything is up to me. Working hard is good. But the whole world doesn’t rest on my shoulders.

There’s just only so much you can do.

This is what scares me most about chasing what really matters to me —

At the end of the day, I can give it all I have, and what if it isn’t enough? I wonder if this is why so many of us hold back, like I did for so many years, accepting less than what we know we have to give.

I wonder if it makes us feel better, to keep our world’s small and manageable, so we can have control over them.

But now that I’ve stepped out of my tiny world into something bigger and better — something that is far too big for me to handle on my own — I can say from experience: It’s scary and wonderful out here. I don’t have control.

But I wouldn’t want to. It’s too big for me. And that’s a good thing. All I can give is everything I have.

All you can give is everything you have. It just might be more than you think it is.

I am enough. You are enough.

When it comes to releasing a book, or learning to sew, or becoming a full-time photographer, or homeschooling your kids, or starting a new business, or being the “perfect” mom or wife or daughter or friend…

There’s just only so much you can do.

Chances are, it’s more than you realize. You’re capable of bigger and better. But when you lay your head on your pillow at the end of the day, be careful how you measure success.

Be careful with measuring numbers and dollars and accolades and awards and praise from your kids or your spouse.

Because there’s just only so much you can do.

And if you’ve truly done everything you can do, rest easy, wake up, and do it again tomorrow.

You’re on the right track.


No, seriously, we can be friends...we can email back and forth and everything! :) 

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Allison Fallon

I write books. I help people write books. I believe a regular practice of writing can change your life.

7 thoughts on “There’s Only So Much You Can Do”

  1. Thanks so much for this. I just wrote about being brave and courageous enough to allow God to break me so that He can have His Will in my life.

    I get the feeling that he’s trying to change me instead of my circumstances. Only when this is accomplished, will I be able to enter the Promised Land. And by that, I mean be able to step into a career that fuels my passion for writing and ministering to people one-on-one.

    I’m doing all I can to make it happen and put feet to my prayers, but in the end, it’s not up to me. God is in control and I can take comfort in the fact that He has a good plan for my life.

    Blessings to you. I enjoy your work 🙂

  2. So beautiful. Reminds me of the poem by Dr. Kent M Keith called “anyway, the paradoxical commandments.” I’m sure you know it 🙂

    One thing I try to remember is that it’s also not all up to me. I can do my best and God honors that, but again, like you said, many things are out of my control. Sometimes step 2 doesn’t look like what I anticipated. Oh well.

  3. Thank you! This is beautiful. “At the end of the day, I can give it all I have, and what if it isn’t enough?” This line really resonates with me right now…I feel it every day.
    This also reminds me of a quote from an old book: “I am afraid to tell you who I am, because, if I tell you who I am, you may not like who I am, and it’s all that I have.”
    Both of those are hard insecurities to face and overcome.

  4. Pingback: For Your Weekend | Rachel Franklin Writes

  5. I liked this conclusion: “And if you’ve truly done everything you can do, rest easy, wake up, and do it again tomorrow.”

    And I’ d like to add : “Or the day after” because sometimes you just need to give it a rest to see what God is up to doing.

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