Can’t Or Won’t?

Many people think that they lack whatever it takes to make a difference or have a positive impact on the lives of others or to the world around them. They assume that they can’t be a person whom others might emulate or model themselves after. Usually though it’s a matter of won’t instead of can’t.

Can’t or won’t? There is a fine line between the two. I have always believed that can’t stems from either a lack of confidence, a victim mentality, or some other set of limiting beliefs. Simply put, when most say that they can’t do something it is really a cop-out which in reality means they won’t, or they don’t want to.

Or another way to look at it is that saying you can’t is saying you don’t want to do whatever it takes to get whatever done. Can’t is just not wanting it bad enough.

Many assume that they can’t to get up early in the morning to begin a new day with enthusiasm.

While other people often say that they can’t start their own business or find work that they can get excited about for a myriad of reasons.

When it comes to physical fitness many make the excuse that they just can’t do it due to lack of time, bad knees, exercise induced asthma, you name it.

Some people think that they can’t be successful in anything of importance or that they can’t learn new skills or advance in their fields of endeavor.

But let’s turn things around here… these were just a few examples of how can’t is randomly thrown around. What if you rewrote the sentences above a little bit and instead of saying can’t you replaced that with I don’t want to? Why not then just replace the word can’t, creating a more honest version of the story with the word, won’t?

I know that in the past I frequently used the word can’t a lot… then I realized that I was fooling myself while trying to fool others at the same time by not saying won’t, or just “I don’t want to.”

Of course, there are absolutes when it comes to what you can and can’t do. Like flying to the moon tomorrow is just not going to happen. But in most everyday situations, the next time you say that you can’t do something, ask yourself this question.

Is it really a matter of can’t or won’t?

And be honest about it!

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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P.S. I will be off of the grid and out of service range through the weekend. Writing will continue on Monday!  Have a great weekend!

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