Can’t Versus Won’t


People tend to use the word can’t when it’s related to something that stresses them out or they think they aren’t good at.  For example, getting on a plane with a fear of heights or going caving with a fear of confined spaces.  These type of stresses can make us anxious, so we aren’t willing to give it a go.  For any type of success, attitude is equally as important as ability.  You have to challenge your stress and be willing to step out of your comfort zone.

The fact is that within you, there is enormous potential for success and happiness.  It’s not about whether you CAN succeed, it’s whether you CHOOSE to succeed.  The only thing keeping you from achieving, is you.  There are so many people who say they will do anything to improve their life but when it comes down to it they don’t bother because they think they will fail, so why waste the effort?   

Can’t Versus Won’t:

Can’t – implies that you lack the skills to do something.  There are actually very few things in life you can’t do.  You tell yourself you can’t do something so many times, you actually start believing it.  When a client says “I can’t”, I ask them if they are happy to settle for less in life because ultimately this will lead to bitterness and unhappiness.

Won’t – you lack the will to do something.  It’s fine to not ‘want’ to do something or you can’t be bothered, but it’s important to acknowledge that you could do it if you wanted to.  If you won’t do something, that is a choice you make.

In my opinion there are 2 reasons why people say ‘I can’t’:

Fear – You shouldn’t be scared of failing, it’s part of life.  Learn from your mistakes and move on.  If you don’t try something, you will always wonder what if?  Fear will hold you back from achieving those life goals and dreams.  The only real failures in life are the ones who have failed to even try.

Laziness – Harsh you may think, but unfortunately very true.  So many people are just happy to sit back and and do nothing, or let others do the work for them.  Basically they ‘won’t’ do something if effort is required.  These type of people will substitute ‘won’t’ for ‘can’t’ and believe that they shouldn’t be expected to do it.

Do any of the following ring true?

1.   I can’t apply for that job/promotion.

2.   I can’t motivate myself in the morning.

3.   I can’t lose weight.

4.   I can’t quit smoking.

Look at what you’ve said that you can’t do and evaluate it.  Is it actually true or is it that you won’t do it, don’t know how to do it, or you just can’t be bothered?  You CAN do all of these things, if you want to.

Go out and get the qualifications you need for the job or promotion.  Find something or someone that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning.  Eat less, exercise more and you will lose weight.  Of course you can give up smoking, if you really want to.  

Just by thinking the words “I can’t” stops you in your tracks before you get going.  Give yourself a chance to succeed by saying “I WILL’. 

Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.  More importantly never ever tell it to yourself.

Take responsibility for your actions and you will succeed.  Don’t make excuses – lazy people make excuses.

Take the leap of faith.  Make the Change.  Not tomorrow.  Not next week, but NOW.


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