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Remove the Phrase “I can’t” from your mindset

I can’t do it…. I can’t get it…. I can’t this… I can’t that….

Crazy thing…“I can’t” is a universal and common excuse we use to justify why we choose to not do some form of action. It’s a phrase we all say unconsciously. Many of us, as a child heard, picked up, and learned this phrase…. and it sneakingly became embedded in our procedural memory (the unconscious memory of skills and how to do things that are typically acquired through repetition and practice). Saying “I can’t” is a learned habit… It’s the first thing that comes to mind and out of mouths at any given time, moment, or situation. It’s a phrase that appears to be harmless, yet is extremely detrimental.

I can recall saying “I can’t” for everything I thought would take too much of my time or when I was fearful of the unknown. It was my response to intimidation or fear of failure… mainly an excuse to get out of doing something. In my mind, I was not hurting anyone, but honestly I was unknowingly hurting myself. I was unaware that words have the ability to dictate and direct destiny… Words are containers of stored memory that shape our environment. By saying “I can’t” we place limitations on ourselves and we become stuck in “I can’t”… We become “I can’t”. We rob ourselves of development, growth, and maturation in areas that may need developing or strengthening.

Trust me, I get it…. Some times we can become so focused and concerned about the task at hard and fail to see the bigger picture… we lacked foresight…. And we forfeit our opportunity to learn something new about ourselves or maybe about others. We fail to realize our words are powerful and have the ability to shape our world…. our environment. We have to be careful what we say. We have to believe we have the ability to be great… We have to be deliberate and intentional as we strive for greatness. We have to daily renew our minds and free ourselves from this bad habit…. It’s okay to say no…. it’s okay to ask for help…. It’s okay to take some extra time to get it done.

I myself have to monitor my words especially during times of frustration… Rest assure, it takes time to turn away old ways of thinking and speaking to learn and implement new ways of thinking and speaking… It is a process. You have to be intentional and deliberate in correcting yourself. It may take some time….. But you can do it. Just take it one day at a time. That’s what I do.

Today I challenge you: for 1 day maybe 2 days pay attention to the amount of times you say “I can’t” and monitor what triggers it. For every time you say “I can’t” do 10 pushups or 10 sit-ups. After you finish the challenge, post your results, outcomes, or feedback. We would love to hear from you.


Dr. Dyoni

References: Mastin, Luke. (2010). Declaration (explicit) & procedural (implicit) memory. Retrieved from

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