I’ve been catching myself lately saying things like, “I want to, but I can’t because…” and “I wish I could, but I can’t because…”
I find this a bit distressing, because I know better than to have an attitude like that. “I can’t because…” is one of the biggest self-sabotaging statements that we could ever make, and if we’re actually saying it (in whatever form), you can bet that we will NEVER receive what we are saying we’d like to have.
In what “forms” does it show up? Well, there’s the obvious, “I can’t because…” There are also some not-so-obvious forms, too, though. Here are a few of them:
· Rationalizing. We (human beings) can rationalize our way out of ANYTHING that seems “too big” for us to work toward.
· Defending. We (human beings) are MASTERS at defending our reasons for not working toward something that feels big to us.
· Justifying. We (human beings) have made an art out of justifying our own self-sabotaging behaviors.
We do one or the other of the above mentioned things, and then – when we find ourselves living our “it’s too bad it didn’t work out for me” lives – we think that it’s “true” that something other than ourselves caused our failure to reach the life we had claimed that we wanted.
Distressing as it feels to me to have become aware of myself doing this, I know that I do have a choice here. I can allow my distress and my disappointment in myself to cause me to beat myself over the head with how terrible of a person I am. OR, I can focus on the awareness (which IS what’s important here!). If I hadn’t come to the awareness of the behavior, I would never be able to make the choice to change the behavior!
I Choose… “I Can”
This week I pay attention to how I feel about the “big stuff” that I’m working toward, and I notice when I’m justifying, rationalizing, or defending self-defeating “I can’t, and here are all the reasons why…” behaviors. And then I deliberately choose #1) gratitude for the awareness and #2) an “I CAN, and here are ALL of the reasons why” attitude.
As a reminder, I have printed out the meme below, and posted it right where I can see it! Feel free to do the same, if you choose to!