We hear people say, “I can’t” all the time. If you say you can’t do something, you’ve all but guaranteed that you can’t. It’s one of the best ways to limit yourself, and usually followed by a classic excuse. We see this all the time at the gym, although it’s applicable everywhere. “I can’t lose weight.” “I can’t gain muscle.” “I can’t, I don’t have time.” “I can’t, I don’t have good genetics.” “I can’t, I’m just not like that.”

Starting Asking Yourself a Powerful Question

The next time you hear yourself saying, “I can’t”, stop yourself and ask: “How can I?” Saying “I can’t” stops your train of thought. It prevents you from finding a solution and moving forward. When you make the choice to ask yourself, “How can I?” you will naturally start looking for answers.You will make yourself think. You will spike your creativity and imagination.

“I can’t” prevents people from seeing solutions right in front of their noses, and it completely eliminates the process through which you can find a more complex answer. When you stop saying “I can’t” and start asking yourself, “How can I?”, eventually you will find the answer. And if you don’t know the answer, you’ll eventually become comfortable asking someone else for the answer – the more knowledgeable the person, the better. Think about it. Instead of saying “I can’t lose weight.” Ask yourself “How can I?” If you can’t find it on your own, ask someone else. Ask someone who has lost weight. Ask someone who specializes in helping others lose weight. Guess what? Your chances of success just flew through the roof and you’ll be well on your way to accomplishing things that you prevented yourself from doing before. (And changing your inner circle, by simply communicating with people that have answers you seek. You’ll get fitter friends, and sleep more.)

Step 2

After you can do that, it’s time to take more control over your life by swapping out your excuses, no matter how valid, with “I choose to/not to.” Instead of saying, “I don’t have time”, say “I choose to spend my time doing other things.” Instead of, “I can’t eat healthy”, say, “I choose not to eat healthy.” Go for, “I chose to go to sleep”, instead of “I was too tired.” This creates a massive switch in our language – and by extension our thoughts – from being victims acted on by the world, to beings that make conscious choices. Doing this will wake up your willpower and help make you conscious of all the decisions you actually make on a day to day basis. “I can’t because ________ (excuse)” is not someone making choices, it’s someone being acted upon by outside forces.

Grow Your Willpower and Make Better Choices

Your willpower is like a muscle. The more you are aware of it, the more you use it, the easier it becomes to do things that are hard. When you stop saying, “I can’t” and start asking “How can I?”, you’ll start finding answers. When you stop pairing “I can’t” with an excuse, and start saying “I choose”, you’ll start taking action. Answers and action create incredible transformations. We see it all the time at the gym.

Thanks for reading!


Learn More

To learn more about how we can help you on your fitness journey, click here to set up a Free Intro and follow Parkside CrossFit @parksidecrossfit and owners Connor Green @connorgreen24 and Pamela Matew @pambition.