A few days ago my daughter, Faith, texted me about something in the news. We live in England and are deluged with bleak stories lately; problems with Brexit, huge fires, corruption, rising poverty & crime. I quickly replied, ” I just can’t, anymore.” It got me thinking – that often we say, “I can’t” when we mean something else. That I can’t is shorthand for different, more complicated feelings that, if acknowledged, can be overcome.
So I made a list of possible alternative meanings to I can’t. Some are probably more obvious than others. See what you think. Have I missed any?
- I don’t have enough skill or talent
- I don’t have the resources – time, money etc
- I’m not interested
- I don’t see the point
- I’m scared [I’ll embarrass myself, I’ll fail, I’ll succeed]
- I’m worried that it’s going to get bigger or out of my control
- I feel powerless
- I’m too tired
- I’m too stressed
- I’m depressed
- I’m overwhelmed [by this, by everything, by you asking]
- I’m drowning
- I’m bored [with this, with everything, with my life]
- I’m frustrated
- I’m not sure I trust you
- I’m not sure I trust myself
- I have a problem with procrastination
- I have a problem with time management
- I have a problem with self management & self discipline
- I tried before and it didn’t work out
When I texted ” I can’t” to my daughter, it meant a mix of 7, 8 & 12.
Going forward, it’s worth thinking through what we, or others, mean by I can’t and seeing if there’s a way to reduce concerns or anxiety and find a way forward.
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Nina is a qualified life coach who enjoys learning and sharing about flourishing. She is a novice blogger. Come and join the conversations on The Gratitude & Kindfulness Group , Move Mountains & Flourish or follow twitter