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Last Updated on October 20, 2020

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

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.

    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

    5 Reasons to Follow Your Heart to Live the Life You Want 8 Things to Remember When You’re Saying “I Can’t Do It” How to Use the Wheel of Life to Live the Life You Want 9 Ways to Stop Complicating Life and Start Living 8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

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    Last Updated on October 22, 2020

    The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Critical (And How to Strike a Balance)

    The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Critical (And How to Strike a Balance)

    It is easy to hear the term “self-critical” and be immediately put off. After all, it’s difficult to be our own critics. However, utilizing self-criticism means taking a more self-aware path to ensure that you aren’t overlooking any possible areas of self-improvement.

    Self-criticism affects your self-esteem and can be a useful tool to identify patterns of weakness that you can look to eradicate by adapting your behavior.

    Self-Criticism Vs Self-Deprecation

    In exploring the idea of self-criticism, one has to first consider what it means for the individual. It’s important to remember that there is a significant difference between being self-critical and being self-deprecating.

    Self-deprecation is the act of putting oneself down, sometimes in an attempt to be humorous, but oftentimes out of a place of doubt and insecurity[1].

    Self-deprecation erodes one’s confidence. It isn’t something to use lightly, as your own self-talk will play a part in defining your existence and how you are perceived, and, more importantly, in how you perceive yourself.

    At the same time, you can’t take yourself so seriously that you are unable to make light of your mistakes as you pursue self-improvement. There is, of course, a balance to be struck, and both self-criticism and self-deprecation can be utilized in moderation.

    Learning the difference between the two is the key to pursuing a productive life that will allow your successes to compound and your failures to be reduced. While self-deprecation can highlight flaws in your approach to life, self-criticism is more concerned with addressing those flaws and then acting to correct them.

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    Self-Criticism: A Roadmap for Positive Change

    Self-evaluation as a tool can open your eyes to the problematic behaviors that are derailing your goals. By identifying those behaviors, you can identify the steps to become the best version of yourself.

    “Your thoughts affect how you feel and how you behave. The way you think has the power to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.” -Amy Morin[2]

    This idea underlines the importance of not allowing self-criticism to blur into the realm of self-deprecating behavior. That will only work against you as you are attempting to constructively analyze your own behavior.

    Auditing is necessary and good. Look at industries across the board and you will find that the most successful companies, people, and products have worked hard to refine their final output. Auditing your life, schedule, clients, contacts, and more will help you to identify the good from the bad.

    If you don’t look back on what you’ve done and allow yourself to be self-critical of the areas that created more problems and less results, how will you learn how to avoid those missteps in your future endeavors?

    Auditing with critical thoughts will allow you to build your own map to success by targeting behaviors that are ineffective in your pursuit of goals, and it will help you realize the changes that need to take place in order to correct for those inefficiencies.

    The Pros of Being Self-Critical

    Self-Criticism Opens Your Eyes to Areas of Improvement

    In life, you ought to be your biggest fan and instill the confidence in yourself to show the world that you are worthy of the life that you’ve achieved up until now.

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    At the same time, however, you need to have the self-awareness to understand that you can feel like a million bucks while still having room for improvement. Learn to be self-critical enough to increase your overall success in the pursuit of your goals.

    You can check out this TED Talk with Tasha Eurich to learn more on how to improve your self-awareness:

    We all need to look in the mirror at times and work to identify the deficiencies in our own behavior in order to find room for improvement. So many people live their lives in a manner that allows no room for self-reflection and thus are missing out on key opportunities.

    For example, many people complain about not having the money to save for retirement, but instead of working to identify a solution, they assume that it cannot be fixed. Some of those individuals might find that if they challenge themselves and open themselves up to criticism, they may find the source of their problem.

    Perhaps they don’t have a proper budget in place and are spending more money than they bring in on a week-to-week basis. Being self-critical would help them realize this.

    I’d argue that if we all spent more energy evaluating our place in life, how we got there, and where we want to go, it would clear up what is missing from the equation.

    Self-Criticism Allows You to Realize Your Potential

    By working to analyze your own behaviors and identify areas that need to be improved upon, you will be able to better strive to reach your full potential in life and unlock success.

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    Being self-critical will help you to go from where you are now to where you want to be, and it will increase your self-awareness. There are so many positives to be gained by adopting a self-critical attitude.

    Read more about self-improvement: 42 Practical Ways to Improve Yourself

    The Cons of Being Self-Critical

    Self-Criticism Can Overemphasize Negatives

    The problems that could arise if one is overly self-critical are not always clear, but there are a few issues that can pop up if you start being too hard on yourself.

    If you are self-critical too often and don’t allow space in your own audit of yourself for praise, celebration, and reassurance in your victories, then you may be on a path of negative self-talk and perhaps even depression.

    If you are constantly looking for what is wrong with your actions or pursuits while failing to see what you are doing right, then you aren’t utilizing self-criticism properly. While the line is thin, there is definitely a difference between appropriate, foundation-building self-criticism, and over-zealous, confidence-eroding self-deprecation.

    Self-Criticism Can Lead to Negative Distortions of Yourself

    One struggle I often see in individuals is with their own perception of self. If you have been raised to believe that you are a failure, for example, then you may not have a healthy expectation of yourself.

    By being overly self-critical, you might be distorting your own self-image. The key here lies in utilizing the device of self-criticism correctly, which many people often do not do.

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    If utilized properly, self-criticism can be a fantastic tool, but if used incorrectly, it can have devastating effects on your own self-worth and confidence.

    Final Thoughts

    When used properly, self-criticism can be a tool for success.

    We must work hard to ensure that we are in fact exercising a constructive analysis of our own behavior and not falling into self-deprecation.

    Unfortunately, it seems as though many view the idea of being self-critical with a negative connotation. However, it can be an extremely positive and fruitful exercise if pursued with the right mindset.

    It helps tremendously when you have a community of friends and family who also help to uplift you and encourage you as you are pursuing your dreams in life.

    In evaluating your own situation and in attempting to constructively self-criticize, you should also take a look at the people you surround yourself with to try and better understand if those individuals are helping you in your aspirations or if they are holding you back as you work to better yourself.

    “We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” -Jim Rohn[3]

    If you work to adopt a healthy version of self-criticism and avoid allowing it to delve into self-deprecation or self-doubt, then it will serve you well as a tool to lend support to your goals and aspirations.

    More Tips About Building Self-Esteem

    Featured photo credit: Elijah O’Donnell via unsplash.com

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