There is No Can’t

Lady in Red

Here are some more popular lies we tell ourselves:

  • I can’t do/say/try/wear that.
  • I can’t stop smoking/drinking/overeating no matter how hard I try.
  • I can’t get started on my business for some reason.
  • I can’t stick to an exercise regimen to save my life.
  • I can’t find a decent guy to date, the good ones are all married or gay.

But is it not as true or truer to say this instead?

  • am not willing to do/say/try/wear that.
  • don’t want to stop smoking/drinking/overeating.
  • am not willing to get started on my business.
  • don’t want to stick to an exercise regimen.
  • will not do what it takes to find a decent guy to date.

Barring an actual physical or mental limitation, there is no “can’t.”

There is: “I don’t want to” or “I’m not willing to” or “I will not do what it takes to make it happen.”

But there is no “can’t.”

And it is so freeing to be able to own that truth in your life.

What is the truth for you?



Comments & Feedback:

  1. So true. People escape accountability by using the phrase “I can’t.” At least, they think they escape… Reframing the issue as one of your own making gives you the power to change it. Good post.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Emelia! I agree 100% that “reframing the issue as one of your own making gives you the power to change it.” The word “can’t” is also used to enable us to play the victim.

  2. I agree with this 100%. There is no “I can’t” it is usually “I won’t” Once when the excuses are gone your left with what you will and will not do. No one else to blame but ourselves for our failure.

  3. I think for me, a big one is “try” – like in the Yoda quote: “do or do not, there is no try”. I’ve learned that people use “try” (or at least, I use it that way) when I’m not actually doing anything, or have only spent a few moments thinking about it.

    “Are you job hunting?”
    “I’m trying!” – which normally translates into me spending all day on Twitter, reading blogs or playing Bejeweled. Trying also implies minimal – if any – effort. “Trying” is also a good way to get someone off your back, like a parent, who may be consistently inquiring about what you’re doing and how it’s progressing.

    So my truth? I will do the best that I can with the resources that I have, all within the limits of my personal code of ethics. If I’m a co-creator in my own reality, then I must believe I can do whatever I want, right! (within a certain degree of legal reason).

  4. One great and simple post !
    It does remind me of one my favorite quote : Eliminate the word CANT and you’ll be amazed at what you CAN do.- Billy Cox
    We CAN do so much indeed, but we are sometimes just afraid or lazy or unwilling to do so :(

  5. Wow. How true! What really resonates with me is this: “I will not do what it takes to find a decent guy to date.” How many of us, deep down, know this is what we’re really doing? We’re so afraid of change – especially of the idea that we may have to examine, discover scary and uncomfortable truths, and then rearrange our habits, our mindsets, our ideas about how relationships work – that we just continue in the same unproductive (or even destructive) circle.

    Thanks for the eye opener! I really needed that kick in the pants to open my mind to new things.

    • Getting what we want definitely takes work! And a lot of it is mental and personal growth that takes more time and energy than we think it will. I think that’s why it can seem so much easier to just throw in the towel before we even start.