We all grew up reading “The Little Train That Could.” We are familiar with Henry Ford’s famous quote, “If you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right!”
We all know that without the “I Cant’s” that show up so frequently in our minds, ready to knock us off the path to getting what we want, our lives would be very different indeed. We’d all be winners, and we would all have huge success. So how do we beat defeat?
What you exercise gets stronger. Pump your muscles at the gym every day, and you will have strong muscles. Avoid exercise, and muscles get weak. This is why the “I Can’ts” have so much power — they get lots of practice.
How do we strengthen our “I Cans”? With lots of diligence and determination. The more we can stick with our “I Cans” no matter what the I Can’t bully says the more ability we have to achieve our desires.
Reinforce your “I Cans.” Remind yourself by repeating statements like, Of course I can, I don’t need to listen to that negative voice. It takes 21 consecutive days to change any habit, so don’t get discouraged. Keep at it, and before you know it, your little “I Cans” will strengthen into magnificent voices of freedom, cheering you on to achieving anything your heart desires.
Listen carefully for the “I Cans.” Latch on to them. Even though the “I Can’ts” can be deafening, you know their opposites very well. They reside within you. They often come around with new ideas for you to consider. The “I Cans” show up when you are bursting with the excitement of a new approach to life. You’ve decided it’s time for a change — a new body, a new relationship, a career change, taking a risk.
The “I Cans” have the excitement and enthusiasm of a child. “I Cans” are high energy, and we L-o-v-e having them around. But just as the “I Cans” are ready to begin… The dark sedan quietly rolls up beside you in which the “I Can’ts” are comfortably seated, menacing faces and all. They call your name, slowly getting out of the car, flexing their muscles. They want you to know They have arrived.
The “I Can’ts” — bullies that they are — want to remind you that They are in charge. And when the “I Can’ts” start up with their bullying, the “I Cans” quickly shrink back into retreat.
The conscious mind is where things begin. We have an idea, and we start to imagine would it would be like. We want success — of course we do. A new idea gets us excited, and we say, “I want to Go for this. This is really what I want, and I think I Can do this.” So why do our efforts to get what we want often turn into a boxing match to beat defeat. Why the self-sabotage?
Because those bullies – the “I Can’ts” — rise up from the subconscious where they lie in wait, ready to Re-mind us that we can’t succeed – that we can’t Be a success. The banter of “I Can’t” sounds something like this: You can’t change; this is not for you. Don’t even start to think you have what it takes… who do you think you are?
“May I remind you,” they shout, ” Success is for everyone else, certainly Not for You! This (action, change, innovation) is not safe for you, so don’t even try it.” So our little “I Cans” get beaten down. They aren’t strong enough to stand up to the bully. The “I Can’ts” are so powerful that we give in to them, and then it’s back to the old familiar status quo.
All this being said, know that “I Can’s” are often made of stuck energy. So if you find yourself frustrated, seek the help of a qualified health practitioner. Body-centered therapies such as EFT or other Energy Medicine Techniques can be a great way to remove emotional blocks and beat defeat.