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“I can’t do that.”

“I can’t do that.”

“I can’t even draw a stick figure.”
“I can’t even stand on a skateboard.”
“I can’t play a tune.”
“I can’t type that fast.”
“I can’t…”

Really? Well I have some questions for you:

  • How often have you really tried?
  • How much have you educated yourself about that particular thing you “can’t” do?
  • How much training did you get?
  • How much practice have you put in?
  • Did you make doing whatever it is a priority in your life or were you just expecting to miraculously wake up one day with this new ability?

Because, while it is true some people are more naturally talented at some things than others, most people who are good enough at something for you to notice how good they are at that thing have put in countless hours practicing that thing.

So is it really any surprise that you’re not as good at something as someone who has trained themselves to do something is?

Be very wary of the limitations you place on yourself. Repeatedly telling yourself that you can’t do something, will eventually make it true, simply because you convince yourself to never try.

Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” — Henry Ford

And let’s be frank, perhaps with countless hours of training, you still won’t be as good at something as you want to be — we all have our own areas of difficulty (as well as excellence) — but you will certainly be better than you were when you started. And you will likely have learned something valuable in the process.

You rarely get better at anything without experience. And that also means countless failures.

So don’t say you can’t do it if you haven’t made repeated attempts and failed.

Don’t say you can’t do it if you’ve barely ever even tried.

As a wise person once said, success is 99{c6f8bcce09fa93f9e224a421551caa447514b3108dc88f48a0d3c68e1a538278} failure.

You’ll never do great things unless you make the effort and try.

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Believing in yourself

To believe in yourself is to disconnect from need for positive feedback — or approval — from others as the justification and drive for whatever it is you wish to accomplish.

You have to have such a strong faith in yourself, your abilities, or your idea(s) that you are able to sustain the effort — and maintain the enthusiasm — necessary to succeed, even when you are inevitably presented with challenges along the way.

Others may question you. Doubt you. Reject you. In fact, studies show that anything that is considered new or different faces rejection and criticism — and is often ridiculed before it is accepted.

And this is when you often need to believe in yourself the most in order to overcome the irrationality of groupthink.

If you truly believe in what you’re doing — then you’re not doing it for others or what they think about it — you’re doing it because you believe in yourself and the value of what you have to offer.

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

You need to learn to be the source of your own strength and encouragement. Because if you don’t have a deep down belief in yourself and a confidence in your ability to overcome any obstacles along your path, why will anyone else?

It starts with you. And you can do it.

But you don’t need me to tell you that — because deep down, you already know it.

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The awesome power of asking yourself good questions.

“At the end of the day, the questions we ask of ourselves determine the type of people that we will become.” — Leo Babauta

In yesterday’s post I talked about how changing “If only” statements into “How can I” questions creates a much more positive mindset that leaves one’s subconscious mind free to search for solutions (instead of creating a mental roadblock).

The manner is which one talks to one’s self is not only important in maintaining a positive attitude, when used correctly, it becomes a powerful tool. For example, how one forms questions they ask themselves can have a serious impact on the answers one gets in return. One of the reasons for this is because your subconscious mind doesn’t care what you ask. And it will automatically try to find that answer to your question. This is great. But because your subconscious mind is a bit like a robot, it also doesn’t care if the answer it provides you is (or isn’t) in your own best interest.

Whatever you choose to ask yourself, your subconscious mind will diligently seek an answer to your question. But because your subconscious mind is a bit like a robot, it also doesn’t care if the answer it provides you is (or isn’t) in your own best interest.

So if you ask it a question in the form of a negative, the answer you get will also be in the form of a negative…

Here are some extremes…

  • Why can’t I attract the love of my life?
  • Why can’t I stay in a long-term relationship?
  • Why don’t people think I’m funny?
  • Why don’t more people like me?

— and your subconscious mind will answer, “You can’t [do these things] because….”

Because you asked in the form of a negative, the answer you get back is also in the form of a negative.

If you like to beat yourself up or feel drained or powerless in the world, this is a great way to do it. (I don’t suggest that.)

Don’t be fooled, your question doesn’t have to have a “can’t” or a “don’t” in it to be negative.

For example:

  • Why am I always getting things wrong? (You are always getting things wrong because…)
  • Why do I keep falling for girls/guys that are bad for me? (You keep falling for people who are bad for you because…)
  • Heck, I even did it in a blog post: “Why am I not a better person?” (You are not a better person because…)

So if you want to avoid beating yourself up, pay closer attention to your thought process and take charge of it whenever you have a tendency to form a thought in the negative form vs. the positive. (You may recall that this is 1 of 12 ways to find encouragement, “train or retrain your brain”).

So when you are talking to yourself, always remember to ask yourself empowering questions in the form of a positive:

  • How can I improve areas in my life and get more things right? (You can improve areas in your life by…)
  • What can I do more of (or less of) to attract the love of my life? (You can attract the love of your life by…)
  • How do I attract the right girl/guy for me?
  • How can I be wicked funny like that Zero Dean fellow?
  • How can I become more likable like that dear, dear, friend of mine, Zero Dean?
  • What is Zero Dean’s phone number, because I feel like… whoops! Sorry.

Do you see the difference? Or more importantly, do you feel the difference?

Related:

You are who you choose to be

People will make observations about you based on their own level of understanding. What complicates matters more is that people are hard-wired to judge quickly (it used to be a matter of survival) — and often do so using faulty stereotypes based on their own interpretation of life experiences.

Knowing how faulty the system can be, we should know that what others say or think about us isn’t always true — and yet we often give these things more consideration than they deserve.

In fact, there’s is a good chance that there are people in your life that you allow what they think (about you) to control — to some degree — how you feel about yourself or how you act in their presence (rather than just “being yourself”).

It is a fact that no two individuals interpret an experience in exactly the same way. Any number of people can watch an event take place and none of them will share exactly the same story with exactly the same details about what they saw or felt.

What each of us experiences in life is only an interpretation — our interpretation.

Have you ever witnessed something that didn’t turn out to be what you thought it was? Now imagine that you never realized that it wasn’t what you thought it was. You’d be believing a distortion of reality, but to you it was absolutely true.

No one person can see the world through another person’s eyes or experience the world through another person’s body.

The point is:

You are not what other people say about you. And you are not other people’s opinions of you unless you choose to accept them. You don’t have to let the stories that other people tell about you become your own.

It’s your life and you can choose to write your life story any way you wish, but to do so, you must make the decision to not to let other people write your story for you.

When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.”

Remember, we teach the people in our lives how to treat us by how we act and what we are willing to allow. As such, it is important to set your own personal boundaries and not let others do it for you.

Who we are today is a result of all the decisions we’ve ever made in life. Whatever we wish to be in the future depends on our present actions. To become who you wish to be, simply determine how that person would act and then, little by little, act like that person.

You are who you choose to be.

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