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If You Want To Lead Your Life More Effortlessly, You Should Embrace This New Mindset

If You Want To Lead Your Life More Effortlessly, You Should Embrace This New Mindset

We all have goals we’re striving for whether it’s losing weight, getting healthy, learning something new or just starting any new positive habit. We set that intention to be consistent, willing and ready to persevere but often we can get to a point when we just think “I can’t do it”.

It sounds familiar? Our mind is good for a lot of things but sometimes it can play havoc with our willpower and manages to convince us that we just can’t do something. But what if this isn’t true? What if you dare to question your mind and the belief that your goal that was once attainable is suddenly impossible?

The Power Of Admitting “I Don’t Want To Do It”

When we get to that point where we feel frustrated and unmotivated we tend to automatically assume that we are just incapable. But if we’re really being honest with ourselves it’s probably because we simply don’t want to do it. 

We often berate ourselves for the lack of effort we put in to something because we synonymize it with failure and by telling ourselves we can’t do it, we’re validating this thought pattern and mindset. By admitting that we just don’t want to do it we are no longer cutting off the possibility of achieving it – we are just simply saying that at this moment we are feeling frustrated and unmotivated but that doesn’t mean shutting down our goal altogether.

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“I Can’t Do It” vs. “I Don’t Want To Do It”

The beauty of taking each present moment as it comes is realising that how you feel now, won’t necessarily be how you feel in the future. So you’d rather binge-watch Netflix right now instead of dealing with a project you need to finish, you haven’t spent enough time putting energy into your goal lately and you feel a sense of never getting your mojo back again. In these instances of procrastination, we start to feel like a failure and the failure mindset kicks in allowing us to believe we just can’t reach that once-attainable dream.

Try switching your mindset to “I don’t want to do it” and accept that it’s perfectly okay in this moment. It’s about releasing the pressure we put on ourselves and giving ourselves a break allowing us to cultivate a mindset of “I can still achieve my goal.”

For example, say you’ve set a goal of losing weight through running – you set the goal and it feels good, you feel motivated and happy believing you will achieve the optimum weight loss you want.

Things are going great, you’re on track but a couple of weeks in you start to miss a session here and there, you start to make excuses why you can’t go for a run, you start to lose motivation and that visual you had of your slimmer self starts to wane. It’s at this point that your mind will scream I CAN’T DO IT!

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But this isn’t true – it’s simply your mind overruling sense and logic, panicking that you’re not going to ever get to your target.

It’s your mind undermining your confidence and leading you to conclude absolute failure in your capabilities.

Instead admit that your mind is detracting from the fact that you don’t want to go running. Sometimes we don’t want to face up to the possibility that we’ve lost motivation – that it was harder than we thought it was going to be and this doesn’t equal failure. This just means we didn’t set achievable goals. Perhaps you started too fast too soon, maybe you didn’t prepare yourself for slow and steady results, or maybe it could simply be a case of finding a running buddy to keep you going and help make it a regular habit.

3 Steps To Take When You Think “I Can’t Do It”

Step1: Take a step back and be honest with yourself

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When you think to yourself “I can’t do it” just stop and ask yourself why. What exactly makes you think you can’t? Assess your mood and motivation and ask yourself is it likely to be a case of “I don’t want to do it”?

Step 2: Give yourself a break

It’s important to be kind to yourself and admit that right now you’re not on track to achieving your goal and that’s okay. Each new moment and each new day is a clean slate for you to start again. Taking the pressure off yourself can help you deal with the “I can’t do it” mindset much more easily.

Step 3: See it as a chance to reassess small, attainable goals

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Don’t immediately see it as failure. By doing this, we inadvertently knock the confidence out of ourselves when really it’s a great opportunity to step back and reassess a better strategy whether that means cutting it down into smaller goals, or even finding a new way to achieve it altogether. With the weight loss example, you could draw up a new schedule that works better around your daily routines, run shorter, easier runs, find a running partner, join a local running club or find a new sport altogether.

Remember when it comes to achieving our goals – small or large –  it’s all about mindset. Self-belief is key to achieving our dreams but we need to recognise that simply saying we can’t do something is just our mind trying to give up at each hurdle. Having doubts and fears around our set tasks is only human and we can’t be expected to be motivated every step of the way. Just be honest with yourself that your mind exclaiming “I can’t do it!” is really its over-dramatic way of saying “I don’t want to do it!”. Accept it, adopt the mindset, reassess and realise you are capable of carrying on the path to achieving your dream.

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Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Last Updated on March 5, 2021

Science Says People Who Talk To Themselves Are Geniuses

Science Says People Who Talk To Themselves Are Geniuses

I talk a lot to myself. It helps me to keep my concentration on the activity on hand, makes me focus more on my studies, and gives me some pretty brilliant ideas while chattering to myself; more importantly, I produce better works. For example, right now, as I am typing, I am constantly mumbling to myself. Do you talk to yourself? Don’t get embarrassed admitting it because science has discovered that those who talk to themselves are actually geniuses… and not crazy!

Research Background

Psychologist-researcher Gary Lupyan conducted an experiment where 20 volunteers were shown objects, in a supermarket, and were asked to remember them. Half of them were told to repeat the objects, for example, banana, and the other half remained silent. In the end, the result shown that self-directed speech aided people to find the objects faster, by 50 to 100 milliseconds, compared to the silent ones.

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“I’ll often mutter to myself when searching for something in the refrigerator or the supermarket shelves,” said Gary Lupyan.

This personal experience actually made him conduct this experiment. Lupyan, together with another psychologist, Daniel Swigley, came up with the outcomes that those to talk to oneself are geniuses. Here are the reasons:

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It stimulates your memory

When you are talking to yourself, your sensory mechanism gets activated. It gets easier on your memory since you can visualize the word, and you can act accordingly.[1]

It helps stay focused

When you are saying it loud, you stay focused on your task,[2] and it helps you recognise that stuff immediately. Of course, this only helps if you know what the object you are searching looks like. For example, a banana is yellow in colour, and you know how a banana looks like. So when you are saying it loud, your brain immediately pictures the image on your mind. But if you don’t know what banana looks like, then there is no effect of saying it loud.

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It helps you clarify your thoughts

Every one of us tends to have various types of thoughts. Most make sense, while the others don’t. Suppose you are furious at someone and you feel like killing that person. Now for this issue you won’t run to a therapist, will you? No, what you do is lock yourself in a room and mutter to yourself. You are letting go off the anger by talking to yourself, the pros and cons of killing that person, and eventually you calm down. This is a silly thought that you have and are unable to share it with any other person. Psychologist Linda Sapadin said,[3]

“It helps you clarify your thoughts, tend to what’s important and firm up any decisions you are contemplating.”

Featured photo credit: Girl Using Laptop In Hotel Room/Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

Reference

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