“Clear your mind of ‘can’t.'”~Samuel Johnson
I hear it from my children. I hear it from my clients. I hear it from my family members and friends. I hear it from myself. “I can’t do that.” “It will never work.”
How often do we stand in our own way with our beliefs that something can’t be done, or at least not done by us? How often do we limit our possibilities and perhaps not even try something because we already know that we can’t do it?
There are many things we currently do, and do without awareness, that many years back was a “can’t.” We didn’t let it stop us then, and now they are all “cans.” We can walk. We can add. We can talk. We can swim. We can read. The list is endless – and yet somewhere in the world there is most likely someone who for each of these things is saying “I can’t.”
Just as limiting is “You can’t.” That’s a phrase that we may use too often when speaking with those who work with us, live with us, and interact with us. We limit ourselves, our children, our direct reports, and our colleagues with the simple word “can’t.”
Instead of “can’t,” how about “What if I could?” or “It’s possible” or “Maybe?” All of these offer options and possibilities, and clear our minds of “can’t.”
Where are you telling yourself you can’t? Where are you saying “can’t” to someone else? What can you say instead?
Find your next (or most recent) “can’t” and turn the “can’t” around. Replace it with “What if” or “Maybe” and see what happens.