There’s no such thing as “can’t”. But that doesn’t mean you can.
My great aunty Yo was famous for being a teeny bit dotty, but she had a secret that she shared generously, with all who would listen.
I remember the no such thing as can’t message being thrown back at me every time she spotted one of my excuses, as a kid. Back then, I didn’t appreciate her secret much.
Couldn’t she see? Of course I couldn’t do xyz…
Then, as I got older, I started to understand. She wasn’t trying to tell me that, at 5’2″ tall, there was nothing stopping me from being an Olympic high jumper.
She just wanted me to see the blindingly obvious truth:
“I can’t” was my excuse for anything I didn’t want to do – or didn’t believe I could do.
At a gentle level, she was helping me to learn that there are only two things that were ever going to get in my way:
1. What I believe is possible.
2. What I choose to do / not to do.
For so many of us who are used to positive thinking and all its friends, you might think that the fix for this one is to replace “can’t” with “can”. But it doesn’t work…
If we have invested time and effort into creating a belief that we can’t do something, simply picking the positive affirmation that we ‘can’ do it doesn’t change that belief. Instead, it sets up an internal conflict:
Our thinking mind says yes. Our unconscious mind (which runs the show, by the way), says no.
All that is likely to happen is that you’ll feel frustrated and miserable. If you try it out now on a “can’t” belief, you’ll most likely notice that it causes physical tension, too.
So what’s the answer?
Maybe. Perhaps. Might.
Think of that “can’t” belief. Instead of forcing in a “can”, try softening things with…
“Perhaps I might…”
Can you feel the difference? You’re opening up the possibility – gently and without creating resistance. Then, as your old belief dissolves, ‘maybe’ will naturally shift into ‘probably’, soon to become a ‘can’.
Isn’t that a kinder way of making changes in your life?
Got an opinion on this one? We’d love to hear your views via the comments box!