“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” – Henry Ford
Words can empower us or weaken us. Choosing the right words for your inner voice is very important if you want to unleash the best you that’s waiting inside.
If you want to live your life to its highest potential and achieve all of your goals, then eliminate these belittling words, “I can’t”, from your vocabulary.
Here are 5 reasons why you should never say “I can’t”.
Just thinking that you can’t do something instantly weakens you.
Best-selling author, Jack Canfield, did an experiment at his seminars. A volunteer from the crowd would stand up, extend their arms and Jack instructed him/her to either think “I can” or “I can’t” over and over again.
When he tried to push down the arms of the people who were thinking I can, their arms did not budge. Those who were thinking, I can’t, he was able to push down almost instantly.
That’s just pushing down someone’s arm. How about using this theory to lift a car?
In 1977, a grandmother named Laura Schultz heard screaming from the driveway. Her grandson had been playing with the car and accidentally released the emergency brake. The car rolled onto his arm. She was a petite woman and said she had never lifted a thing over 50 pounds in her life. Yet she lifted the 2,000 pound car off to release her grandson’s arm.
After the incident, she was reluctant to speak about it with anyone. Finally persistence paid off for a doctor, who studied peak performers.
Laura said she didn’t like talking about the event because it challenged her beliefs about what she could and could not do. She said, “If I was able to do this when I didn’t think I could, what does that say about the rest of my life? Have I wasted it?”
The story has a happy ending. He convinced her that her life wasn’t over yet. She had a passion for geology, yet never pursued it. At sixty-three she went back to get her college degree. She later went on to teach geology at a local community college.
It can stop you from changing the world.
Henry Ford wanted to build the first V8 engine. He didn’t know how to do it, so he asked his highly qualified engineers to build it. According to them, a V8 engine was impossible, but Henry Ford wanted it. Ford would continually ask the men if they had it and they would continue to give reasons why they weren’t able to build it. This went on for many months until those same engineers, who said it couldn’t be done, built the V8 engine he wanted.
Henry Ford refused to believe it wasn’t possible even though his engineers were convinced it was impossible. He pushed them to think beyond their limits.
It can stop you from trying new experiences.
When we were younger, it wasn’t easy to learn to ride a bicycle. We may have thought, “I can’t do this”, but our parents kept encouraging us to try again. After mastering the bike, we wondered “What was so difficult about this? I can ride with no hands!”
Have you ever thought of running a half marathon? You may want to, but you thought of so many excuses why you couldn’t.
Have you ever wanted to learn a new skill, but thought you can’t because you’re too old or not smart enough?
Just saying, “I can’t”, stops you from even trying these new wonderful things. If you try, you just might realize a skill that can make your more money. You might finish that half marathon and have to buy brand new clothes because of all of the weight you lost. You might find the thing that excites you every day.
If you don’t try, you will never know what you are capable of.
You already have lost the mental battle.
If you think “I can’t”, then you are setting yourself up for failure even if you try.
Believing that you can do anything is powerful and can give you the motivation you need to take action. Once you get started, your success depends on that you’re saying to yourself.
Thinking “I can’t” is like a car driving with the emergency brakes. In order to get the car to go, you will have to release the parking brake; release your negative thoughts of “I can’t”.
Too often people try to achieve a goal and then wonder why their efforts aren’t paying off when what they should have done is just release their doubt.
You need to remove the words “I can’t”. Otherwise, it will slow you down.
You will live a life full of regret.
The things you wish you could do, but make excuses for, are the things you really want to do.
Do you want to be on your deathbed and wish you lived more? Will you die with a life full of regrets?
Don’t forget Laura Schultz learned at the age of 63 the power of what she can and cannot do. Thankfully, she didn’t let age stop her from doing what she wanted to do.
Saying “I can’t” doesn’t make the desire go away forever. It may temporarily subside while you continue your life. Then one day it will come back and consume your thoughts until you decide to take action or push it out of your mind for another few weeks, months or even years.
What Should You Do Instead?
You are capable whatever you put your mind to. It sounds so simple, but it’s so true.
No matter what age you are right now, you’ve accomplished so much. You’ve done things you didn’t think you could do. Celebrate the small wins you have had in your life so far. Write those down. Nothing is too small. If you want to write something as simple as learning to walk, do it. Being aware of those small wins will give you the confidence you need to know that you have accomplished so much already.
Write down your small and big wins in a journal or in a note on your phone. Do it every time you’ve accomplished something. Then when faced with a huge daunting task, take a look at what you’ve accomplished in the past, to give you confidence. You will surprise yourself.
You may be successful in some part of your life, that you think is not a big deal, but to someone else it really is. Are you a great cook? Some people burn anything they cook. That’s something to be proud of.
If there is a challenge you are facing, surely there is someone who has been in the same situation and succeeded. Realize that the path you want to take in life has been likely done by many others. Search for their website, blog, or find them at a local meet-up.
The power of your mind is more powerful than you think. Everything you do or don’t do in life begins with a thought from your mind.
Photo credit A. Blight