I Can’t Or I Can?

I Can't Or I Can

It’s interesting how the mindsets of people who, on the face of it, appear equally capable, can be so different.

Some are what we would call empowered, in other words confident in their ability, in control of their life and willing to take on life’s challenges.

Others are disempowered, in other words struggling with a feeling of powerlessness, not feeling in control of their life and tending to shrink from life’s challenges.

So what is it that separates the empowered from the disempowered?

“When you know yourself you are empowered. When you accept yourself you are invincible.”
– Tina Lifford

You may have heard the saying:

“There are those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and others who wonder what happened!”
The fundamental difference between the ‘makers’ and the ‘wonderers’ is where they turn to find solutions to their challenges or problems.

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The empowered types look within. They are self aware individuals who trust themselves and have confidence in their own abilities. They enjoy a special relationship with what I call their inner voices or inner beings. Furthermore, hey believe they have an important part to play in the world, no matter that they are one in billions.

When challenges arise they turn to their trusted inner beings to find a solution or a way forward in the knowledge that they have the answer, even if it might take a little time to materialise. They know that they can make anything happen if they try hard enough.

The disempowered types look externally. They lack trust in their own abilities and therefore depend on others, fate, luck or even divine intervention for help. They feel insignificant as one amongst billions and therefore see the concept of creating their own future as something of an impossible dream and not worth the effort.

Disempowered types use the word “can’t” frequently. It is a reflection of their feeling of relative insignificance and powerlessness in an uncompromising and unpredictable world.I Can't Or I Can

Empowered types, on the other hand, rarely use the word “can’t”. They know that everything is possible in a world of opportunity, although some things require special resources, planning or effort.

Let’s take a look at the difference in language used by the two types of people when confronted by similar circumstances (we’ll use E for empowered and D for disempowered):

D: “I can’t attend the meeting at the community hall tonight because my partner wants me to take her out for dinner.”
E: “I’ve chosen not to attend the meeting at the community hall tonight as I would rather go to dinner with my partner instead.”
D: “I can’t do public speaking. I just don’t have it in me.”
E: “I haven’t yet learnt the art of public speaking but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
D: “I just can’t lose weight. I’ve tried everything and nothing works.”
E: “I haven’t yet lost weight. I’m still researching a method that will work well for me.”
D: “I can’t make a decent living. The economy is down and there are no decent jobs for people like me.”
E: “I am looking at some exciting ways to bring in a decent living. When the economy is down, interesting opportunities open up for people like me.”
D: “I can’t expect to get a promotion as my family were not wealthy enough to provide me with a tertiary education.”
E: “I’ve told my boss that I want a promotion and am willing to study part time if that will help to achieve it.”

You may be seeing a pattern emerge here.

Whereas disempowered types tend to ‘throw up their hands’ and resort to blaming others or justifying why they can’t do something, empowered types acknowledge the situation and resolve to do something positive about it.

Disempowered types use the word “can’t” to explain that something is impossible to achieve because of a disadvantage that is no fault of their own, empowered people use language that opens up the prospect of achieving it with access to certain resources (“Not yet…”, “Working on…”, “Looking at…”, etc.)

When the word “can’t” is used, creativity is barred and all progress is halted. “Can’t” is used to declare that there is no other solution and that nothing else can be done.

Perhaps you find yourself using the word “can’t” a lot.

If so, understand that you are immediately shutting down your inherent ability to find a solution and create a way forward. Ask yourself whether blaming others or your circumstances instead, is just an easy way out?

Try replacing “can’t” in your vocabulary with what you really mean, such as: “I don’t want to…”, “I’m not confident in my ability to…” or “I haven’t yet learned how to…”

I think you’ll find that a whole new world of possibility opens up to you!

And by the way … yes, you can!

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