scared_lady_199097“I can’t sleep on the right side of the bed.”

“I can’t sleep with lights off.”

“I can’t drive.”

“I can’t dance.”

“I can’t go to crowded places.”

“I can’t go ahead after a black cat has crossed my path.”

“I can’t lose weight.”

“I can’t make it to Harvard.”

As you must have guessed, these are common statements one often hears all around. And you must have also realized that these are more of “I don’t think I can” statements than the literal “I can’t” ones. We are so used to hearing these kinds of statements that these don’t call for special attention and mostly leave us unaffected. Even our own. In reality though, they affect us big time.

These “can’t” statements are window to our inner world, if you will. Actually these are window to cobwebs in our inner world. Anybody who is a genuine seeker of truth or wants to be in touch with their core has to try at least a “why?”. Why can’t I sleep on a particular side of the bed? Why can’t I go into dark? And please, shrug is not a valid answer.

Don’t be fooled by their magnitude or level of impact on your life. Every “can’t” statement is a block. It could be as simple as – “I can’t step on sidewalk cracks while walking through the city”. (Remember Jack Nicholson in As Good as It Gets?) While it is convenient to dismiss smaller blocks, you should be aware that smaller blocks have this inordinate prowess to make you vulnerable to bigger ones. To put it into fancy new-age language: you become an easy “can’t”-er subconsciously.

Blocks block your growth to your highest potential as wholistic individual. That’s what blocks do, the name is a dead giveaway.

If you can logically explain a “can’t” of your life, and the explanation is acceptable to you, it’s fine. If you are sure there’s nothing that can be done to change the “can’t” to a “can” or you absolutely don’t want to change it, it’s fine too. You don’t have to justify to anybody else.

But there are some “can’t”s lurking in the back of our minds, which we know shouldn’t be there. We do our best to brush them under the mental carpet, or try to justify them unsatisfactorily, or feign complete ignorance of their existence. For these types of “can’t”s, there’s also this unmistakable nagging feeling that prompts us to take some action and refuses to be shushed. Somehow we learn to live with that feeling – because that’s easier than “canning” a “can’t”.

Or is it?

Here’s a simple step by step guide to reversing undesired “can’t”s that are bothering you:

  1. Bring your “can’t”s out in the open. List them all.
  2. Take a magnifying glass and study them thoroughly.
  3. List the ones you are not able to explain and are causing discomfort, however mild.
  4. See what you can do about those. Write down all possibilities. Take help, if required.

(You may want to refer to my previous article on Options.)

  1. Choose the best recourse.
  2. GO AND DO IT.

(If you say “can’t” to this one, repeat.)

(Published in We Are The City)
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Dinakshi is a curious explorer of life, and loves to see everything around her with a sense of wonder. Completely in awe of life and its ardent student, she is a writer, poet, blogger and ex-editor. Her superpower is involuntarily read and edit everything from text messages to poetry on the backside of trucks. Like any other Indian worth their salt, she’s done her time in the IT industry as a programmer. Books and journals have been her best friends for as long as she can remember. A philosopher at heart, she loves to question everything, including her propensity to question. An avid learner and unlearner, she is on a joyful path to live all that is.