How many times a day do you say the word can’t? Go on, have a little tally up, I’ll wait here.


I probably say the word can’t at least 5 times a day.

“I can’t do that.”

“I can’t afford that.”

“I can’t get there.”


In reality, I can.


Can’t is a word to denote a physical incapability.


“I can’t physically fly.” (Unaided of course, I completely understand the purpose and premise of airplanes!)

“I can’t fit into a size 6.” Much to my disappointment, I physically cannot force my size 12 backside into a pair of size 6 jeans, with all the will in the world, it’s just not going to happen – even if I dieted extremely, my body is just not destined to be a size 6 (trust me, I’ve tried!)


Can’t is often confused with won’t.


“I can’t afford to go out for dinner tonight” well I can, but I’d rather not spend that money on food, when I’ve got to save for new windows. So in reality what I am saying is “I won’t go out for dinner tonight because I have that money earmarked for something else.”


“I can’t run a marathon.” Ok, I might not be physically fit enough to run one right this second, but if I start training, of course I can run a marathon, what I’m really saying is “I won’t run a marathon because I don’t want to try – also, I’m very lazy” (that last bit is very specific to me!)


People often use the word can’t as an excuse, rather than admitting to themselves that they can, but just do not want to.


I’ve done it numerous times, “I can’t leave the office on time to get to that event.” I could leave the office on time, I just chose not to. I wouldn’t tell my boss I had to leave on time, I wouldn’t pack my things away at half 5, but I had said “I can’t come” to my friends.


“I can’t do anymore burpees.” Of course I can, I just don’t want to! Can’t only comes into play here, when I’m lying in a heap on the floor, dry heaving because I’ve already vomited from exhaustion and there is literally nothing left.


Henry Ford said, ‘Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.’ It’s all about mind-set, mind over matter. Tell yourself that you can and propel yourself into success, or tell yourself that you can’t and stay exactly where you are.


Can and can’t are very powerful words. Saying out loud I can’t … confirms subconsciously that you aren’t even going to try. Saying I can’t is admitting defeat before you’ve even left the starting line. It’s the only real way to fail.


You might not be successful first time, second time, or even third time, but eventually, if you keep trying, you will be able to say, ‘I can’ just like that little train in Dumbo, “I think I can, I think I can…” if he’d have said “I can’t” and stopped chugging up that hill, that would have been a pretty poor Disney film, don’t you agree?




Nicole x

Published by Nicole Bradley