I used to believe that ‘I can’t’ was a thought that I needed to write again. It was a part of me that I didn’t like. I needed new thoughts.
But then I began to listen to this voice.
‘I can’t do this. I can’t write. I can’t teach. I can’t I can’t I can’t.’
Then I had a strange experience. I SAW myself saying this. It was like I was out of my body and I SAW myself saying these things.
When I saw this, I also saw that I needed help.
So I asked: ‘how can I help you?’
Suddenly I felt OK again. I felt someone had heard me. I felt that I could DO something to help me.
The first thing to do is to ask: is this true?
For example, you may believe that you can’t give a presentation… but then you remember that you gave a presentation before and it was OK.
OR maybe you think ‘I can’t’ because you haven’t done it before. Then WHO SAYS that you can’t do it? You don’t know! Every time I say to myself ‘I don’t think I can do this,’ another part of me says: ‘Hang on, listen to yourself: I don’t think I can do this…. so how do you know? Have you tried? No? So try! Then see.’
The second thing is to remember: ‘Can’t isn’t forever’
So, maybe you ‘can’t’ understand relative clauses in English. Or you need to look up words when you read this. That’s fine. When we learn something new, maybe we can’t do them, because they are new. Of course you can’t do it! It’s new, you’re learning!
‘Can’t’ isn’t forever. It’s hard at first, then you study, you learn, and it becomes easy and suddenly YOU CAN.
So be patient with yourself. Know that you can learn and it will be OK.
Oh, and it’s OK to ask for help. Asking for help is a part of learning. Sometimes if we don’t ask for help, we don’t learn. So that’s OK too.
Now I like it when I say ‘I can’t’
Why? Because now I see: I am just in a place where I am learning something new and there is a part of me that is scared about that.
And that’s ok.
It’s OK it be scared. It’s OK to learn. It’s OK to ask for help.