Fear · Leadership

If you say you can’t, you must.

I’ve started a new routine to break some habits that don’t serve the goals I have set and what I want to accomplish. One thing I’ve done is started tracking how often I tell myself I can’t do something, even little things. 

For example, I have a friend who is an endurance athlete and when we are at the gym together she will do her usual 1 or 2 hour run, but me being a sprint-type athlete, I stick to my sprint routine. I’m always so impressed by her and everyone else that can go out and run forever, no big deal. So we were talking about our workout after and VERY quickly the words ‘I can’t’ came out of my mouth, I think what I said was: “That’s awesome that you can run for sooo long, I ‘can’t’ even run for an hour straight” and all of a sudden I got this strange feeling.

It never makes me feel good to say that I can’t do something so I started thinking, wait a sec, this isn’t really true – it might be difficult now because I haven’t taken the time to apply myself, practice, and train, but instead of saying that, I was so quick to pull out the ‘I can’t’ card.

I then started noticing how quick people are to say it all the time: ‘I can’t contact that person’ or ‘I can’t get it all done’ or ‘I can’t have that conversation’ or ‘I can’t exercise 3 times a week’ or ‘I can’t apply for that job because I don’t have the qualifications or experience’ – I hear this one all the time.

The truth of the matter is, is that you actually can (enter cheesy violin score). But seriously, by feeding yourself these little affirmations of your percieved inability, even if you don’t really believe them right now and it’s just slipped words, you will start believing them eventually. So really, all of that ‘I can’t’ head talk is just getting in the way of you doing it, proving yourself wrong, moving forward and getting ahead.

Stretching yourself, putting yourself in uncomfortable situations and taking risks is how we grow right?  So next time you feed yourself the ‘I can’t’ line, use that as a trigger and replace it with the ‘I must’ line, put your fears (or whatever is holding you back) aside and just go do it. I went for an hour run yesterday, and we’ll I figured out that I just don’t like running for that long because I get bored, at least I now have confirmation that I can, so I can never say that I can’t run for an hour straight ever again.

It’s worked well for me for other things as well and I hope if works for you.

Till next time…

ps: huge thanks to Krishna for bringing up that quote!

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