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I can ….

I can ….

As Henry Ford puts it ‘Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.’

How often do you catch yourself saying ‘I can’t do that’?  Often it has become an automatic reaction; dismissing the possibility before we even really process whether or not we could do it.

Last week I was having a conversation with my hairdresser, who is writing a story for me.  ‘You know, I’ve always thought differently from other people’ she told me.  ‘When others say ‘I can’t do that’ I always think ‘I can do that’, or if I know I can’t then I ask ‘how else can I do that?”  When she talked through her story it was clear, yes she always came up with a solution despite the many obstacles which appeared in her way.  But was question to myself was, do most of us really say ‘I can’t’ so much that she thinks she thinks differently?  Unfortunately the answer is yes.

Often it is simpler for us to take the easy option, to stay comfortable and push ourselves too far.  We feel safe; we don’t want to face our fears – such as the fears of failure and judgement.  Yet, as humans we need that challenge to move us forwards, to feel happy and fulfilled.  I love the quote ‘leap and the net will appear’ (John Burroughs), since that is one of the biggest fears we all have – the fear of jumping and not knowing what will happen next.  When we do take that leap most often things work out OK; it’s never as bad as our mind imagines!

‘Leap and the net will appear’

In 1991 I saw a programme about the Romanian Orphanages on the BBC.  I turned to my friend and told her I had to go and help.  There was no hesitation and I had no idea how I could do this, but it was something I had to do.  The thing was after I took that decision everything fell in place.  My friend and another friend came with me, as did a plumber who had heard about what we were doing.  We found people locally who had contacts with a charity and who had been out there and we received donations so we were able to send aid out also.  Within 2 months of watching the programme we were on a Romanian Airways plane to Bucharest.  The day after we arrived we got on a train in the direction of the orphanage.  Then we realised we didn’t really know exactly how to get there!  Somehow we ended up getting off at the right station and found a taxi who knew roughly where we were going.  That night, rather than finding the orphanage, we found the accommodation for volunteers (which we didn’t know existed!)  At times I look back at all this and think how did all this happen?  To be honest, I still don’t truly know other than I leapt and a net appeared.

We forget we can, but we can!

At times we need to remind ourselves of the things we have done in our lives (no matter how small), as they remind us what we are truly capable of.  We all so easily ignore, dismiss and forget what we have done, of those times when we have challenged ourselves and our fears and achieved what we wanted to.

‘I can’ is a mindset, one we have to practice living in and train our mind to accept that it is OK, we can step into the unknown and succeed. We build this mindset by initially giving ourselves small challenges and finding the help and support we need to complete these challenges.

If you do one thing after reading this let it be to remind yourself of all the times when you have said ‘I can’ and when you did.

Have a wonderful week of remebering what you have done.

Lyn x

p.s. If you’d like some support on creating an ‘I can’ mindset, or in completing a challenge, please email me to see how I can help you at

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