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How often do you hear someone (or yourself) say that they can’t do something? You will hear this most often from a child. But it isn’t so uncommon to hear this phrase from adults too. We are so used to hearing this phrase that it is accepted as a matter of fact. What are you saying when you say that you can’t?

You have probably heard people say that they can’t live without a certain level of income, cant lose weight, cant make friends, or cant learn a new language. Think about that for a minute. Really? It really cant be done?

Sometimes I will say that I can’t take the dog out in the morning because I don’t have time. What I am really saying is that I was not willing to get up early enough to make sure I had time to take the dog out before I leave. This is very popular at my house.

I have also said “I can’t” on bigger things. I said that, I can’t relocate my family to another city in another state (after growing up almost my entire life in one city). What I was really saying is that I am not willing to consider what it would take and what it would be like to move. That didnt last long. We love living in Richmond, Virginia now.

When I say “I can’t” it becomes an easy way to accept that am not willing to do the work.

To avoid accepting “I can’t”:

  • Recognize when you say that you can’t. Unlike other things that I say to myself that are true, most of the time saying “can’t” just is not true. Try to eliminate “can’t” from your vocabulary.
  • Replace can’t with the truth. Its okay to say that you are not willing but don’t lie to yourself and others by saying that you can’t. Find what you are really saying. Determine what it would take to do it. For example, I need to get up a little earlier so that I can take the dog out.
  • Make the difficult choice. Once you replace “can’t” with the truth, decide what you can do? You may decide that you are not willing and that is okay if it is true. However, in some cases you may decide that you could do something else, so why not do it? You may need to choose to turn down that job offer and go in a different career direction. You may need to reprioritize something in your life by giving up one thing so that you can spend more time doing another.

What are you telling yourself right now that you can’t do? If you tell the truth, what are you really saying? Write a comment here.