I Can’t: Two Words Never to Say to Yourself

Can or Can't

Your Choice: Can or Can’t

Why Never Say “I Can’t?” Because It Matters

If you are looking for a reason that you are not achieving the results you want, listen for how many times the words “I can’t” come out of your mouth. “I can’t” is one of the most powerful phrases in the English language for doing nothing productive. It is the most self-defeating phrase I know. People who say “I can’t” a lot, do nothing to create positive change, and thus, have nothing but the same thing they have always had.

Count How Many Times You Say Them

Count how many times you say the words “I can’t.” If you want to challenge yourself further, count how many times you think of doing something differently, and you think the words “I can’t.” Thinking and saying this counterproductive phrase makes you ineffective, if not paralyzed by your words. If you say it a lot, people will avoid you and know that they will not count on you because you can’t count on yourself. Saying “I can’t” repeatedly is debilitating at best.

What Are You Truly Saying?

When you automatically reply with this phrase, have you ever thought about what you are truly saying? You’re giving up before you weigh all your options about whether or not you can do a task or not. You’re in Auto-Surrender mode. You will never get anything accomplished of any new value because you give up too early.

Count How Many Times You Hear Them

Consider your environment. Your environment can propel you forward or hold you back. It can also serve as one of your biggest excuses. Listen carefully to other people and count how many times you hear your friends, your co-workers, and your family members say, “I can’t.” Whether you know it or not, these chance words that you hear throughout the day influence you. The more you hear people you respect say “I can’t,” the more you will emulate them and say it yourself. Maybe you associate with people who “can’t” and you become just like them. While changing other people is difficult at the least, you can become aware of how others are using this phrase. You can also limit the amount of time you are around these negative-minded people.

Substitute A Different Phrase

Instead of automatically surrendering anytime a challenge seems insurmountable, choose a different phrase such as “I can.” You will be surprised about how this simple adjustment will empower you to do new activities. If it is something you don’t want to do, say, “I’ll consider it.” The ball is then in your court as whether you want to do this instead of whether or not you can do the activity.

Ban “I Can’t” From Your Vocabulary

The next challenge is to ban these words from your vocabulary. The question then becomes, do you want to feel empowered or wallow in self-inflicted victimhood? The choice is yours. Your self-talk can help you succeed and live the life you want, or it can lead you to a life of victimhood and poverty. What you say to yourself repeatedly matters. It will decide how your life turns out. If you truly want to do something different with our life, never say these two words again and don’t tolerate others saying them in your presence.


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Michael Neely

My name is Michael Neely and I am an entrepreneur, blogger, FOREX trader, coin collector and businessman. I have also been known as a waiter, bartender, Series Three (Commodities and Currencies Options and Futures). I currently live in New England with my beautiful fiancée, Patsy and Pip, our Jack Russell terrier.

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