Four simple words: you can’t do it. Something we have likely all heard before. Or thought to ourselves. Whether the voice comes from inside or outside of you, it may be the perfect reason you actually CAN. Can’t is a terrible word that we should all eliminate from our vocabulary.
How many opportunities or dreams have you scrapped because someone told you “you can’t do it?” Not applying to a reach college. Not submitting your resume to a job you don’t have the right qualifications for. Not starting that company or inventing that product you think could really make a difference. Most people who say, “you can’t do it” are simply reflecting their own self-doubt.
There’s a great way to take people’s negative energy of “you can’t do it” and use it as fuel.
First, make sure it is something you REALLY want. There’s no benefit in proving someone wrong just to prove them wrong. You should show people you can really do the things you care about.
Next, visualize it happening. Focus on what that end result is. Think about how you will feel at the end. Likely it is: proud, happy, elated, satisfied, and achieved. Write down your dreams and goals.
After, come up with a plan. Usually, when we are told we “can’t” do something, it is a change we are hoping to make. Change doesn’t happen overnight and without work. Make your plan. Break it down into attainable goals, and go for it! You can always come up with a plan B, C, D, E, F…
Sometimes, we are the ones telling ourselves “I can’t do it.” Are you actually not convinced that you can? Or are you just afraid? Try talking to yourself like you’d talk to one of your friends. Be positive, be encouraging, be kind.
Think about how much incredible history, technology, and people we would have missed out on if everyone listened to “you can’t do it.” There was a woman who suggested they should be able to vote, a woman who ran for president, a woman currently going to be on the ballot as vice president. There was someone who thought we should be able to use the Internet and phones without wires. There have been scientists that have developed medications and treatments that ended up being lifesaving even though they likely sounded crazy in the beginning. If these people had listened to someone saying “you can’t do it,” our lives would be completely different today.
We are all living through something we probably thought we “couldn’t do.” The lock down from this global pandemic really began here in the United States in March. It is now October. For 7 months, we have been: staying home, not going into work, not eating at restaurants, not traveling, not seeing loved ones, and giving up so very much. I’m sure we all had our doubts on how long we could sustain this when it started, and here we are… still finding new fun and creative ways to stay connected and even healthy.
Perhaps it’s been something else in the past. Have you completed a fitness challenge? Done a Whole 30? Saved enough money for a fabulous trip? Stood up to a bully in person or online? We have small victories all the time that may be plagued by “you can’t do it” attitudes from ourselves or others.
Take “you can’t do it” as a challenge and prove people wrong. We are all more capable than we believe. Start that company. Make your big move. Change your course. Dream big.