“I can’t do this.”
Four words that you’ve probably told yourself more than you would like. When you say them, you feel like you really mean them though. You tell yourself, “I can’t do this,” so you actually believe that you can’t.
Here’s a story to demonstrate what I mean…
A few years ago I participated in a triathlon, thanks to some encouragement from friends and family, and not to mention a heck of a lot of self-belief. For a month and a half, I trained hard, almost every day, so that I was ready to give it my all when the big day came. It was the night before the triathlon and I went for one last run, to make sure that I was ready. I loaded up on carbs for dinner that night, so that I would have enough energy to burn in the morning. I went to bed, calm but excited knowing that all my training would be tested in the morning…
“Beep, beep, beep!” went my alarm. It was race day. I got up, had a bowl of oatmeal, and got ready to give it my all. I had put in a lot of hard work and I was going to make sure it was going to pay off. My family and I headed down to where the triathlon was starting.
The first event in the triathlon was a swim. Keep in mind, I didn’t feel as though swimming was my strong suit. During my training, I didn’t focus on it as much as I probably should have either. As we got to the race start, there were hundreds of other participants getting ready; preparing themselves mentally, physically, and doing whatever else they needed to in order to ready themselves. I got in the water and started doing the same.
5 minutes went by, then 10, then 15. I started getting nervous.
Was I ready to do this? Could I do this?
I had trained for a month and a half for this triathlon. I felt like I was ready, both physically and mentally; but was I really? I began to doubt what I was about to do. I started to think of all the things that could go wrong. Fear began to manifest…
“I can’t do this.”
I started to tell myself those four words. And then I started believing them.
Bam! A gunshot signaled the start of the race.
Before I knew it, I was off and swimming as fast as I could. Soon enough, I began to realize that I was actually doing it. I was doing what I set out to do: compete in a triathlon! Why did I ever doubt myself? I realized that there was no point of me telling myself that I could not do it, because it was only holding me back. I was doing it, and the only thing that could stop me was me.
Throughout the swim and for the rest of the triathlon, I kept telling myself that I could do it. I focused on those four words and before I knew it, the race was over. My friends and family congratulated me on completing the race and I was happy. I had not only finished my first triathlon, but I had conquered doubt.
Doubt holds many people back from believing in themselves. Some people tell themselves that they “can’t do this,” mainly because they are fearful. Whatever it is that they are fearful of is up in the air, but it is fear that drives many people to not believe in themselves. They don’t believe in themselves because they tell themselves that they can’t do it over and over again.
Soon, they begin to develop a habit, and whenever they approach whatever it is that they were doing that they told themselves they “can’t do” in the future, their immediate response is: “I can’t do this,” once again. They have ingrained a belief in their subconscious. A belief that they really can’t do it.
To change a belief that is triggered through doubt, you have to work, and work hard…
In order to overcome your self-doubt, there’s only one thing that you can do: do what I did when I was competing in my triathlon. Tell yourself over and over again that you can. Soon enough, you will start believing that you can. This practice has been around for centuries. The practice is called Affirmation.
Bob Proctor, a success coach, teaches affirmation and believes in its power. He says, “Affirmations are positive statements, which when given to your sub-conscious mind repetitively, have a tendency to alter old habits or old conditioning.” Tell yourself that you can, over and over again, and you will alter your old habit of believing that you cannot.
Try practicing affirmations on a daily basis and see where they take you. Through the power of affirmations, I was able to complete my first triathlon. Think of something that you want to do, but think you are not capable of.
Write it down.
Now go out and do it. Tell yourself that you can, over and over, and soon enough, you will be doing it. Keep in mind that you have to continuously tell yourself that you can do it though. As soon as doubt begins to creep in, it will quickly manifest itself into fear if you do not force it back out with another affirmation. Make sure that you do not allow doubt to creep in and soon you will be doing things that you thought you would never be doing.
Here’s to continuous improvement.
To Your Success,