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Holding Yourself Back with the “I Can’t” Trap

Posted Jul 23 2010 8:10am

How often do you tell yourself I can’t when it comes to something fitness or weight management related?  How often do you convince yourself that those “I Can’t” statements are really “I will never” statements?  If you happen to do this often, you likely are falling into the “I Can’t” trap.  Below you will find a breakdown for 3 different types of “I Can’t” statements and some tips on how to change your statements from “I Can’t” to “I couldn’t, but now I can”.

The Lack of Commitment “I Can’t”

These are the “I Can’t” statements you tell yourself when you have desire to accomplish something but you haven’t truly committed to making it happen.  Maybe you have thought about working on it or even have but only halfheartedly, but you haven’t made it a priority.

The No Idea How to Start “I Can’t”

These are the ones where you have no idea how to get started. These ones exist because you lack the knowledge about the action steps needed.

The Failure in the Past “I Can’t”

These are the ones where you tried in the past but you just didn’t quite succeed. Now you fear that feeling of failure so you resign the task to be something you will never be able to accomplish.

Tips to Change from “I Can’t” to “I Couldn’t, but Now I Can”

  • List the reasons you want to accomplish the task. Sometimes identifying why makes a world of difference.
  • Break the task down into small action steps. Sometimes we overwhelm ourselves when the task seems too big.
  • Make each action step as a short term goal and the “I Can’t” as your long term goal. Remember to make them SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time Framed ).
  • Look at failed attempts as moments to learn what you can change during your next attempt.
  • Celebrate ALL moments where you make progress towards accomplishing the task. Come up with a way to reward yourself for making progress.
  • Take the time to learn about what it would take to accomplish the task. Research, consult professionals, seek out those who have, etc.
  • Seek out support.  Ask friends, family, online communities, etc. to help keep you accountable.

Questions for You:

  • Which “I Can’t” statements are you holding yourself back with?
  • What tips do you have for those who are caught in the trap?


Quote of the Day: “Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine.” ~ Ralph Waldo

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