“Whether you think you can
whether you think you can’t…
13 words that can pack a wallop…in a good way!
Let’s break it down. When you read this sentence, what words pop for you?
Whether? You? Think? (you) Can? Or? (you) Can’t? (You) Are? Right?
For me, each one of these words carries weight, and together they carry remarkable meaning. Here’s what I mean:
“Whether”: Connotes choice. Yes! I have the choice (we’ll come back to that later)
“You”: Actually “I”. This is about me, my choices, and, ultimately, my responsibility
“Think”: My mind, my thoughts. Nobody has control over my thoughts, unless I choose to give it to them
“Can”: Oh so full of potential!
“Or”: Again, I have a choice
“Can’t”: The pin that bursts the balloon of possibility
“You Are”: This is a definitive statement…nothing wishy-washy about it!
“Right”: Evidence to support my “think”
Now put it all back together:
I (YOU) have the choice (WHETHER) to use my mind intentionally (THINK) to believe in my potential (CAN). And I also have the choice (WHETHER) to use my mind (THINK) to burst my own bubble of possibilities (CAN’T). And because I’m invested in believing myself (different from believing IN myself), I will always find evidence to support my thoughts…to prove to myself that what I think is “true” (I “ARE” RIGHT).
One more time, without the parenthetic insertions:
I have the choice to use my mind intentionally to believe in my potential. And I also have the choice to use my mind to burst my own bubble of possibilities. And because I’m invested in believing myself, I will always find evidence to support my thoughts…to prove to myself that what I think is true.
In my coaching practice, and in my life, I see this played out every day. We all have stories that we tell ourselves about why things are the way they are, or why “change” can’t actually happen. And boy, are we ever committed to our stories!
When we living in the “Land of Can’t”, our thoughts might sound like this: “I don’t have enough money to start a business.” Or, “I’ve dated 17 people in the last month, and none of them made me happy, and I don’t believe I’m ever going to find ‘the one’.” Or, “I’m scared of succeeding at my job, because it will mean getting a promotion and I’ll have to manage people…and I’m not good at managing people.” Basically, the formula looks something like this: “I can’t do XXX, because of YYY.” When you say it, you believe it, and if you believe it, you will never try to do XXX, because you don’t believe you can succeed. Nice, clean and circular. No action, no possibility of failure. GUARANTEED! Poof, you’ve proven you’re right…and how’s that working for you? Living in the Land of Can’t can be a comfortable place to stay settled, even if it’s not serving us well. After all, taking risks (which is what it will take to change addresses) can be scary.
The flip side of this equation works just as well. Living in the “Land of Can” might sound something like this: “I’m excited to start putting together my business plan, so I can figure out specifically where I need to get some help.” Or, “I’m looking forward to meeting this person, because I can get to know her and learn what makes her tick.” Or, “I’m honored that my supervisors value my work and are willing to invest in my professional development, and I can continue to progress in my career.”
The good new is we can all learn to manage our minds, choose thoughts that lead to helpful feelings. And once we’re feeling good and filled with the possibilities that are alive and well in the “Land of Can”, then we will start working on “making it so”. Why? Because we want to prove ourselves right! And succeeding feels so good.
This is powerful—the idea of using our minds and managing our thoughts to create the outcomes that we want for ourselves!
This is the heart of my coaching work. I’m not suggesting that all you have to do is think your way to your desired outcome. It will take effort, initiative, action, and then more action. But when you start with an understanding of the power of your mind and how to manage your thoughts, I promise you will be more than halfway there!
Are you ready to make a change in your life? Are you feeling unsure of what to do or where to begin? Are you ready to START? I’d love to help! Click here to contact me. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.