I received an email this morning from a friend, saying she’d thought about me when she read the article she’d attached. It had to do with changing negative attitudes by changing our language. I was thrilled and honored that the item made her think of me (thanks for the compliment, Margie!)
The article, written by a fitness and nutrition coach, deals with the words, “I can’t.” The author feels particularly challenged working with a new client, who has 75 pounds to lose. It’s not the amount of weight that is the hurdle: it’s the woman’s mental attitude. The client sees the world in terms of things she can’t do: she can’t exercise because she has a bad knee; she can’t find a large variety of fruits and vegetables at her small, local market.
Can you see the barriers this person is creating for herself with the words she uses?It amazes me how we do this to ourselves in so many areas of our life, be it weight loss, continuing our education, or changing our spending habits. We set our own limitations and create our own failures with our attitude, and the words we choose to express how we feel.
For many, many years, I told myself that I just wasn’t a very crafty person. Oh, I could write well, play the guitar, sing a lovely song with the best of them, etc. But I had no talent to do handcrafts or artistic things. My creative spirit was stifled by my self-imposed limitations.
When I decided to learn quilting, I struggled against that inner critic that kept saying, “You don’t have talent for artistic projects.” I can’t tell you how many times I cried and thought, “Oh, what’s the use? I’ll never be any good at this!” Then one day, it dawned on me that it doesn’t matter whether I’m good at something or not. What matters is that I enjoy the process - and I sure do.
A creative, artsy person was born! Now I look through craft magazines and know I can create any project I see, given enough time and patience. I likely won't win any prizes, and I just don't care. I'm doing something I told myself I could never do, and that's what matters to me.
Throughout this past decade, I’ve learned that how we think about our life determines how happy we’re going to be living it. If you’re struggling to make changes in your life, take an honest look at your attitude toward the change your seek. Become aware of those subtle ways you tell yourself, “I can’t” -- and change them into the much more powerful phrase, “I CAN!”
Until next time…