How To Change Your Thinking From… ‘I Can't’ to ‘I Have’

Apr 04, 2022

Are you tired of saying I can’t?

How often do you catch yourself thinking or saying you can't do something? If you haven't been paying much attention to it before, try spending a day being mindful of it. 

The frequency with which you lie to yourself is likely to scare you!

The idea that you can't do something or you can't have something is honestly one of the most insidious thoughts that can ever pass through your mind. The very idea of "can't" is a huge reason why many people, not just you, can't seem to finish the things they start or want to have in life.

When you find yourself thinking the word "can't" regularly, then it's time to alter your thinking. You might just find that in many instances when you're telling yourself you can't, it really means you just don't want to overcome something (usually an internal challenge) enough.

Think about what's (truthfully) holding you back.

Most of the time, it’s a minor difficulty ahead of you, but it’s one that creates enough resistance to say to yourself that you can’t overcome it.

If you decide to put in just a bit of work and energy – to step outside your comfort zone, to ask for help, or try approaching it from a new angle - you can usually get over these humps; and the result… you've made something happen.

When you look at what's ahead of you that you desire but can't accomplish, consider how you get around it, over it, or through it rather than only seeing the blockage.

You don’t sail through a storm, you sail around it, when you look at life with this vantage point, the idea that you can't become possibly I can.

Now that you're in a phase of believing in possibility, you're in a much more empowered place, but you still have to keep moving up the ladder of higher thinking.

Thinking you can is a great place to be in, but it is just the starting point.

The next question to ask yourself is ‘Why am I still not doing, what I now know can be possible?’

Having a belief of possibility that doesn't turn into action means nothing much is going to happen. Now is the time to step into the discomfort of possibility becoming reality

This is the phase where your can-do attitude will change to "I will". As you begin to tell yourself I will do it, you get a better look at what it is, that you're actually going to do, thinking through how you are going to get it done.

It’s time to brainstorm

Write down your goals, and then start listing the steps necessary to achieve them. Spending time on planning isn't dreaming any longer, it’s an investment of thought, this is the designing stage that generates the energy and enthusiasm you will need.

If you're a list person this is perfect, list every single detail of what has to be done, so you feel accomplishment by ticking off even the smallest of steps.

Don't linger here, though.

You can easily get caught up in a state of 'analysis paralysis'. Succumbing to over-thinking and over-planning can set you back into thinking 'I can't' again. Your plans need you to start taking physical action.

Once you do start taking action, you're truly living life in the present. You let go of the fear that surrounded and instilled the idea that you couldn't.

Starting off with baby steps is fine, doing one thing at a time, especially if you're doing something new or uncomfortable. Consider, this how you learned how to walk as a child, and look what you can do now with your body!

You might find other obstacles further down the path, but don't give them any power. Remember the earlier obstacles you mastered as a weak child. Walking, stumbling, jumping, running, skipping, dribbling a ball, catching whilst running. You may have fallen over hundreds of times, but you’re not still refusing to walk upstairs because it was hard learning all those years ago.

Figure it out as you go, all the while constantly moving forward, remember what you are working towards, and remember how hard some things were as a kid, but with persistence, you conquered them all. Consider this little conundrum…

The day will come when you are no longer doing whatever it was you set out to do… because you have ‘achieved’ it.

Doing that first step towards your big goal isn’t the obstacle now, it’s the next unobtainable desire that you’re reaching for - that you might be telling yourself 'You Can't'.

So rinse and repeat, acknowledge that...

  • Your initial fears were overcome.
  • You created a new belief that you COULD do something.
  • You made, laid, and lived out your plan.
  • You executed those plans into a tangible result.
  • You're now you're seeing, enjoying, and living the successes of all your effort.

Consider all the areas of your life that might benefit from this approach to sailing around your discomforts – sure with a trusty crew to help you, you can sail into it, head on - but if you don’t have access to those individuals, you can try other ways of facing your ‘CANT’s’ on your own.

In time you'll see that moving your thinking from “I can't’, to physically doing, [the can’t] is irrelevant, as it’s already become an ‘I HAVE’.