Kids, this is a big, big secret.
Words have the power to heal and destroy. The right words can lift you up and the wrong ones can really hurt.
As you grow, you’ll discover what it’s like to use, and be on the receiving end, of good and bad words.
But it’s the words you use on yourself which can have the most inspiring and devastating effect.
You see, inside all of us is someone who is trying to protect you. To stop you from doing, or saying, silly things which could hurt you physically, emotionally or socially.
That little voice, is your Inner Critic, or IC. Its’ job is to stop you from trying to ride your skateboard through traffic, pat sharks, getting too proud and boastful or saying terrible things to people you really quite like, just to get a giggle from others or to make yourself feel good at their expense.
But sometimes your IC will do too good a job and stop you from doing things you’d secretly quite like to do, things which you know you will enjoy, be good at or bring joy to others.
And, it’s favourite phrase is:
For some reason it will tell you ‘I Can’t’ do lots of things, just to keep you safe. And your IC will repeat that mantra over and over until you really believe it’s true.
What your IC wants to do is keep you safe and secure; like a prisoner.
So the world is chock full of people who have told themselves repeatedly ‘I Can’t!’, and they’ve missed out on some amazing experiences, relationships, jobs or adventures.
Sadly, I’m one of them too, sometimes.
But my mate Anton knows another powerful word which has an amazing superpower to get you moving in the right direction.
Let me explain.
Last week, while I was out walking, I saw a little boy chucking a tanty because he couldn’t get a basketball through a hoop.
“I can’t do it! I can’t do it!” he yelled at his mum.
“Yet!” I called back. They both looked at me.
“I can’t do it… yet!” I repeated.
His mum smiled, “That’s right, you have to keep trying. You can’t do it yet, but you will.”
The little bloke got up, took another shot… and missed.
I kept walking.
But, I didn’t hear him chuck another tanty. He might not have made the shot, but he got the lesson.
Kids, as you grow, you’re going to discover a whole stack of things you can’t do. The thing is, if you really want to do them, then don’t put them off forever because you’re IC is telling you, ‘I Can’t!’
Add this magic word:
I can’t do algebra; yet.
I can’t play a blues lead riff on my guitar; yet.
I can’t talk in public; yet.
I can’t read a huge novel; yet.
You may need someone to show you how, push yourself a bit harder or train more. But, sooner or later, you’ll get a result. And you’ll be much better off for it.
You may not be the best, fastest, smartest or most accurate at whatever it is you’re trying to achieve, but at the very least you won’t be afraid to have a go whenever a challenge pops up to make you doubt yourself.
You won’t let the first setbacks stop you from doing something you really want to do (by the way, there is a time to quit, but that’s a topic I’ll touch on later).
So, whenever you’re struggling to do something, and you’re inner critic is shouting ‘I Can’t!’ at you, repeat this little mantra,
‘I can’t do it; yet!’
And watch how much more power it will bring into your, and other people’s, lives.