Actually, You Most Certainly Can

Henry Ford said “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” Mr. Ford was right about that. 

 

I’ve written before about the damaging attitude of “can’t”. Telling yourself that you can’t do something is about the most limiting thing you can say to yourself. Believing something is beyond your capabilities almost certainly makes it true. Even thinking you can’t do something is enough to stop your progress or at least slow it down.

 

Thinking you “can” on the other hand is often enough to push you past obstacles, whether real or imagined. 

 

Telling yourself that you can’t is habit forming. Once you convince yourself that you have limitations you’ll actually behave as if you have those limitations. But you most likely don’t. In fact you’ve probably blown past those limitations at other times of your life. You’ve already proven than you can do it, you only have to remind yourself of your past success. Sometimes you have to remind yourself often. Again and again. 

 

You may not have overcome the exact obstacle in the past that you are currently facing but you’ve overcome so many obstacles in the past that one more new one hardly matters. You blew past the other ones and this one is more of the same. 

 

Remember how tough those past obstacles seemed…..before you ran over them? Think of how many things you do today that you once thought you would never be able to do. Think of all the times in the past when you thought you couldn’t only to discover that you actually could. 

 

Thinking that you can’t do something causes you to forget about all the things you CAN do. Thinking you can’t tricks you into not even trying. Imagine all the things you can do that you wouldn’t be doing if you had fallen for that trick in the past. 

 

People of unlimited success think in terms of CAN! People of more limited success think in terms of CAN’T. Which one are you?


It matters that you know the answer to that question because while you won’t ever just think your way to success you most certainly will think your way to failure if you’re thinking in terms of can’t. 

The Vortex of Can’t

I had the misfortune recently of sitting in on a meeting that was quickly swallowed up by the Vortex of Can’t. Everyone, not nearly everyone, I mean everyone, was discussing the things that they can’t do. This by the way was with a group of people who are paid to do what they can. 

 

After 45 minutes of listening to this I announced I was leaving the meeting. I suggested they invite me back to another meeting when they were ready to discuss what they could do. I haven’t heard anything from the group yet. 

 

I believe that success in any endeavor is about momentum. Momentum is actually pretty easy to build and that’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s also easy to build momentum in the wrong direction. 

 

Discussing all the things you can’t do in a planning meeting is building momentum in the wrong direction. 

 

The most successful people think in terms of what they can do while less successful people think in terms of what they can’t do. The difference in that thought process produces very different results. 

 

We are all faced from time to time with seemingly insurmountable obstacles. We must never allow those obstacles to prevent us from overcoming all the obstacles that we CAN. The fact that we may see a challenge somewhere down the road must not stop us from beginning the journey. Many things can happen on the path to success. By the time you reach the roadblock it may be gone or you may have gained some knowledge or skills that make it possible to work your way around it. 

 

Never let the fact that you’re not yet certain how your success story will end stop you from beginning to write it.

 

Henry Ford said that “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” 

 

Success begins with a mindset of CAN, it’s not possible to simply think your way into success but you most certainly can think your way out of it. 


Focus on CAN and it will be far more likely that you actually will!