Instead of Reeling Off Reasons Why You Can’t, Why Not Reel Off Reasons Why You Can?

In this article I’m looking in a bit more depth at one of the quote images I created…

I took the picture at Whitstable on the Kent coast, April 2015.

As for the words? Instead of reeling off one reason after another why you can’t do something, why not reel off reason after reason why you can…

It’s a reasonable question, don’t you think..?

It’s so easy to do it, to come up with a massive list of reasons why you can’t, and I know it’s easy because I’ve done it.

It could be any number of reasons – don’t know how, haven’t got the money, not being good enough, my friends and family will laugh at me, it’s too much hard work, what if I fail, my upbringing, other people, a broken nail…

Ok, that last one about a broken nail might not be on the list, but the others are on the list of a lot of people! Do any of them ring a bell with you?

Because it’s so easy to come up with such a long list of reasons, we fall into doing it, probably without even realising, and it then allows us to excuse ourselves for not being where we want to be.

That’s the key point. The examples I just gave might be valid reasons for being nervous or cautious when approaching an area of personal development, but they are *not* valid excuses for not trying at all.

I find that when I coach people with that idea, the good old “yes but” response kicks in, which leads to simply trotting off the same reasons again!

So, I look at it this way, as I put it in the quote image – instead of the ‘why you can‘ts,’ work on coming up with a list of ‘why you CAN’ reasons!

"Gordon Bryan" "quote images"

Looking at the examples I gave…

– If you don’t know how, then find out/learn how.
– If you haven’t got the money could there be options to cut back elsewhere, or open new income streams?
– If you don’t think you’re good enough, that’s a self esteem issue which can be reversed.
– If you worry that people will laugh at you, then it’s possible that people will, yes, but is your life about pleasing them or about pleasing yourself? Sometimes personal development means leaving people behind, occasionally that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.
– If you think it’ll be hard work, then you need to be taking a good look at the real motivations behind your goal in the first place. Get those right and the thought of hard work will not be a problem. It could be that if the prospect of hard work is such a turn off, your goal isn’t really a proper goal of yours at all.
– If you worry about failing, then that’s a case of accepting that in life you don’t always get guarantees, but even if you fail, trying and failing is always preferable to not trying and wondering.
– If you use your upbringing as an excuse, there are many people that have hit the highest levels of achievement from the most difficult upbringing. It’s all about choosing to self educate, and if you are reading this you have an abundance of information and learning opportunity in front of you.
– Other people? Well, this comes down to taking responsibility onto your *own* shoulders for what does or does not happen in your life.
– You broke a nail? Oh dear!

Hopefully you can see that while it’s understandable to come up with a list of negative reasons that justify failure, it’s just as easy to come up with a list of positive reasons which allow you to justify success.

It may seem like just mind games, with no real impact in the real world, but it’s a mistake to think that. It’s what we think in our minds that dictates how we act, and how we act that dictates the results. So, to change the results, we need to change the actions, which require us to change our thoughts. Just irrelevant mind games? Hardly.

Think to your own reasons you tell yourself why you can’t – we all have them so think of yours. Now reframe them in the positive and see how you can see things differently to come up with reasons why you can. Feel better, doesn’t it!

Let me know what you think, and remember – make the decision, take the action, and it can transform your life.

‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
P.S. Don’t forget to grab my free 8 step goal achievement formula – it’ll help with switching to that new set of reasons!
P.P.S. I’d love to connect with you via your social media channel of choice – buttons top right of any page as you look around the blog!

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  • You are spot on Gordon! If you don’t believe it, you can never achieve. Excuses are just a way of giving into your fears. People will laugh at me. Fear of embarrassment. So what? Learn to laugh right along with them…as you succeed and they wonder what just happened. Fear of failure? No one has ever succeeded at something without failing first. Failure is a learning opportunity. Broken nail? Borrow some clips and get out there!

    Great post!

    • Thanks Alice!
      I think people let their fears grow inside them that it seems the only option is to come up with the excuses. In fact simply taking action and trying will diminish so much of the fear it can be a transformational experience.
      Thanks for stopping by,
      Cheers, Gordon