I’m going to be sharing with you what you need to do when you get stuck and you get into that brain jam of thinking that you can’t do something. It’s one of the stages that most parents will say that their child goes through at a very young age but then it can sometimes crop up again and a little bit later in life and that is this stage of saying ‘I can’t do it’. I want to give you some strategies for being able to get yourself past that thinking of ‘I can’t do it’. Let us begin I’m just going to give you three things there’s probably more but I want to keep it simple so that it will stick in your brain even better.

Number one is when we say the word ‘can’t’ that word in English is known as a modal operator or sometimes known as a modal verb and that’s one of those words where it kind of sounds like you could say in a slightly different way and it’s going to have a completely like opposite into the spectrum kind of meaning so ‘cant’ is made up of ‘can’ and ‘not’ so it could be ‘can’ or it could be ‘can’t’ and those are going to be like your two different flip sides of the coin. The word ‘will’ has got the flip side of ‘won’t’ and  ‘should’ has got the flip side of ‘shouldn’t’ so all of these words are like married to another word in a way.

What would happen in an ideal world is that your ‘cant’ turns into a ‘can’ and then you say ‘I can do it’ but if I told you to just tell yourself that you can do something when deep down you feel like you can’t you’re going to feel as if you’re lying to yourself and it won’t work and I don’t want you lying to yourselves because that is not a good habit to have. Here’s what we’re going to do instead we’re going to take ‘can’t’ we’re going to turn it into something which is a little bit less powerful on the negative and a little bit more powerful on the positive. 

We know that we’re starting at ‘can’t’ we know we want to get to ‘can’ so we’re going to put some stepping stones in place to get you there eventually and that might take a few days, it might take a couple of weeks of you starting to tell yourself a different message in order to program your brain into thinking in a more positive way.

If we were to change ‘can’t’ into ‘won’t’. this is still pretty negative but it stops being about your ability and it starts being about your choice. With the word can’t, we’re saying I haven’t got the skills ‘I can’t do it’ when we say ‘won’t’ that’s more like ‘I may have the skills but I’m choosing not to do it’ and if nothing else that gives you back a little bit of a sense of power and that is a good thing so you could change from saying ‘I can’t do it’ to  ‘I won’t do it yet’. 

once we’ve decided actually ‘I won’t do it yet’ then we can start thinking about the next step. The next step is to start using the word ‘could’. The word ‘could’ isn’t saying I’m definitely doing it could is saying if I really wanted to I could get the skills that are required I could find a way forward but I’m just not doing that yet. It is taking back some positivity here into thinking it is possible, I could do it. If we say ‘I want to do it’ so then we go from ‘I want to do it’ and we can easily then select towards ‘I can do it’ and from ‘I can do it’ we might even go a step beyond and say ‘I will do it’.

This is the very first trick is to start changing your language but we’re not going to go from one end of the scale all the way over to the opposite end. We’re going to put those stepping stones in place so that we can begin to make our way there.

The second useful thing for you to do is to think back on things that you could not do once upon a time but you did go on to achieve it. For example, once upon a time, you could not walk because you were a baby you learned how to do it. It was one of the most challenging and fundamentally important things you ever did. You also learn to speak English which would of being incredibly difficult. Remember that you have mastered all of those things, you are a genius! You have the ability to grow, learn and conquer. 

The third thing is going to be changing how you are using your physiology. If your body is sending you a message to your brain that says ‘I’m well stuck here’ then there are a few things going on in that physiology. The first thing is that I’m slouching forward when I am slouching forward I squish up my lungs and I lose all of that space in there to be able to breathe in and out. We want to be able to make sure that our brains are getting loads of oxygen so that we can think properly which means that we need to give ourselves all of that space, all of that capacity, in our lungs by not squishing them up but instead by sitting up and giving ourselves the room to breathe.

We also want to avoid putting our head down because when we do that there is a particular way in which our eyes move that links up with how it’s making your brain think, if your eyes go up, it forces your brain to be creative and to find ideas. When you put your eyes down, it can force your brain to become more emotional and to start getting in touch with your feelings which if you’re feeling bad already about not being able to do something is not going to be particularly helpful.

We’re going to set ourselves up we’re going to put our eyes either forwards or up in the air and then we’re going to take a nice deep breath so that we fill up our lungs with oxygen and we can power our brains in doing this way we might even get ourselves physically moving to get some adrenaline and some buzz inside of our body and we might do that by having a quick run around the block or doing five-star jumps or something like that, that tells your brain and your body come on guys I need you to synchronize and work together to give me the answers.

If you are ever in that state where you are thinking I can’t do this start to change the language, start to remove the word ‘can’t’ and turn it into a more positive word, which may take a few days or weeks. Secondly, remind yourself of all the things that you have achieved that you couldn’t once do so that you give yourself back that little sense of ‘yeah, I can make things happen’. The third thing for you to do is to change your physiology so that you get your brain into a state of having the best possible chance of powering up and giving you the solutions that you need to do the thing that you actually want to do.

By Gemma Bailey

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