I coined the term because as a little girl and a young woman, I was always told all the things I couldn’t do. I felt like I had no voice and no choice! Therefore whenever an opportunity presented itself or I wanted to try something new, my knee jerk reaction was and for the most part still is:
“You can’t do that, you’re not strong enough or you’re not smart enough or you don’t know enough”
Does this sound like your self-talk as well?
As a recovering Can’t-aholic, I can relate in a very real way to those of you who still believe that you can’t be who you want to be or do what you want to do. I know what’s it’s like to feel held back from achieving all you want to achieve in life. When one little set back can seem like a mountain that’s impossible to climb.
A couple of summers ago, I visited Rome. It was a trip that I had dreamt of for years. A few days before we departed my husband and I sat down and mapped out our itinerary. We would be there for almost 3 full days. On Day 1, we would arrive in Rome at about 10:45am, check in to the hotel and have a nap before setting out to see the Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel, and Vatican City, which is a stone throw away from our hotel. On day 2, we would be up early, grab a taxi, and walk through the Coliseum, Palatine Hill and the Forum. Then taxi it back for a nap and then head out to see the Trevi Fountain. Day three would include the Spanish Stairs and the Villa Borghese.
Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? It was fantastic, but before doing all of this, I was very concerned about my ability to actually get all of this in. I have 2 moderate heel spurs in each of my feet, so that’s four altogether. The spurs make it quite challenging to walk for extended periods of time. They have impeded my ability to work out the way I once used to and beautiful high heels are definitely out of the question now. I just kept thinking to myself, you’re not going to be able to do all of this. There’s no way. The Vatican museum is attached to the Sistine Chapel and is about a total of 7 km to walk, and not just flat surfaces, there are a few stairs involved as well, and add to that the blistering heat. It was about 32 degrees in Rome, so swelling is a concern for me as well! Even if I get through Day 1, how on earth I am going to get through Day 2, which will require even more walking and climbing and forget about Day 3, not going to happen. The Spanish Stairs, really? My feet will be dead by then, there’s just no way, I’m not going to accomplish this. There’s that knee jerk reaction! I can’t do this! My stomach was getting in a knot, I didn’t want to miss out on anything and I sure as heck didn’t want to tell my husband because I didn’t want to worry him and ruin the vacation for him. He’s just as excited about the trip as I am!
Then I remembered:
I’m a recovering Can’t-aholic, I’ve worked through my limiting beliefs. I can change my self-talk! I’m a Life Coach for goodness sake!
What CAN I do so I can see all the things that I want to see? The reality is that I have heel spurs and I can’t change that. What can I change? First of all, my thinking, I have to get over the fact that my feet are going to hurt, this is not just a normal hurt, this is like stepping on burning thumbtacks every time you put your foot down. I must find a way to minimize the pain, onto the internet I went! Google will have the answers, and sure enough it did! Equipped with a better mindset and some very helpful pain management tips we traipsed off to Rome! I had to do a lot of self-talking while I was there but I had the best support by my side, my loving husband! Together we conquered Rome! We did everything on our itinerary and more!
The quote by Henry Ford is so true:
“WHETHER YOU THINK YOU CAN OR YOU THINK YOU CAN’T, YOU’RE RIGHT EITHER WAY”
Friends, the lesson here is, stop thinking you can’t, take a leap faith, trust yourself and give it a try, you don’t know what adventures await you!
It is my honour to serve you! God Bless!
Written by: Nina Ganguli