The SparkPeople Blog

I Can--Can You?

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
12/8/2011 10:00 AM   :  50 comments   :  8,541 Views

I Can’t is a cloak that failure wears.  It’s actually one of failure's favorite outfits, as a matter of fact.  It’s the first thing failure pulls out in the morning when the alarm goes off.  It starts something like this:

"I can’t get up!  I’m too tired, it’s too cold, too dark, too early!  I’m too sore, too old for this!  I don’t have energy.  I didn’t sleep enough. The blankets are so warm, the pillow so soft.  I Can’t do this!" So you hit the snooze button and skip another workout.  Failure wins that battle.

Once you do get up, the war begins anew with reminders of how you messed up on things already.  Failure whispers, “You didn’t eat well yesterday – what’s one more day?  You can always start over tomorrow, or next week.  You don’t have time to fix a healthy breakfast.  You can drive thru XYZ and pick up that cinnamon roll you love.” 
Failure lies and tells you this will make you feel better.

Before you know it the whole day has been lost to I Can’t thoughts, and failure overwhelms your mood and emotions. How many days have you lived like this?

Success on the other hand wears I Can.  She thrives on optimism in all the small daily chores.  She recognizes will power, faith, strength, and new opportunities in every moment.  She doesn’t remind you of previous mistakes or encourage you to fail.  She is supportive, kind, and whispers things like “yes, you can”!

So who is the voice you choose to listen to?  Whose thoughts do you embrace each day?
Part of maintenance for me is recognizing on a routine basis which of these two players I give my power to.  It is a choice when you relinquish your will to the I Can’t lifestyle.  It’s also a choice to change your mind to I Can any moment of any day.  One thing I like to remind myself if I fall into the I Can’t camp is that I’m the one who decides to purchase a ticket to ride on the guilt train, and I can choose to get off at any stop.  I can leave the excess baggage of past failure on that train and step off a free person.  That decision in itself is a step into the direction of success.

Which direction are you going today?  Are you hanging out with guilt, saying I Can’t and letting failure take another day of your life?  Start with one I Can statement now.  Post one thing that you can say I Can about today and let’s build a string of successes together.  It’s time now to start believing in yourself!


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Comments

  • 50
    I can pick myself up and make this happen. - 3/16/2012   8:58:41 PM
  • 49
    I CAN! - 3/16/2012   8:03:10 PM
  • 48
    This is the day for me to do it, and I will. - 3/9/2012   7:10:16 PM
  • 47
    I CAN do ALL, A-L-L things, through Christ who strengthens me! - 3/9/2012   11:53:53 AM
  • AMBER461
    46
    An interesting blog. Yes I can and I will be very positive about it. - 1/30/2012   7:31:13 PM
  • 45
    yes I can - 1/22/2012   11:01:45 AM
  • STREO2004
    44
    A great reminder, thanks. Loved the BLOG. I can! - 1/13/2012   1:09:23 AM
  • 43
    I CAN! Right now! - 1/12/2012   6:44:26 AM
  • 42
    This reminds me of when my son was little and he would say I CAN'T tie my shoes! I can't do this I can't do that. One day it hit me....what he is REALLY saying is I WON'T do those things. Are you saying you CAN'T or you WON'T
    ON THE OTHER HAND.....I realize there are those out there who physically cannot do some things. I'm 60! I KNOW there are lots of things I can no longer do. BUT I have to find the ones I CAN do and decide CAN I or WON'T I? - 12/14/2011   1:56:26 PM
  • 41
    I also am a realist. There are some things that physically I cannot do, and no amount of "positive thinking" is going to change that. I'm having to work on modifying a lot of my exercise programs, as well as my mindset. And if any of you think that's easy, think again! It's a constant battle against giving up and sinking into depression. - 12/13/2011   11:23:53 AM
  • 40
    I love this idea that when we behave differently, we can walk away from the guilt we live under from our bad decisions. My first thought was that it's just not that easy, but then I remembered that when I have made several good decisions in a row, I walk in freedom, happiness, and pride rather than guilt and a sense of failure. It really IS that easy! - 12/11/2011   11:04:10 PM
  • LAURANCE
    39
    I understand that it's important to not fall prey to self-defeating thoughts. OTOH, this upbeat mindset can be deadly to someone with a disability. I had a therapist who kept telling me, "You choose. It's not that you can't, it's that you won't. It's your choice." When I struggled and failed, he said, " 'Try' is a weasel word. You choose to fail." I have a genuine handicap. I came out of this therapy damaged and demoralized rather than helped. I need to be allowed to be realistic about what I can and cannot do, and not feel badgered into positive pep talk that undermines me by shaming me for unavoidable failures. - 12/10/2011   6:14:17 AM
  • 38
    I read Judith Beck, PhD's "The BECK Diet Solution" as she teaches how to THINK like a THIN person. She says you have to learn to tell that "inner voice" to Shut Up. - 12/9/2011   8:59:41 PM
  • 37
    WOW! This post feels like you were in my head this morning...and other mornings also! I can use this as motivation to get out of the 'I Can't' rut! - 12/9/2011   3:08:04 PM
  • 36
    Thank-you for your insightful post. Maybe a message for those of us who can use one right now. - 12/9/2011   2:40:09 PM
  • 35
    Do you live inside my head? You verbalized my morning thoughts exactly.
    Tonight, I CAN plan some healthy meals for next week. - 12/9/2011   2:36:02 PM
  • 34
    Great blog- thanks for posting! - 12/9/2011   1:32:01 PM
  • 4THDOWNWIN
    33
    Good stuff. Great reminder. I'm going into battle against failure and its sidekick "I Can't" right now because of this. - 12/9/2011   1:30:53 PM
  • 32
    Great blog - I CAN find the DailySpark!! I loved your illustrations! - 12/9/2011   12:19:07 PM
  • TINARILEY84
    31
    I can eat right today! - 12/9/2011   12:11:03 PM
  • 30
    i CAN work my upper body today! - 12/9/2011   11:01:03 AM
  • 29
    I can get my daily intake goal of 8 cups of water in today! :) - 12/9/2011   10:51:29 AM
  • 28
    I am on the Can train! I have eaten a healthy breakfast and I am off for a 3 mile walk in the cold--bundled up well of course! I am making it a great day because I CAN! - 12/9/2011   8:04:34 AM
  • 27
    I'm reading this in the early morning. So, there's no reason I can't start with the positive right now. Today will be a great day and I WILL make good choices. Exercising is the first good choice of the day!! Thank you so much for this much needed reminder that we're the drivers of this bus and we can take it where we want!! - 12/9/2011   7:24:09 AM
  • 26
    One of the most realistic blogs I have run across on SP so far. Very well thought out and something all of us battle with. TY.. Donna - 12/9/2011   6:00:36 AM
  • 25
    Encouraging blog, and a great reminder that I'm the one who makes the choices for me. Opening scenario sounded all too familiar. Thanks for such a positive I CAN! - 12/8/2011   10:18:13 PM
  • 24
    I can make good choices that move me towards my goals or I can make not so good choices, as long as I recognise that I am choosing! - 12/8/2011   5:17:43 PM
  • 23
    Great Blog, I can and I will. - 12/8/2011   4:46:14 PM
  • 22
    Awesome Blog!! I will be quoting you often! :) - 12/8/2011   3:56:19 PM
  • 21
    Whew, how I can beat myself up when I could be celebrating what I do that's right. Those conversations we have with ourselves can be terrible in every way. Thanks for pointing that out. I have to start plugging my ears and moving in an optimistic direction now! - 12/8/2011   2:18:59 PM
  • 20
    I CAN make healthy choices today, and I AM going to write down everything I eat.

    Thank you...I really needed this reminder. - 12/8/2011   2:02:34 PM
  • 19
    Oh yes I can! Great blog! Thanks!!! - 12/8/2011   1:49:52 PM
  • 18
    I am statements are even more positively energizing than can statements, as in I am committed to my fitness schedule.

    Perhaps the best approach as we make changes is to
    affirm: I can do this, then I am doing this.

    You will be surprised how empowering these statements
    are. - 12/8/2011   1:21:40 PM
  • 17
    I can and I will check in daily on SP for a daily dose of support and encouragement! - 12/8/2011   1:14:18 PM
  • 16
    LOVE this mindset! I can I can I can!!!! - 12/8/2011   1:10:09 PM
  • 15
    I CAN! - 12/8/2011   1:07:27 PM
  • 14
    Loved this.It tells me that it isn't I can't, but rather I don't want to.What a difference! It's mind changing.Thanks! - 12/8/2011   1:06:23 PM
  • 13
    What a great blog! Thank you. - 12/8/2011   1:03:15 PM
  • 12
    I can do some excercise keeping in mind my sore knees. I will lift weight today, and walk outside instead of on the treadmill. I will eat less today keeping in mind my lessened excercise. Thanks for the positive note - 12/8/2011   12:42:56 PM
  • 11
    I can be positive... - 12/8/2011   12:42:48 PM
  • 10
    Love the positive attitude! - 12/8/2011   12:27:42 PM
  • 9
    I can control what I put in my mouth today. I can exercise today. I can organize my life. - 12/8/2011   12:07:07 PM
  • JEAN_W_1960
    8
    I can complete everything on my to-do list today.

    Thanks for an insightful article, I needed it. - 12/8/2011   11:48:04 AM
  • 7
    trying to incorporate a can do attitude into my life on one difficult 'chore' a day...it's working - 12/8/2011   11:45:59 AM
  • 6
    This may have been my favorite blog ever! You are right on! Barring extreme disability, EVERYONE has a choice! Even with disability, one still has a choice in attitude and the voices to which you will listen.
    If I ever write a book, I'll be calling you for the privilege of using this work! ;-)
    Blessings, Pat - 12/8/2011   11:17:08 AM
  • 5
    I am always amazed at how much more energy I have and how much better I feel when I exercise even just a little in the morning!! - 12/8/2011   11:08:50 AM
  • 4
    Love this..I will remember it tomorrow because that is what happens to me in the mornings, getting out of bed is the hardest part, once I'm up and working out I feel good. Thank you for this reminder!! - 12/8/2011   10:53:59 AM
  • GAL843
    3
    I find that the "I can't" gremlin also takes the form of "I can, but tomorrow is soon enough". Need I say that tomorrow never comes?

    I liked your message. Although my mood is a bit blue today, I'm still keeping my motivations in mind and sticking to my plan. Thanks very much. - 12/8/2011   10:49:35 AM
  • 2
    Love this post. My quote on my page is a mantra I've always believed: Whether you say you can or say you can't: I know you're right. The mind is an amazing thing, but it can also be a road-block to success. It's easier to say I can't than to try.
    - 12/8/2011   10:23:19 AM
  • 1
    Thanks for the wonderful reminder that I am in control of my thoughts, not my thoughts in control of me! - 12/8/2011   10:13:34 AM

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