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How to lift the curse of ‘why can’t I…’

How can I change my way of thinking to reach my goals?
How can I change my way of thinking to reach my goals?

Most people tend to live their future as if it is an inevitable rehashing of their past, and then they wonder why they are not able to make the changes they claim to so desperately want. I have seen countless people throw their hands to the heavens and exclaim some version of ‘Why can’t I change this?’ I have heard 100’s of excuses for remaining stuck, whether the person thinks their weight problem is genetic and they were born that way (‘I have always been overweight. My mother is fat, my father is fat, my grandparents were fat…’), or a smoker has convinced themselves that they are hopelessly addicted to nicotine.

These people believe that other people succeed because of luck. They do not believe it is possible for them unless they happen to get lucky. So popping a pill or taking a diet product are very seductive solutions. They are some version of ‘If I can’t change this, maybe this pill can do it for me’.

The first step towards a successful change is reclaiming control, and that starts with asking a different question. By shifting the question from ‘Why Can’t I…’ to ‘How Can I…’ a whole world opens up. The truth is that these people are struggling to reach their goals because they have a pattern or strategy that they have been executing for so long that it has become the habit, and they have identified themselves with the habit so strong that it feels like it is part of who they are.

So next time you find yourself asking the question ‘Why can’t I…’, immediately switch it to ‘How Can I…?’ and look around you for new strategies.

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