It’s a lot easier to say I can’t, than it is to say, I’m scared. But that’s precisely what we are really saying when we hide from success and ignore new opportunities. Today’s goal is to provide understanding of how ‘I Can’t’ damages you.
If you fall victim to a negative ‘I Can’t’ attitude, it can poison nearly every aspect of your life. It can affect your business plans, career goals, and even personal relationships. Oh, the horror! In today’s show, I take aim at ‘I Can’t’ and provide 4 steps for putting that attitude in its place.'I can't' is a story we tell ourselves, so we don't have to try. #AllegraIsm
Successful people often tell you that their motivation to keep going and their determination despite any obstacles, are what drove that them to be successful in their lives and in their business. And they think that this is summed up perfectly with their ‘I can’ attitude.
They believe keeping a positive mindset gave them the energy and the determination that they needed to stick to their plan so they could build the life that they wanted.
Negative self-talk is dangerous and ‘I can’t is related to it. If you develop a negative, ‘I can’t’ attitude, it can invade and pollute every area of your life. It can affect how you build your career, how you build relationships, and how you interact with people who matter.If you keep telling yourself, you can't do things, eventually you will believe yourself.
And more than that, if you keep telling yourself you can’t do things you will lose the desire to try. Have you ever wanted to attend an event, but you didn’t go because you thought you wouldn’t know anyone when you got there? Can you think of a time when there was an incredible opportunity to do something you were really excited about but you didn’t attempt it because of fear?
Moving forward, I want you to face your fears, punch that negative attitude in the throat and say ‘I can’. This is especially important if we can identify distinct benefits to you on the other side of that fear. So instead of getting discouraged before you even have a reason, think about your abilities and strengths and push ahead.
What Does ‘I Can’t’ Really Mean
When someone says I can’t, what they’re really saying is I’m afraid to fail, so I won’t try. Think about that for a moment.
I am much more comfortable saying I can’t about something. I’m more comfortable saying that than saying, I’m afraid to fail, so I won’t try. Many of us don’t want to admit we’re afraid to fail, even though that might be true.
But if there’s an opportunity to do something that I really want to do, why wouldn’t I want to try? If there’s a way I could improve my life, my family’s life, the lives of my clients, the lives of my circle, why wouldn’t I want to take that risk?
The answer was hidden in that question. Trying new things, stepping out of your comfort zone, doing something different when you can’t guarantee the result, all of those things involve a certain amount of risk. Not all of us are comfortable with risk.
Most new situations or opportunities don’t involve a life-threatening risk, but fear and not knowing the outcome of something can paralyze you, in the same way that a life threatening risk can. Fear prevents you from trying anything new and it’s often difficult to break that cycle.
I can’t are the words that come out of someone’s mouth, when they’re overwhelmed by doubters, they’re struggling with low self esteem, and they have stopped believing in their goals and dreams.
A strong support system that includes friends, family members, maybe a coach, and others who believe in your goals can help you change your mindset and re-connect you with what you really want. If you don’t feel like you have a support system, look for it, your support system is ready for you when you look for it.
I can’t is a way of denying yourself something because you’re not certain that you’ll be able to achieve your goal and you’re afraid to disappoint. Sometimes you’re afraid of disappointing others, sometimes you’re afraid of disappointing yourself. In the end, the only person we do disappoint is ourselves if we don’t try.
It’s natural to doubt your ability and expertise sometimes, especially when you’re faced with something that’s brand new. The difference is what you do to deal with the self doubt. Those with a positive attitude know how to turn their negative thoughts into positive actions. Did you catch that?Thoughts lead to actions, but we think it's the other way around.
Thoughts lead to actions, but we think it’s the other way around. We believe that we’ll act a certain way and then we’ll think that way also, but your thoughts determine how you behave.
So those who have a positive attitude, can take negative thoughts and turn them into positive actions. Rather than excluding themselves from something that they really want to do, they look forward to challenges because they don’t have fear. Here are four steps that you can take to help punch that self doubt in the throat and become more action-oriented.
Punch Self-Doubt in The Throat
Second, find ways to improve your skills. If there is a skill gap you can close it. Take some courses, read some ebooks, take some continuing-ed classes, or shadow someone who you think has great skills. There are ways that you can gain confidence in the skills that you need to move forward on your goal. You don’t have to accept that the skill level you have today is the highest skill level you’ll ever have at that task. That’s the awesome thing about skills, they can be improved.
Third, think about past successes. times when we have done well in the past are so delicious. And words of praise are magical for helping you improve your self-esteem. Think about times when you were successful and find ways to reconnect with how you felt in those moments. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before, but I have a folder. on my computer called my atta-girl folder. And when someone sends me nice words, I keep them and refer back to them at those moments when I’m having self-doubt. My att-girl folder of praise gives me the strength to punch self-doubt in the throat.
Finally, and this is going to sound a little unusual, the fourth way that you can combat self-doubt is to find someone who’s better at the thing that you’re beating yourself up about. For instance, I routinely create content, podcasts, videos, blog posts, you name it. And I often delay publishing the content because I don’t have a graphic to go with them. Now I know that sounds nonsensical, but graphics can be a barrier for me.
I can create a graphic, but it takes a really long time. And because it takes a really long time, I put it off. So there can be work that I’ve created that I have not put out there where it could help someone simply because of graphics. Well guess what? There are a lot ofpeople who are really good at graphics. It helps me with my self-doubt and my negative thoughts if I give that task to someone who’s better at it.
It doesn’t mean anything about me that I want someone else to create my graphics. It doesn’t have anything to do with anything that matters. All I’m doing is recognizing that’s not where I want to spend my energy, and then choosing somebody who is better suited to take care of it.
Don’t take criticism or mistakes personally. Find ways to improve your skills. Find ways to think about past successes and reconnect with them. And then find someone to do the stuff that you think is not in your wheelhouse.
These tips will help you so the next time there’s a new opportunity or something new comes along. You can take a moment, take a deep breath and think about what benefits could be waiting for you on the other side of that fear. And instead of saying I can’t, you can say I can.
You can download my I Can checklist as a quick reminder of the things you can do to punch self-doubt in the throat.