I can’t do it.
How often do you catch yourself saying you can’t do something? We’re all guilty of it at one point or another. Whether we’re tired, feeling lazy, uninspired or disconnected, we often use ‘I can’t’ statements as a crutch.
To reach the goals many of us have, we need to shift our language and our habits. Social psychologists have learned over the years that even seemingly subtle differences in language can have powerful affects on our thoughts, feelings and behavior. As much as I believe in will power, we can’t always will ourselves through every struggle. We need to change our language. By replacing phrases like ‘I can’t ‘ with choice phrases like ‘I don’t’ we are empowering ourselves as apposed to limiting ourselves. Researchers conducted a study comparing I can’t and I don’t. On the way out of the lab, participants were offered a granola bar or chocolate bar as a thank you. Who chose the granola bar? Sixty-four percent of those who said I don’t, compared to only thirty-nine percent of those who said I can’t.
Another study was conducted using female participants working towards health and fitness goals. They were encouraged to use I can’t and I don’t phrasing when they were tempted to lapse. By the study’s end, 8 of the 10 women using the I don’t strategy were still using it successfully, while only 1 of the 10 who used I can’t lasted that long.
The nice thing about shifting your language is it’s an easy choice. When you catch yourself thinking or saying I can’t replace it with I don’t. Oh I can’t eat that cake…. now sounds like, I don’t eat cake. You have the power of choice. You have the power to harness your inner badass, take control and make the choice 🙂 Another way to shift your language is by removing phrases like ‘I will’ or ‘I’ll try’ or ‘Id like to’. Just fucking do it. making a claim for right now. Not tomorrow. Not in the new year, now. Albert Ellis explains that the language we use to describe our experiences or circumstance impact the way you embrace them. If you look at past situations and can see how this may be true, wouldnt you want to smother yourself with positivity?
The next time you notice you’re limiting yourself, think of adjusting your language and take control of the outcome. 💕💕
“the harmony between thought and reality can be found in the grammar of the language.”
– Ludwig Wittgenstein