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Kick the "I Can't" Habit: You Can!

Written by Rebecca Okamoto on April 6, 2014

What's the difference between "can" and "cannot"?


Go to dictionary.com and one definition of cannot is, "have no alternative but to... " And what does "no alternative" mean?

No choice.

I wonder... how many times do we say, "I can't" when we really do have a choice?

For example, a friend of mine Matt told me he can't small talk. So I posed this question to him, "If your son was being bullied, and it would only stop if you small talked with a roomful of strangers, would you do it?" Matt instantly said, "Of course I would. I would do anything to protect my son."

Then Matt looked at me and said, "I could small talk if I had to. The idea of small talk terrifies me. So I don't ." Matt had a choice, he just didn't realize it.

How often are we like Matt, and say "I can't" when we really mean "I can, but I have a reason not to...."

I can, but ....

...I don't want to

...I don't know how to

...I am unwilling to

...I don't like to

...I am afraid to

...It's not worth doing

...I don't have the time, energy, interest, money... to

Are there things you'd like to do, but believe you cannot? The next time your say, "I can't" take a minute and then restate it as "I can, but..." Take the first step in making a choice.

Let's give ourselves more choices. We can.

Looking for more choices? Take a look at Are these 2 Words Stopping You? for some insights.

Evoke contributors also weigh in on Do You HEAR Me? The Difference between Listening and Hearing

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