I CAN’T! I hear these words everyday from my 7 year old, my husband, and sometimes from my 3 year old. I hear it from patients, co-workers, and those that work at businesses I frequent. Mostly I’m sure, I hear from my self and as a litany in my head. My 3 year old is better then most, she predominately has an “I Can Do it” attitude, even when we know she can’t, but the difference is, she tries.
Each day we are faced with obstacles to everything we do, and it is so much easier to say “it cannot be done” rather than “let’s try and see what happens.” I was recently thanked by a patient for doing my job, that is not how she put it, but basically what happened. She felt I went above and beyond, when really instead of telling her we couldn’t do it earlier, I thought why can’t we figure a way to get it done. As a whole, humans spend a lot of time arguing why they are unable to do something. If we spent that time just getting it done, the change would be amazing.
So, now you are all wondering, Sarah why do I care about your attitude problem. Well, because it affects ALL of us. Every morning we wake up and make a decision about how to live the day. Every morning we decide and plan out what we are going to eat, activities we are going to participate in, and our attitude. When we thinking of “dieting” we assume we are depriving ourselves of something we would like and enjoy more then what we are “allowed” to eat. When we “exercise” we assume this needs to be less enjoyable then any other activity we would rather be doing. By changing our attitude we can be more successful. Our “diet” is simply what we eat on a daily basis; it does not necessarily mean we are “dieting.” And we forget many times that we can eat healthy foods and enjoy them too. By simply thinking how can I make that to fit into my calorie budget we have changed our attitude from I will NEVER enjoy my food again. By saying I will walk for 5 minutes today we have changed our attitude from well, I will NEVER be able to run.
Let’s take this a little further, how many people the first time we said we want you to “exercise” immediately responded with an “I Can’t because….” Most of you are thinking, yup that was me. What we meant was, let’s get you more active. What you thought was, these people want me to run and bench press. But, you changed your thinking, and now many of our patients are doing things they never thought possible. My daughter had a friend in Kindergarten who was in a wheelchair but was able to walk some with a walker, his very first day their teacher asked him if he could swing, he said “I don’t know, but I’ll try.”
My confession, every morning I wake up at 5 am to go exercise, most mornings I fall back asleep because see I CAN’T go, I am much to tired. I am making a promise now to change that attitude, and I want you to change it with me. Each day when faced with an I CAN’T change it to a I’ll try, let’s see what happens. So do I know what will happen with your journey, no but don’t look at it as you can’t, because one they I have learned is that you CAN.
Sarah Grimes, RN, CBN