Two words: “I can’t.”
Henry Ford once said: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” Many times throughout our lives, we will be faced with challenges. Some of them will be small, others will be big. Many may even seem insurmountable at that very moment. If we react quickly to the stress we are feeling in the moment, we may simply give up. But what if success is right around the corner? It would be better if we gave ourselves a chance to at least try, instead of walking away and never knowing what could have happened.
Instead of repeating these words, what can you do differently?
Adjust your approach.
- Next time you are faced with a challenge, replace the words “I can’t” with “why not?” There is something really powerful when we leave a little space open for possibilities, instead of shutting the door in our own face. It’s better to ask ourselves where the resistance is coming from, rather than give in to it immediately without a fight.
- Keep in mind that everyone on this planet has something in their life they consider a challenge. Why have a “fixed mindset” that you cannot change anything about yourself, and that your troubles are bigger than everyone else’s? Instead, try cultivating a “growth mindset”: believe that you can make incremental changes to improve your knowledge, become better at doing things, and have an overall higher quality of life.
- Monitor your attitude frequently: listen carefully to the words you tell yourself on a daily basis. They are the ones that could be opening or closing the doors to the rest of your life.
- Actively look for what you can do every day to become happier. Tal Ben-Shahar, a lecturer at Harvard University, wrote a book called Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Happiness. He explains the concept of positive psychology and how you can apply it to daily life: in school, the workplace, and in personal relationships.