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Lessons From the End of a Marriage

A “How to Thrive” Guide After Divorce

The Words I Hate to Hear

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There are two words that I hate to hear more than anything else:

“I can’t.”

I hear them in the classroom. I read them on Facebook or on my Twitter feed. I hear them from coaching clients.

And I even hear them from myself.

And every time I hear those words, I see someone limiting themselves.

Defeating themselves.


“I can’t” doesn’t keep you safe.

It means means you’re afraid to try.

“I can’t” doesn’t mean you are not able.

It means you are uncomfortable.

“I can’t” doesn’t make you happy.

It keeps you from happy.


“I can’t” is often a knee jerk reaction. A plea to keep the status quo and resist change.

We become adept at shoring up our “I can’ts” with excuses disguised as reasons.

It’s a shield.

A security blanket.

A delaying tactic.

That only serves to hold us back.


The biggest lie we tell ourselves is “I can’t.”

Stop lying.

You can.


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11 thoughts on “The Words I Hate to Hear

  1. I use to tell my sons it must mean ‘I don’t want to’. They would give me fish eye looks and huff and puff off down the hall, sometimes screaming, ‘I hate you’. I would smile and say, ‘I know, let me know when you are done’.

    I admit, I say it sometimes. I said it a great deal once upon a time, especially during physical therapy. I still say it sometimes when I am in pain. It is easy to limit yourself, isn’t it?

  2. I spent 2 years saying I can’t do this one more day. and every day I did it. I still don’t know how I did it, but I did. We never know how strong we are until we are through whatever challenge we are facing. People tell me I am strong but when I was in the middle of it I felt anything but strong, I was scared, weak, discouraged and depressed but too stubborn to give up on myself.

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