It can’t be done / I can’t do it
This is my number one pet hate. It’s demoralising, dis-empowering and defeatist. It is such a “final” statement it leaves you no room to move. No room for imagination, no room for motivation. It basically translates to “I give up”. Sometimes it’s a sign of defiance as in “I don’t want to and I’m not even going to try” in which case, using the “it can’t be done” statement is just a weak excuse, most probably to avoid a potentially difficult conversation that the real statement would bring up. Earn some respect by braving that difficult conversation.
“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” ~ Audrey Hepburn
Usually accompanied by a tone that implies the person saying it knows better. Telling someone they should do something won’t in itself motivate them. If you are tempted to use these words, consider whether your listener has asked for your advice and whether they are even ready for it. A variant of the “you should” is the “I should”. Well, if you should, then just do it. Lack of action following that statement just makes it an empty promise.
Spend too much energy on the “if only’s” and you are relinquishing responsibility for events and conditions. You are effectively saying you don’t have control. That’s plainly inaccurate. You do have control if you want it, if not to change the exact details of certain events, then certainly your response to the event and any further actions that you take.
Are you hand-cuffing yourself with these statements, or allowing others to hand cuff you?
It’s time to do something about it.