Every time I read this quote, I smile. I think it can be really valuable to have people in your life that you look up to and wish to emulate – whether they are someone you know or someone you see as a “hero.” BUT the one person that can choose to make the biggest impact in your life is YOU.
Recently I have been doing some soul searching on what kind of Coach I want to be. And one of the things I realized is that I don’t really believe in “can’t.” I totally understand won’t, haven’t, don’t want to, nope, not right now and choose not to. But “Can’t” is something I struggle with.
It’s not that I don’t use the term myself. For example, right now I can’t do a ring muscle up. Now, I may never do one, but that will be because I have chosen not to make it a priority, not that I “can’t” ever do one. The truth is, I can’t do one right now. And I know what you are thinking, something along the lines of “Well, what if my shoulder is all janked up? Then I CAN’T do it.” Sorry, I totally don’t buy that. There are ways to work on mobility. There are ways to increase strength or coordination. You may choose not to do something because it could risk injury, but that isn’t the same as “can’t.”
Or let’s look at something I am struggling with right now – starting a business. You had better believe there are a ton of evil little voices in my head telling me all the reasons I can’t do this:
- You are too old to start a business. You can’t do this.
- You are not a natural athlete, what are you doing starting something in the health and wellness field?
- You can’t leave the safety and security of a 40-hour job
- What about health insurance?!?!?
You know what? I’m not letting any of these stop me. There might be roadblocks. In fact, I expect that there will be. I may not be able to do everything the exact way I want – or who knows? Things might change in the middle. But it’s not because I can’t – it is because I am making a different choice.
So, when it comes to people I work with, one of my big goals is to help them figure out what they can do (which is probably a lot more than they give themselves credit for) and what they choose not to do. Choosing not to do something is perfectly okay, but I want people to embrace the power that comes from realizing they have that choice. Saying “that has no interest for me” or “the amount of time that would take is more than I want to invest” is far more empowering that saying,”I can’t.”
Because if you want to, you can.