Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Can't vs. Won't
Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re probably right.
~~ Henry Ford
I had my second session with Brett, my personal trainer (okay, he’s not really mine, but he was assigned to me for my first few workout sessions when I joined the gym. I thought I was serius about exercise, but he brought new meaning to the word.
At the first machine, I did reps until I thought my arms were going to fall off. Just when I thought I
couldn’t push that bar up even one more time, Brett said (rather cheerily) “Okay, just four more”. Four more? “I can’t do four more” I said. Didn’t he see the sweat pouring from every pore? Was he too blind to notice my arms wobbling as I pushed the bar over my head? Whatever he saw, he chose to ignore. But, I did those four more reps, even when I thought I couldn’t. He was as merciless through the rest of our session, and I was drained when we were through. But, I lifted more weight and did more reps than I ever thought I could.
After my workout, it occurred to me that it’s not really an issue of “can” or “can’t”. It’s more likely an issue of “will” or “won’t”. When we think we can’t do something, is it really that we “can’t” – or is it that we “won’t”. Maybe that pesky gremlin in our heads has convinced us that what we want to
do isn’t possible for us. But, the reality is that maybe we’re just not willing to do what’s necessary.
It wasn’t that I couldn’t push the bar over my head one more time – but how willing was I to try? How much effort was I willing to expend? How much pain was I willing to endure? And was I willing to accept a lesser effort as my best effort?
I believe that’s the case with many things we encounter in life. When someone says that they can’t leave a job they hate, they’re probably not willing to endure the time, effort and sacrifice involved in
finding a new job. When someone says they can’t change their eating habits to lose weight, they’re probably not willing to give up the desserts or the snacks or cut back on calories. When someone says they can’t exercise, they probably aren’t willing to reprioritize their schedule to make time for exercise.
So, before you say that you can’t do something, take a moment to stop and think. Is it that you truly can’t do it? Or are you just unwilling to put in the effort?
~~~ Weekly Challenge ~~~
Make a list of 5 things you would like to do or have started to do and never finished.
Next to each item, list what you would have to change in your life to accomplish it.
Now, take a long, hard look at the changes and ask yourself whether it’s a “can’t” or a “won’t” – and be honest.
If the real reason boils down to an unwillingness to do what’s necessary to make the change, accept it. It’s okay. The important thing is that you start being honest with yourself and distinguish between "can't" and won't".
Let me know what you think because I value your input.
IT IS ALL IN YOUR HEAD!