Don’t say I can’t!

I can’t…I hate those words! My kids tell me this all the time and I just laugh. I remind them that there are some things in life that we can’t do. Examples are: walk around naked in public, fly by jumping off of something, bring people back from the dead, stopping yourself from getting old. Things like that are things that we can’t do. Well, I guess anyone can walk around public naked, but it is strongly discouraged! Most of what we feel and say that we can’t do are just things that we don’t want to do. When we say we can’t do something are we really positive that it cannot be done by us or are we just scared? Maybe we are just being lazy and feel this is a good excuse? Maybe we are afraid to fail and feel we don’t want to let people down? Or we feel that if we end up doing it we are not sure what will come next? Either way, I can’t stand when someone tells me they can’t do something. 

Just the other day I was working with a patient. He has a confidence problem and he was very depressed when he first started. His first session he came in in a wheel chair. I told him we are going to walk back to the room so that I can evaluate you. He said “ I can’t!” I just had surgery! I smiled and said so what…you are going to walk today. It took us 5-10 minutes to get back to the room which is only about 30 feet away, but he did it! We did it! A few weeks later I told him I wanted him to start putting more weight into his leg while he walked with his crutches. Again he said “I can’t!” And again I smiled and said let’s go! He did it! This same patient came in a few weeks later still using his crutches. I again said now we are going to get rid of those crutches and we are going to walk without them. Can you guess what he said? “ I can’t” I might tear my ACL again! We did it though and he thanked me for it. He has since broken every barrier that you would expect and more. He still gives me trouble from time to time, but he doesn’t say I can’t very often anymore. He thanks me each day he is here and tells me how much I have helped him. It makes me feel good to hear that I have changed someone’s perspective of things.

In the past I had used those words quite a bit. I can’t do that because…I always had an excuse. If someone asked me to speak in front of a group of people I would say I can’t. If someone wanted me to work out with them to train for something I would say I can’t. If it made me uncomfortable or I felt like I just didn’t want to do it, I would come up with any excuse as to why I was unable to do it and say I can’t! I finally realized that that is no way to go through life. It is not acceptable to be average and lazy! You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable to be able to grow. It’s the only way you are going to see a change.

I feel that when you are faced with something in life that is difficult the first thing that we want to say is that we can’t do it. We don’t even have to think about it. Those words are mostly an excuse to get out of something. It’s a way to say that I’m too lazy to try. I would rather take the easy way out than actually try to do the right thing. So the next time you are faced with a situation that is easy to use those words, think about what it is that you are trying to do and change it to I will!

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