Change your mindset by eliminating one word

written by Philip Stefanov  |  JANUARY 31, 2023

How often have you thought or said, “I can’t”?

For example, “I would love to eat better, but I can’t find the time to put together a meal plan or cook.” At some point, we’ve all fallen victim to this type of thinking, which has stopped us from putting our best foot forward and progressing toward a specific goal.

This week’s newsletter presents a simple mindset shift that could help you the next time you think you can’t do something.

The All Or Nothing Mentality

Have you ever wanted to follow through with something but ultimately decided not to because you couldn’t do it precisely as you wanted? For example, you wanted to work out but chose not to bother because you couldn’t have hour-long sessions like in high school or college.

Or maybe you were consistent for a while but made a mistake or suffered a setback and decided it wasn’t worth it to keep going. For instance, you dieted for a month and lost a significant amount of weight but then went out with friends and stuffed yourself silly. So, you decided that one meal erased your progress, so you gave up.

If either sounds familiar, you’ve fallen victim to the all-or-nothing mentality at some point. It stops many people from achieving their goals and ties to the phrase people love using: I can’t.

Stop Saying “I Can’t”

Let me be clear:

I’m not suggesting limitations don’t exist, and everyone can do anything so long as they believe in themselves. That sounds good, but we all face obstacles that keep us from doing different things.

Instead, I invite you to change how you view perceived limitations. Rather than concluding you can’t do something, rephrase it:

“I might not be able to do X, but I can still do Y.”

For instance:

“I can’t train for an hour four times per week, but I can hit the gym for half an hour on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.”

“I can’t put together a meal plan right now, but I can make better choices and gradually work on improving my nutrition.”

“I can’t build muscle like I could when I was 24, but I can still make progress and feel great about myself.”

How we see obstacles determines the actions we take and the effort we put in. Telling yourself that you can’t do something is the quickest path to giving up. But by giving yourself a chance through a realistic evaluation of your abilities and current circumstances, you can take action and make some progress toward specific goals.

What To Do When Life Gets In The Way

Today is the last day of January, which means many people have given up on their new year’s resolutions or are thinking about it. Most people give up because they can’t do things precisely as they want and haven’t made the progress they hoped for.

Setting realistic expectations is essential, but you must also rid yourself of limited beliefs by thinking you must be perfect to progress.

When life presents challenges that keep you from sticking to your plan, ask yourself, “To what extent can I do something?”

  • Can’t train for an hour? Do 15 minutes.
  • Can’t stick to your diet perfectly? Aim for a healthy breakfast every day.

You can also re-schedule positive behaviors if life often gets in the way:

  • Can’t work out in the evening after work? Wake up early and hit the gym before work.
  • Had fast food for lunch today? Make up for it by cooking a healthy dinner.

Thank you for taking the time. Until next week,


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