The other day, my 5 year old was having a hard time tying his shoe. He said, “I can’t do this, Dad!” With a smile I reminded him we don’t say, “I can’t.” Instead we say, “Help please.”
“Can’t” is a word that takes all your power away. It leaves you with no options and feeling defeated. If you must say “can’t” then add the word, “I can’t, yet” There’s hope in that; things can change and you can and will do it eventually.
Here’s a phrase I don’t allow myself to say; “I can’t afford it.” Again, it takes my power away and leaves me feeling hopeless. I feel defeated and my life revolves around scarcity and lack. I simply change that thought into, “I choose not to spend my money on that right now.” This still lets me feel a sense of abundance. As if I could buy that (or anything I want) if I really wanted to but I have different priorities at this moment. Whether it’s true or not, I feel more empowered.
Are you up for the challenge of eliminating, “I can’t” from your language? And don’t tell me you can’t!
Troy Stende uses experiential learning-based leadership programs to help schools develop student leaders and increase student retention. He believes those two things are inseparable and has been helping colleges and universities create connections and strengthen campus community since 1998.