There are so many challenges we face everyday it is no wonder we easily find ourselves falling into the trap of saying, "I can’t ." Its an extremely negative response and really does nothing for us as it’s more of an easy excuse than a real useful reason. Without getting into all the specifics as to why you should have a more positive outlook I’m going to focus on doing just one thing more positive. That is to change your thinking and response anytime you would have said, "I can’t" to "How can I?". There are 4 major areas I’ll explore around the benefits of changing this response.
Stay Open to New Things
Saying "I can’t" will immediately shut down any opportunity as you don’t even consider any way to work with the suggestion. Changing that response to look at how can I do something is far more positive. It allows you to look for ways and if nothing else, think about ways to do that. Even if you don’t act on those new things, staying open minded about them keeps options available for the future. You never know when you will change your mind and want to focus on that very thing you otherwise would have said, "I can’t" to.
People learn from your responses and if you have a habit of saying "I can’t" then others remember that and come to you less and less frequently with those new opportunities. "How can I" lets you question it yourself and gives you a chance to see those new things from different perspectives. People will be much more likely to come to you again with an idea or question if you look for ways to do it instead of simply shutting down the idea in the first place. Keep your interaction with others open and welcoming simply by changing this response.
Don’t Limit Yourself
Keeping that open mind lets you experience new things, new relationships and lets you see areas to make changes in your life. Some of these for the better, some not so, but keeping the choice available is useful. There is no point in limiting your choices in life and that’s exactly what "I can’t" does. It becomes a mind set to you and others that you are not willing to even try and that you give up easily. This is not a limiting belief that anyone should have!
Find and Offer Help
My favorite reason to never say I can’t and instead ask the question How can I is that it is often a way to find or offer help to someone else. Most of the things we say we can’t do are because we don’t believe we have the ability to accomplish something on our own. This is a perfect chance to then find some help and to see the same situations for others where you can offer help. Offering help is easily a substitute for saying, "I can’t" as well since you are still willing to be involved but perhaps at a simpler level, just offering help. This is very powerful in the workplace since even though you may already have a full workload, offering some help can be a huge benefit to others while requiring little of your own time. Obviously this depends on how much help you are offering, but there is nearly always something you can do to help, even if it is just a few minutes of your time.
As others discover you have a habit of looking at ways to accomplish something instead of avoiding it, you will keep them interested in coming to you. You will have more accomplishments under your belt as well since as you develop a way of looking for solutions and ways to achieve things instead of ways to avoid them. Balance this using priorities with your other work and focus on the most important tasks only will keep you from being overloaded can give you a massive boost to accomplishing many things. Keeping some time available to always ensure you can offer help or ask when needed will allow you to ask that question of "How Can I?" without feeling overwhelmed by more new tasks.
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