In the business of helping people, “I can’t” is a phrase I hear way more often than I would like. In fact, I’d like to never hear it again. A lot of times on the way to our goals the biggest thing standing in our way is ourselves. When we say the words “I can’t” it is like we have hit a stop sign at crossroads. Worse, “I can’t” is like arms crossed, heels dug in, kind of language. This is my problem with “I can’t”. There is no progress, or room for movement. Think of the last time you said, “I can’t”…I bet your arms were crossed!
Whether it is changing our nutrition, “I can’t meal prep”, “I can’t afford to eat healthily”. Changes to working out, “I can’t make time for the gym”, “I can’t lift that”, “I can’t do a pull up”. The list goes on and on. Trust me, I’ just as guilty, our minds are funny things, they don’t love change. A lot of times these are excuses we tell ourselves, “I can’t meal prep”, great order from a company like Kettlebell Kitchen who delivers healthy meals to a gym (or home) every week and all you have to do is heat it up! “I can’t afford to eat healthily”, stop eating out as much and put that money towards cheaper at home meals and go to multiple grocery stores, I do most of my shopping at Aldi (so cheap) and go to others to fill in any missing items I want/need.
Now the gym is where the “I can’t” monster really rears its ugly head. It’s something I hear way too frequently when coaching. Everyone who steps foot into my gym is constantly reassured that any movement can be scaled down to their skill level regardless of ability. That said, while demoing a workout with pull-ups or rope climbs, don’t you know the words “I can’t” come flying out like an out of control Whack-a-Mole game. And there we are, stopped, not moving forward, not progressing, at the crossroads (don’t forget your arms are probably crossed too). Sure, you may not have the ability, YET, to do the given task at hand but you can do something! We need to start changing this language from “I can’t” to more productive talk. Perhaps, “how can I scale that movement down?” Even better, “how do I work towards a pull up”?
Sure, you may not have the acquired the tools or have mastered the skills of a particular movement or nutritional practice. However, there are steps to be taken to get there, just keep moving, one foot in front of the other, asking for help along the way. May your road be filled with yields not stop signs. And may your arms be not crossed, but open to embracing help from others who want to see you succeed on your journey!