permission to fail

How To Turn “I Can’t” Into “I Can”

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Words matter.

 I have no doubt in my mind that the most important and valued words are those we say to ourselves, about ourselves. Unfortunately, more often and not, we use this habit negatively. The GREAT news is that we have the ability to embrace positivity and abundance for our own benefit.

The words we use, whether written or spoken, reaffirm what we think and what we believe. Take the Constitution of the United States, for example: It only has the power that people believe it has. If people ignore those words, it has no power. If people believe it, though it’s the most powerful document ever written.

This goes all the way down to the idea of racial slurs that people use. People use racial slurs across the board, sometimes with horrible intentions (and sometimes unknowingly). They’re bad words and they don’t need to be used, but we also wouldn’t feel that way if people didn’t give those words the power to be hurtful or derogatory.

There is nothing under the sun that someone can say to me that hurts me, if I don’t care about that person. But if it’s a niece, or my wife, or someone else that I genuinely, really love, and they say something simple, I have given those words power to hurt me. If they say “you’ve hurt me” or “you’ve made me angry,” my respect for them means that their words matter. So, the more that we can embrace how powerful words are, the more we can use that to our advantage. It’s something I do in my sessions when I hear people say, “We’re going to try X, let’s look at X, maybe we’ll do X.” I jump on them, because using words like “maybe” or “try” is giving themselves permission to fail.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, and the more that I think about it, the more I realize that we can talk ourselves into damn near anything. And if we give ourselves permission to fail, we’re likely going to fail. But, if we talk to ourselves and say, “I’m going to do this. I don’t know how, but I will do it,” or if we use words like “will,” “can” and “excited” instead of “maybe,” “probably,” or “might,” it will have an amazing impact.

How we initially frame an idea has a direct impact on our likelihood of failure or success. Why not choose success, right out of the gate?

So, what I encourage people to do in my advisory sessions is to stop themselves whenever they say something that comes out in a negative way. That, in itself, is a great victory. What’s even better is when you can take that negative thing and reframe it.

“I can’t do this” becomes, “I’m not sure how I will do this, but I will figure it out.”

Okay, stop and think about how you can reframe that. Instead, say “Huh, this is a challenge, but the more I try, the better I’ll get at it.” Now, you’re telling yourself that you’re getting better and better instead of reaffirming that you suck at something. Our goal is to get to your subconscious, so that it starts working with you to help achieve your objectives.

I challenge you to do this this in your own life: Next time you catch yourself giving yourself permission to fail, or saying something negative, remember that your words matter and reframe it. Use the power of your words to help you, not hurt you. Try just for a day or a week or however long you choose. Just try it. Remember that this is simply a new, but very powerful habit. The more you practice, the easier it gets and the better the results will be.

If you have questions about how to do this in your own life, or know someone that might find value in what I’m saying, please feel free to share. And as always, reach out, anytime! I’m here to help.

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