Cam Taylor

Be inspired. Be focused. Be tenacious.

Turning So-so into Say-so

The right words spoken to ourselves, over a period of time, can have a serious impact on our lives.

It’s easy to grow bitter and withdraw from our dreams when we’re handed a lemon to suck on. If we allow those lemons to define us, we end up living a so-so existence.

What I’m coming to realize is how powerful a forward moving, future creating story can be. The positive future story we tell ourselves is our say-so. This past week, I had one of my say-so stories come true and bear fruit.


At 9:00 o’clock last Saturday morning, my friend picked me up and took me to a local mountain. There on Sumas Mountain, are numerous mountain bike trails for mountain bikers of all skill levels.

When our accident happened over three years ago, the sport I loved was ripped away from me. I was left to grieve the loss of the ability and freedom to run. It was devastating as I let the news sink in but I did come to accept my reality (truth be told, I haven’t said, “I will never run again,” just I will never run as I once did).

I can’t remember the exact day I said these words but I remember declaring “I will take up mountain biking and ride down the local mountain bike trails.” Well, that day came this week. With fear and trepidation I rode down Squid Line Trail and saw my say-so realized!

Barriers to Say-so

There are plenty of barriers that keep us from say-so talking and living. They include:

  • fear – “What if I fail and my say-so doesn’t happen?”
  • apathy – “I don’t care to grow and change.”
  • anger – “I hate my life! Life is so unfair.”
  • self-pity – “It’s not up to me to get out of the mess I’m in.”
  • bitterness – “I will not forgive. Just go away.”
  • unbelief – “I don’t believe positive self-talk helps.”

Three Habits to Help Nurture a Say-so Life

When you decide to stop letting the barriers stop you from say-so living, then you’re ready to nurture the habits necessary to building a say-so life. Three habits of say-so living are:

1. Let your words paint a picture of your preferred future.

Say-so living starts with thoughts in your mind and turn into words on your lips. Say-so living is a future vision not yet realized but seen in your imagination. Imagination helps to break the chains of so-so thinking. Brandon Trean said, “Stopping at limits are for those who lack a well-harnessed imagination.”

Solomon, the wisest man of his day, knew the power of words. “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.” (Proverbs 18:21) “The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry.” (Proverbs 25:11

2. Let limits inform your words but not define your dream

There’s a fine line between blind optimism and say-so living. Blind optimism can sometimes have the attitude that says, “If I can dream it, I can achieve it.” Blind optimism disregards critical facts and limitations that will not change (I’m not talking in this instance about leaving room for God to heal or perform a miracle). Say-so living is grounded in reality and realizes an expectation or dream requires the strength, ability, talent, and resources to be realized.

When I started saying, “I will mountain bike some day,” I was on crutches and months away from walking. What I did know and came to learn was that bike riding would be possible (eventually). I stopped saying “I’ll quality for the Boston marathon” (my new limits informed those words) and started saying “I’ll ride down Sumas Mountain on a mountain bike some day.”

In the game of life, we all receive a set of variables and limitations in the field of play. We can either focus on the lack thereof or empower ourselves to create better realities with the pieces we play the game with. T.F. Hodge

3. Let your words shape your daily actions

Predictions about the future are important but lack teeth if a daily plan to walk towards those predictions isn’t put in place. Say-so rooted in daily action is where the rubber hits the road.

My say-so at the moment is in my work. I’ve been off and on with my work for over three years and have lost a ton of momentum. I don’t need sympathy, I need some say-so  and a daily plan to turn my say-so into reality. My say-so includes words like, “I will fully engage as a leadership coach, training facilitator, team builder, author, and support my family through this work.” I’m not there yet, but actively acting on my say-so.

The last three years, I have invested hours and hours of daily action to be ready for the mountain. I went on many painful rides on my recumbent bike in my living room when all I had was 85 degrees of bending ability in my right leg. But my say-so kept me going and saw me through to a dream fulfilled. Now I’m on to what’s next!

 What do you need to say-so about in your life?
What can you do today to start walking towards it?

Image source: Free image courtesy of
To receive each new post by email when they come out, sign up below. I welcome your comments.

About Cam Taylor

Life and leadership coach, transition & change specialist, husband, dad, leader, writer, life long learner.

7 Replies

  1. Hey Cam,

    It made me so happy to see this post! Amazing comeback. Keep going!

    – Jeff

    1. Thanks Jeff for your comment. I’m so grateful to be where I now am in this journey. I’m not done recovery or practicing say-so living. I hope you & your family are keeping well. Cam

  2. Shirlene Henning

    Alot of encouragement, in those “say- so” words. Better then, “I told you so”.
    and so-so is not good enough. Nice to see “your” “say-so” words, put into action.

  3. Ross Campbell

    Wonderful words of wisdom and encouragement. As always Cam, you have managed to simplify and capture the possibilities of your temporary handicap.

    1. Thanks for your encouragement & words. It’s so much more life giving to focus on “possibilities” than “pitfalls” & “losses!” See you in August!

  4. Sheldon carlson

    Truly inspiring, dear friend. Your well written story inspires this 73 year old to keep on looking forward with prayerful future-think.
    Much joy, this Summer,

    1. Thanks Sheldon – so glad you too are taking up the challenge of looking & living “forward”. Enjoy your summer also!

Leave a Reply