I find it fascinating that we often limit ourselves almost unconsciously by deciding on a whole raft of things that we ‘can’t’ do. Can’t. What a disempowering word this is. I can’t lose weight/have a job I enjoy/be in a happy healthy relationship/have the home I want. How depressing. And even worse, sometimes this assumption that we can’t is incorrect.
I had my world turned upside down by my coach challenging an ‘I can’t’ of mine. Guess what my ‘I can’t’ was? ‘I can’t be a coach’! My coach at the time said ‘why not?’ I could not answer the question. I had just made an assumption that I couldn’t do it, and written it off as a possibility. I only need to go back a few years to find some more ‘can’t’s that turned out to be untrue – ‘I can’t lose weight’, ‘I can’t have my own business’, ‘I can’t walk 26 miles’, ‘I can’t meditate’, ‘I can’t be positive’, ‘I can’t speak in public’. I’ve done all of these.
Stories abound of people who did not accept ‘can’t’s and went on to do impossible things – the sub 4-minute mile is a great example! That was thought to be a physical impossibility before Roger Bannister went and did it. Every day, people just like you do astonishing things. And I am not just talking about you doing the impossible…but things that you have decided arbitrarily that are impossible for you – if they’re possible for someone else, why not you?
So, what can’t you do? List 10 things that you can’t, then subject them to the scrutiny of the ‘why not’ question. You may find that when you answer the ‘why not’ question, you find the answer is ‘I don’t want to’. That’s fair enough…but it doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Why limit yourself? Or it may be that you could do it, but are not prepared to put in the effort. That was certainly the reason I couldn’t lose weight – I wasn’t prepared to stop eating chocolate!
If that’s the case, replace ‘can’t’ with ‘won’t’ – because that’s what you’re really saying. Or, you may not be ready to do something yet – in that case, replace ‘can’t’ with ‘I’m not ready to’. Don’t lie to yourself and say you ‘can’t’ do something. By doing this, you limit your choices, give yourself the subconscious message that you’re incapable, and close down avenues that could be fantastic for you.
Look at me – I’ve done a lot of things I thought I couldn’t do – guess I was wrong, huh? So, is there really anything you can’t do? I didn’t think so.