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.
“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!
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
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
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.