I Can't. Really??

How many times in a day do we say “I can’t” either verbally or mentally?  I used to say it a lot.  Many times I didn’t even recognize how many things I was saying “I can’t” to…

I have always considered myself an open-minded and adventurous person.  I didn’t think I had many limitations other than the limitations I thought I wanted, and I definitely didn’t think I made excuses for my choices!  However, as I became more aware I started to realize how much work I need to do in this area…

There are lots of great speakers and authors who address the topic of living excuse free and overcoming limiting beliefs.  I found work by Kathy Caprino, Mike Dooley, Vishen Lakhiani, and Dr. Wayne Dyer really helpful.  As I learned more I challenged myself to really examine my thoughts and decisions.  It was eye opening!

How did I do this?  I started with identifying every time I verbally or mentally said “I can’t” or something similar like “I shouldn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t”.  Each time I would stop myself and say, I choose ____.  In some of these cases the choices made sense, but the mental shift from “I can’t have another piece of chocolate” to “I choose not to have another piece of chocolate” was powerful. 

Approaching a situation from the standpoint of “I can’t” renders us powerless over the situation… like something else is holding us back.  The harsh reality is that “I can’t” is an excuse… when we say “I can’t” do XXX, we are excusing ourselves from the decision process.  Approaching a situation from the standpoint of “I choose” empowers us to think of all the choices we have and reminds us that that we have the power to make the decision.

After tackling the mental shift from “I can’t” to “I choose”, the heavy lifting starts.  The things we say “I can’t” to are often symptoms of underlying beliefs that limit us.  We all have them… when I found myself saying “I can’t” and then said “I choose”, I looked at my choice and asked “why?”.  Some of the beliefs I identified were in the areas financial abundance, specific career paths, my creative abilities, and body image.  Wow did these realizations unlock some opportunities for positive change!

A great example involved my transformation.  Before deciding to leave Deloitte I found myself saying “I can’t leave this career I’ve spent my whole adult life building” and “I can’t turn my back on such great financial stability” and “I can’t think of what I’ll do next”… when I started to say “I choose” and examined the “why?” behind the choices, the next step became pretty obvious!  I empowered myself to choose an excuse free next chapter without limits!

If you’re still reading, I’m guessing this resonates with you.  Do you want to a life without excuses or limits that hold you back?  I challenge you to make the mental shift from “I can’t” to “I choose”, and start the journey to unlock your true potential!  I’d love to hear what you find!