You Can't Or You Won't?
The words we use are extremely powerful and provide deep insights into our internal world. When we study them we can learn about things about ourselves we otherwise wouldn’t have access to.
One of the words that many parents don’t allow in their household is the word “can’t”. And it makes sense. When we use the word ‘can’t’ we don't take ownership for whatever it is, leaving us with what’s leftover and choosing to have little say in the matter.
The problem is, people still like complaining about how unfair the world is that they ‘can’t’ do something. But the truth is they’ve just chosen to forfeit their own attempts at making it happen for themselves.
If you really diagnose the instances where people say they can’t do something, it’s usually not about that. It’s more often that they’re unwilling to endure the consequences, make the tradeoff, or accept the conditions that would make it happen.
For example: “I can’t afford it”. What that really means is “I’m unwilling to move to a cheaper apartment, change my lifestyle, and negotiate a payment plan where I can cover the investment.”
Or “I can’t quit my job” really means that you’re unwilling to expose yourself to the possibility of not having a stable income and risk financial hardship, receiving criticism from loved ones, and accepting the identity of being unemployed as you transition.
You can do anything. Seriously. The reason it doesn’t feel that way is because everything is a tradeoff and some tradeoffs are just unfathomable and morally unacceptable. But when you realize what you’re currently getting is what you’re currently choosing, because you are choosing it over however else it could be, you realize how quickly things can change.
That’s where I want to encourage you to shift your thinking by shifting your language. When you want to say “I can’t”, instead say “I won’t”. It removes the power from your external circumstances and allows you to hold it yourself. And when this makes you feel empowered because you realize you’re choosing everything in your life, you’ll gain the courage you need to start making new decisions that better support you and the life you want to live.
If you’ve been telling yourself that you can’t be more consistent, you can’t change how busy and overstretched you are, or you just can’t motivate yourself to do what you know you need to do, I’d challenge you to see if you’ve even tried. If you’re willing to try and take ownership, the Super Habits System is designed to help you establish the harmonious, high-quality, productive life you desire in just 21 days.