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I Think I Can't, I Think I Can't: A Personal Revelation of the Role that Fear Has Played in My Life

Updated: Jul 13, 2020

How often have you said "I CAN'T!" in your life? And when you did, is it because you really couldn't, you didn't want to or because you were afraid? Did you even take the time to really think about it?

“If you believe you can or you believe you can't, you're right.” - Henry Ford

I'll be honest, I never really thought about the distinction between "I can't" and "I won't" until I began taking an online workout course through #DailyOm. It was the instructor Beth Alexander who brought my attention to her version of the distinction between the two with regards to exercising that really made me think about it. She said that if there are exercises that you "won't" do, honor that if your reasoning has to do with avoiding pain or preventing injury. However, pay attention to the times when you say to yourself that you "can't." She pointed out that often people tell themselves they can't do something when they haven't even tried. It is very common for people to impose limits on themselves through false belief that they aren't capable. When instances of saying "I can't" arose, Beth encouraged you to challenge yourself because you will never know if you can't do something until you try. I never expected a workout class to not only encourage me to get in shape, but cause me to look back on my life and the decisions I've made by saying "I CAN'T."

"If you tell yourself you can't, you won't." - Dean Graziosi

If you're like me, then you've probably said "I can't" quite a bit in your life not really realizing where the motivation was coming from. For me, I came to find out that most of the times I said it had to do with fear and the uncertainty of what would result. It prevented me from trying new things or giving myself new experiences. I've spent the last 10 years or so working on overcoming that fear by encouraging myself to step outside my comfort zone and engage in activities that I had wanted to do in the past but was too afraid. Through this newfound courage, I began taking piano lessons, earned a high yellow sash in Kung Fu, stepped back on the ice after years of not skating, moved several times, applied for different jobs and traveled to different countries. I don't find myself saying "I can't" as much and when I do, I really think about where it is coming from.

Every time I've challenged myself, it's been for the better. I've come to find that the only person standing in my way is myself! So when you tell yourself that you CAN'T, really think about where it's coming from. You might just surprise yourself by doing things you never thought possible!

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