When “can’t” actually means “won’t”

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Sometimes I feel that the words “I can’t” should just be banned altogether.  So often, the real meaning behind the words “I can’t” is “I won’t” or “I don’t really want to” and is a crutch that is used to by the speaker to justify their position.   It’s also a habit, and a bad one, I might add.

There aren’t many things in the world that can’t be done.  Remember the saying “if there is a will, there is a way”.  So when there is no “will” and no “desire”, the words “I can’t” pop out.

Find out what “I can’t” really means.  If it’s not an excuse and is a case of being stuck, then try some of these questions:

What would it be like if you could do it?  Use your imagination.  Visualise.  If you can visualise it, the desire to achieve the outcome may overcome any mental blocks.

What sort of help, assistance or support would you need so that you could do it?

I struggle when I hear the words “can’t”.  A button gets pushed and I hear and feel all the negativity that accompanies that statement.  I’m not immune to using the words myself but I am very conscious of it and refuse to give in to it.

What about you?  Have you found yourself in this trap of using “I can’t”?

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I’m a business coach passionate about helping women make the impossible possible! Do get in touch. I would love to have a chat to see how I can help.

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Comments 6

  1. In a Youth service at church I once had a funeral for I Can’t complete with a coffin, which was complete with a lid, and at the conclusion, everyone paid their last respects to I Can’t by coming up to view into the coffin before it was closed. No one was to say what they saw, and there was enough spacing between viewers that each one was instructed to look deeply into the face of I Can’t for a personal look for the last time. Inside was a mirror, so each person saw themselves as I Can’t and then we proceeded with the closing of the coffin and the service to Bury I Can’t. I will always remember this, and I think others will too.

    Regarding Absolutes and Reality: There are some very basic things we can physically not do or be. There are however ways to achieve results even with the physical restrictions. It is often damaging to be so upset with hearing a negative from others that we over react to it, rather than coaching the positive.

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      Hi Joel, thank you for that wonderful story! What a fantastic way to bury “I can’t”.

      I should add a postscript to my post and add that it is the persistent “I can’t”s that are an issue for me. When it is merely a habit, that’s “coachable”. When it’s a deeply entrenched mindset, it’s far more difficult. Not impossible, but certainly an uphill battle.

  2. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly return.

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