“I can’t do this” is, in my mind, one of the most crippling thought anyone can have. It has such a vast range of interpretations including “I can’t do a handstand.” or “I can’t live like this” and everything in between and beyond. In a majority of cases it stems from a fear of failure, the unknown, or just of trying something new. Even though we regret the things we don’t do so much more than the things we do do, we still deny ourselves the chance by telling ourselves we are simply not capable of whatever ‘it’ is.
It seems to me that this starts in childhood when we are afraid of the monster under the bead. Imagination is a wonderful thing, it is what brings books to life, allowing the characters to form inside our minds. However it can also turn shadows into monsters that send us leaping across the room in fright when imagination gets tainted by fear.
Fears develop because a person doesn’t understand something enough to truly grasp what it’s impact would be. If left unchecked these fears can very easily become phobias, despite the individual in question knowing that their reaction is disproportionate to the threat. As a personal example, when I was little I was afraid of spiders because I didn’t understand how they moved the way the do. Now, even after obtaining a BSc in animal behaviour, I am still scared of the little creeps!
So many people in the world today allow fear to hold them back, to tell them that they are not capable of achieving or doing or even just seeing something. They are afraid that the monster under the bed will come get them if they step outside of their comfort zone. This despite believing that there may be something out there worth seeing, but then resigning themselves to the fact that it is beyond their reach so why try in the first place.
I myself have fallen into this state on many occasions in the past.
So, instead of saying “I can’t do this” or “I’m not capable of that” try saying something like “I might be capable of this, who knows? Lets find out!” and give it a whirl! Learn new language, go on a trip you’ve been longing to make, just take one step outside your front door and see where the world will take you.
Who knows, you might just enjoy it.