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Last Updated on November 26, 2020

8 Things to Remember When You’re Saying “I Can’t Do It”

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8 Things to Remember When You’re Saying “I Can’t Do It”

We’ve all been in some pretty tough spots throughout our lives. Regardless of how good things seem to be, we all experience those moments that make us think “I can’t do it”, or “I can’t go on any longer.” These are important moments in our lives. They have the potential to make or break us on our path towards success and happiness, so we must make the right choices in these moments.

To help you find that crucial inner strength, I’ve put together a helpful list. I’m going to walk you through 10 of the most important things to remember that will turn “I can’t do it,” into “I can and I will do it!”

1. Persistence Is Often Key

Our persistence towards any goal is very often the key to whether we achieve it or not.

It’s not uncommon for the most successful people in our lives to also be those who were willing to persist through the most struggles, failures, and hardships.

If you are the type of person who gives up in the face of a challenge, chances are you won’t get far. If you think “I can’t do it” and then give up, obviously you won’t succeed. You need to remember that success comes through your persistence.

You need to be willing to face these struggles head-on and power through them. Remembering that persistence will lead you to success will help you overcome these hard times[1].

Find ways to remind yourself in your daily life that your persistence is key. It will often be the make or break characteristic determining whether you reach your personal definition of success or not.

If you want a great book on this topic, consider looking into psychologist Angela Duckworth’s book Grit. It talks about how passion and perseverance are the main determinants of our success.

2. Acknowledging a Challenge Leads to Its Correction

Building on the last point, it’s important to acknowledge the challenges you face. By acknowledging them, you can accept that they exist in your life. Then, you will be able to generate solutions to overcome those challenges.

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Also, be proactive with the mindset acknowledging that every journey will experience at least some struggles. Nobody’s life is completely problem-free. We all have our struggles to cope with and overcome.

Learning to accept that there will be challenges along your path will help prevent you from being blindsided by them as they arise. Then, you can acknowledge their existence and begin working towards creating a solution that works for you and your life.

3. Get Comfortable With Discomfort

When you feel like you can no longer do what you’re supposed to do and want to scream “I can’t do it,” remember that life was not designed to be easy.

We are all always going to be facing hurdles and overcoming hardships throughout our lives. If you can get on board and accept this reality, things will get easier for you. You’ll be better prepared mentally to face the challenges that pop up in your life.

Just because you’re accepting that there will be discomfort in your life doesn’t mean you’re being negative. Being positive doesn’t mean that you have to ignore all the bad things in your life. It just means looking at them realistically and developing stubborn optimism toward the future.

An additional thought to keep in mind here is that true growth begins when you step outside of your comfort zone. There’s no doubt that’s a difficult thing to do, but the discomfort you experience stepping outside of your comfort zone may be exactly what you need to make those big breakthroughs in terms of your development in your life.

So maybe it’s time to begin forcing yourself to make small steps outside that comfort zone of yours. Feeling unsure? Take a look at this article: Is It Really Better to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone?

4. Positivity and Gratitude Goes a Long Way

You can’t get mad at yourself from going through and experiencing a rough spell. We all experience those tough times; it’s just the reality of living a life here on Earth.

Instead of getting down on yourself when you’re thinking “I can’t do it anymore” and going to pout in a corner, think about how good it felt the last time you were successful at achieving one of your goals. Remember how happy that made you feel, or be thankful for what you’ve been able to achieve.

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When you're saying I can't do it, shift to a positive mindset

    So if you’re unhappy with where you are, move. You’re not rooted to the spot. Go write in a gratitude journal or do some mindfulness meditation to make space for some positivity in your mind.

    Remember, things could always be worse. We choose the mindset and perspectives we approach a situation with. We can choose to fixate on certain thoughts over others. Train yourself to see that silver lining because this positivity can go a long way[2].

    5. Remember Where You Came From

    When I feel like I can’t do it anymore, I often try to look back at where I’ve come from. I’ve grown a lot throughout my life and overcome some pretty tough things. If you’re anything like me, I’m willing to bet that you have also.

    Remember to be proud of the person that you’ve become today. Be proud of the time and effort you’ve invested in your development because it’s what has gotten you here.

    One way that you can begin to remind yourself how awesome you are when you hit these funks is to begin celebrating the small victories you achieve in your life. If you don’t celebrate these small wins, it’ll be hard to remember how proud you truly are of what you’ve achieved. This can help you through tough times as well.

    Remember, despite having possibly seen better days than where you are right now, you have also likely seen worse. You can and you will get through these tough times! Better days are on the horizon as long as you keep yourself moving forward.

    6. Breaking Things Into Manageable Steps Works Wonders

    Divide and conquer. Sometimes we stand in our own way by focusing on our biggest goals as a whole.

    If you don’t already do this, you’d be amazed by how much simpler even your biggest goals seem when you break them down into small, manageable steps.

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    The next time you catch yourself thinking “I can’t do it,” take a quick pause. Are you looking strictly at the end result? Or are you looking at the steps you need to take towards that goal?

    If you’re only looking at the final result, take some time to create a plan. The benefits of planning are further outlined by Gollwitzer in the book The Psychology of Action: Linking Cognition and Motivation to Behavior.

    Reflect on the individual steps that you need to take to achieve that goal. Write them out in the order that you’ll complete them and then get to work!

    By taking continuous small steps, you’ll ensure that you’re always making progress towards your goals. This will lead to momentum in your life that will help you overcome even some of the most difficult challenges you’ll have to face.

    Check out the following video to learn more about how to achieve your goals:

    7. Remember Your Why

    Remember your WHY — this is probably one of the best ways to overcome that “I can’t do it” feeling.

    Remember why you started on this path in the first place. Remember why you passionately pursued this goal. Don’t let that vision of yours slip away.

    Sometimes, we start with these visions that we are completely passionate about but lose sight of it over our journey. Then, we can find ourselves getting lost.

    When your vision and focus get a little foggy and you’ve lost sight of your passion, regain that crucial bit of clarity. Focus in on why that goal was originally important to you. Rediscover that passion that can put you back on your path towards success!

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    Write out what made this important to you. Leave it somewhere that you can easily visualize it. This will serve as a continual reminder to you for why it’s important to continue moving forward and overcoming the challenges that may get in your way.

    For more on how to discover your why, check out this article.

    8. Life Isn’t Certain, Accept It

    The final thing to remember when you feel like you’re struggling is that life is never going to be certain. Nothing in life is ever going to be 100% guaranteed for any of us.

    Additionally, sometimes things are just going to happen. You can predict or plan for everything in your life, but things will pop up and surprise you.

    Lucky for you, though, if you’ve embodied a few of the previous things mentioned on this list, then you’ll embrace these moments and make the best of them. Take uncertainty and treat those moments as opportunities to turn them into something good and positive in your life.

    Sure, you may not have been expecting your life to take some of these turns, but it may open your eyes to new things that you never even knew you wanted.

    Learning to embrace life’s uncertainty is one of the best ways to ensure that we don’t miss any exciting plot twists along our journeys towards our goals and our success!

    Final Thoughts

    I hope that you’ve been able to pick a few of these to try when you’re struggling with overcoming a challenge.

    You don’t have to use them all. You are a unique person and the combination of these which works best for you will also be unique to you.

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    Overall, these tricks will help you turn “I can’t do it” into “I can overcome this, I just need to figure out how!”

    More About Positivity

    Featured photo credit: Jude Beck via unsplash.com

    Reference

    More by this author

    Mark Lynch

    Featured Life-Balance, & Personal Development Author

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    Published on October 14, 2021

    How to Silence the Impostor Syndrome

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    How to Silence the Impostor Syndrome

    Do you ever worry about being exposed as a “fraud?” You’re not alone. It’s actually quite common for people to feel like imposters. In fact, approximately 70 percent of people admit to having experienced impostor syndrome[1] at some point in their lives — a Twitter poll found that 87 percent of people have experienced this.[2] Even successful and famous people like Tom Hanks, Howard Schultz, and Natalie Portman suffer from imposter syndrome.

    But, what exactly is imposter syndrome. And, more importantly, how can you silence it?

    Originally coined in 1978 by psychologists Pauline Rose Clance, Ph.D., ABPP, and Suzanne Imes, Ph.D., the term “impostor syndrome” describes symptoms that include being unable to internalize accomplishments and being afraid of being exposed as a fraud.

    The individual may also be plagued by chronic self-doubt and believe that they’re unqualified for success despite evidence to the contrary. Inadequacies, fears of failure, and disbelief that success is a matter of luck or timing are also common.

    If you don’t address this phenomenon, feeling like an impostor can prevent you from achieving ambitious goals. Moreover, those experiencing these feelings tend to over-prepare or procrastinate — which obviously hinders productivity and reaching goals. And, as if that weren’t bad enough, imposter syndrome prevents you from pursuing new challenges and opportunities.

    Do you feel like you’re suffering from impostor syndrome? If so, don’t beat yourself up. After all, there are effective ways to overcome these feelings in a healthy and proactive way.

    1. Don’t Hide It.

    “Firstly, acknowledge it,” advises Claudine Robson,[3] the Intentional Coach. “You give strength to imposter syndrome by letting it continue to peck away at your confidence unchecked.” It can only be banished if you acknowledge it as soon as possible and break the silence.

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    “Then you need to separate your feelings from facts,” Robson adds. “One thing imposter syndrome does very effectively is to mix up your perceptions of reality.”

    If you can, take a step back and look at the situation objectively. “Recognize when you should — and when you should not — feel fraudulent,” she says. Appreciate and acknowledge the task, intellect, and insight that have led to your success.

    You might even be able to take action by recognizing that the reason you feel fraudulent is that you’re new to a task. “That gives you a path forward; learning is growth, don’t deny yourself that.”

    2. Implement the STOP Technique

    In her book Cognitive Enlightenment, Melinda Fouts, Ph.D., outlines a technique to overcome imposter syndrome using what she calls the STOP technique.

    “STOP is an acronym for ‘silence the oppressive player,” Fouts explains in Forbes.[4] “You need to eradicate this tape that is playing 24/7, whether you are conscious of it or not. It plays loudest when we are tired, hungry, or feeling defeated.”

    Steps to implementing the STOP technique and rewiring your brain are as follows:

    To replace the tape of not good enough, you need a “launch sentence.” “I’m more than good enough” would is an example of a solid launch statement.

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    Put your launch sentence in prominent locations, such as your car’s dashboard or computer. How come? The reason is that as the tape plays, you won’t be able to remember your launch statement.

    Continue to say “stop” until you recall your launch sentence, says Fouts.

    Put your launch sentence into your own words and pontificate.

    While going about your daily tasks, like while driving or exercising, practice your launch sentence so you can recall it when you need it in the future.

    “I am told this sounds simple and it does,” she adds. However, this technique is challenging when your negative tape is playing. You will not want to replace the tape every day while your brain is rewiring itself. “It is these moments you can’t give up.”

    3. Distinguish Humility and Fear

    When it comes to hard work and accomplishments, there’s humility, and then there’s fear. In other words, having a high level of competence can lead one to discount its value occasionally. However, as Carl Richards wrote in an article for the New York Times,[5] “After spending a lot of time fine-tuning our ability, isn’t it sort of the point for our skill to look and feel natural?”

    The problem is that we feel unworthy from time to time. But, as Seth Godin explained in a blog post,[6] “When you feel unworthy, any kind response, positive feedback or reward feels like a trick, a scam, the luck of the draw.”

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    Feeling worthy without feeling entitled is possible. And, finding the right balance between them is critical for overcoming impostor syndrome. “Humility and worthiness have nothing at all to do with defending our territory,” Godin continues. “We don’t have to feel like a fraud to also be gracious, open, or humble.”

    4. Keep a “Brag Sheet”

    When you were sending out college applications, did you build yourself a “brag sheet?” If not, here’s a clean description from Shawna Newman,[7] “A brag sheet is very similar to a student resume – it highlights your accomplishments, key experiences, leadership skills, and employment throughout your secondary education.” In short, “it’s a quick reference guide with all the details and achievements for someone trying to get to know you better.”

    While it may be awkward at first, you can apply the same concept when coping with imposter syndrome. Just compose a list of your accomplishments, activities, skills. That’s it. Just remember Godin’s advice and also be humble and gracious.

    As an added perk, besides being an effective way to talk myself up, I’ve also found that this has helped me stop comparing myself to others. Instead of harping about other people’s milestones, I’m honing in on what I’ve done.

    5. Celebrate Wins, Period

    Speaking of accomplishments, they shouldn’t be categorized as small or big. After all, you feel as if you don’t belong when you have imposter syndrome. So, the more you celebrate your wins, the more confident you’ll become.

    Furthermore, accept compliments without qualifying them and practice listening to praise every day. Finally, become kinder to yourself by saying at least one kind thing to yourself daily. And, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.

    6. Assemble a Legion of Superheroes

    “You know how corporations have a board of directors to — in theory — make them stronger, maintain checks and balances, leverage resources, and help advance the organization’s vision?” asks inspirational speaker, speaking coach, and creative consultant Tania Katan.[8] “Why not assemble your own board of directors to leverage resources to help make your career stronger, keep you in check and balanced, and advance your vision?”

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    “My friend Alison Wade, president of conferences, training, and consulting at Techwell, calls her personal board of directors her “front-row” — those are the people she invites to sit spitting distance from the stage, cheer her on, challenge her, and review her performance,” Katan writes.

    As for Katan, she calls hers a “legion of superheroes.” The reason? “I dig the idea of joining forces to do good in the corporate galaxy.”

    It’s important to have a diverse group of individuals who will defend you. Ideally, they should be varied in all dimensions, such as cultural background, way of thinking, and skills.

    Katan recommends that you meet together frequently, whether if that’s once a week or every quarter. “Share your experiences, fears, creative ideas, aspirations,” she adds. “Celebrate each other’s accomplishments.” You also need to both support and challenge each other. “Discover what you are capable of doing when you combine your powers.”

    7. Visualize Success

    Follow the example of a professional athlete by imagining yourself crushing that presentation or project. You’ll enjoy the relief from performance-related stress. And, more importantly, it can help you avoid focusing on the worst-case scenario.

    Final Words of Advice

    While there’s no single formula to cure imposter syndrome, the tips listed above are a start. After all, your success depends on your ability to fight the negative effects of it. For example, feeling unworthy over time can lead to crippling anxiety and depression if left untreated.

    If you’ve tried the above, then make sure that you speak to someone about what you’re experiencing, whether it’s a mentor, peer group, or licensed professional. And, above all else, there’s a place at the table for everyone — no matter what your inner voice is telling you.

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    How to Silence the Impostor Syndrome was originally published on Calendar by John Rampton.

    Featured photo credit: Laurenz Kleinheider via unsplash.com

    Reference

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