If I Can’t, I Must!!
For the next two weeks we will be discussing “If I can’t, I must”. In a nutshell, if you think you cannot do something, you must do it. This may sound drastic, but it is life changing. The task is simple. Every time you say “I can’t”, train yourself to say, “I must”. The first thing this does is make you more aware of how many times you say “I can’t”, or some variation of it. “I can’t go back to grad school, I’m too old”. “I can’t get up in front of 300 people and speak”. “I shouldn’t take that photography class. It’s not practical”. By recognizing and becoming aware of how many times you say “I can’t”, it re-frames your thoughts and stops the limiting belief that you can’t do something. It pushes you forward. Being stuck in our fear keeps us stagnant.
I use an example in my workshops that illustrates this. When you jump into a pool, you are committed. Once you take that last step off the edge, hold your nose and jump, you are all in. There is no hesitancy, no drawing back. You are living full out and before you know it, you are weightlessly floating in the water, refreshed and cool. You are 100%, full on, committed.
It is difficult to enjoy life if you are continually walking around the edge of the pool, dipping your toe in, and pulling it back out. You get a taste of the coolness of the water but long to submerge yourself, a refreshing anecdote to the hot sun. You can stare transfixed by the ebb and flow of the water, imagining what it will feel like, but until you take that step, that leap of faith, you will remain hot and potentially sunburned! You must take a leap of faith and jump! I always say get a “faith lift!”
There are several reasons why you might say you can’t do something. You might not really think you can do it. You might not have the experience and doubt your abilities. On the flip side however, you might actually be afraid that you CAN succeed. Could it be that you are afraid of your own power? Does saying you can’t give you an excuse to keep from playing big? The bigger the dream, the more we have at stake and that can sometimes make us fall back into fear.
During our graduate level Mastery Program, a five-day intensive, we give you many opportunities to break through fear and say, “If I can’t, I must”. One of the ways we do this is with a fire walk. Now upon first glance, human reason would say that you cannot walk across red hot coals without being burned. And yet, you can. The important thing is to set the intention, not to walk across hot coals, but to get to what is beyond the coals, in this case water. You can trick yourself into thinking you can do it, and before you know it, you’ve done it. The interesting thing is that several participants said they felt the cold icy water and not the heat of the coals. What we focus on expands.
If you let fear stop you from being who you are, you might as well not play the game. Tune in next week as we explore the three “F’s” of fear – Fight, flight and freeze, and talk about discerning fear from intuition.