Depending on where you are, Summer vacation is either just about over or it’s been over for a little while now. This time of year is like the unofficial new year – for many even more so than January 1st. Kids are entering new grades and some are entering new schools. Older children leaving for college – entering or returning to a more self-directed life than the one they experience at home. For many children and adults, this time of year gives us a special opportunity to build on past successes and start anew in areas where change and improvement are needed.
Here’s a basic, yet important strategy that can support your growth, and the growth of young people in your life no matter their age. Acknowledge the difference between “I can’t,” and “I won’t.”
Most of us CAN do most things. CAN DO requires a decision and a willingness to summon the energy and commitment required to shift out of the negative, self-limiting “I can’t” mindset. “I can’t,” is one of the LIES That Limit. Can’t is an EXCUSE, an expression of apathy, frustration, or fear of failure. Often times turning “no, I can’t” into “yes, I can” requires an adjustment in thinking — a change in your perception of your own ability. Even if it’s something you want badly, the only thing standing between you and it might be one of these LIES – a label, an illusion, an excuse or a story – all of which are conquerable through conscious choice and a few simple tools. In this case, the tool is respectfully and compassionately asking yourself [or the other person] the million dollar clarifying question: “Is it that you can’t, or you won’t?”
If it’s your child you’re trying to teach the value of a “can do” attitude, remember that kids watch you carefully, so lead by example. Be sure that you say, “I can’t,” only when you’re referring to your current inability to accomplish a task. Modeling the desired behavior will help your child understand the difference between “I can’t” and “I won’t.”
Start the unofficial new year out with a better understanding of how LIES limit you.
Pick up a copy of my book “LIES That Limit: Uncover the Truth Of Who You Really Are” — available on Amazon starting at only $5.95.