Alternate Perceptions Magazine, February 2024
Turn Your “Can’t” Into “How Can I?”
by: Stan Prachniak, MBA
Has there ever been something in your life that you felt like you just couldn’t do? When this happened, did you give up, or did you persist and succeed? If you chose to give up, what led you to make that choice? There’s a good chance that your decision to stop trying was based on a belief you formed at some point in your life.
We have all been there before, whether it was something small and seemingly insignificant or something that you thought was a big deal. You have probably experienced something so challenging in life that conquering it seemed impossible. And at some point feelings of helplessness likely began to creep in, which led you to a decision point—keep trying or give up.
Since one of our main drives in life is to make life easier and/or more pleasurable for ourselves, we generally choose to stop trying rather than expend the mental and physical energy it would take to accomplish a task. Because we are wired to favor the path of least resistance over putting in extra effort, we must consciously choose to challenge ourselves when things get difficult. When self-doubt kicks in and all we can think about are the reasons why we can’t do something, we have to choose to challenge those thought sand beliefs.
So, what can you do when the thought, “I can’t do this,” pops up? First, you have to learn to identify these situations, then you can challenge these thoughts by thinking of the ways that you can do it (whatever your “it” may be). You can control your thoughts by reframing your “can’t” into a “How can I?” By changing your thoughts, you can begin to change your behavior. You begin to shift from a mindset of defeat to a mindset of problem solving—you can choose to control what you do. When you have a “How can I?” mindset, there isn’t much that seems impossible.
Freedom To Change offers a way for you to challenge your beliefs and learn how to turn your “can’t” into a “How can I?” For more information on the Freedom To Change materials, visit www.freedom2change.org.