One thing keeping you from your potential (and it’s not what you think)

One thing keeping you from your potential (and it's not what you think)

mudWhy is it that most people don’t accomplish all the things in life that they would like to? I believe it’s only because they mentally decide they can’t, and everything else simply follows suit. I, unfortunately, fell victim to this recently.

Last weekend, hundreds (if not thousands) of people participated in a Tough Mudder race in central IL (congrats AJ, Kristy, BJ & Jon!). I was not one of them. That wasn’t originally the plan, though.

In late 2012, I had decided that I was going to register for this 10+ mile, fairly excruciating feat of strength and endurance. Was I even close to ready to complete it? Of course not!

But that was my motivation!

I figured if I “threw my hat over the wall”, I would be more motivated to set the right goals and take the proper action to get the job done.

Well, a few weeks went by and I hadn’t registered yet. I was trying to eat better and exercise a little, but didn’t actually start “training”, which would have been necessary. You see, I have only run more than a mile once in my entire life, so this was going to be quite a stretch.

A month went by. Two months. The price for registration continued to climb. Over these few months, I hadn’t actually admitted to myself that I wasn’t going to do it yet, but anyone could have guessed it.

Then, it happened. 

“Ya know… I can’t run this race. I’ve never run more than three miles in my life, and I would be better off starting with some 5K races and working my way up to this. I’ll do it next year!”

“I CAN’T”: THE STATEMENT OF DEATHNot death like dying. But but death to all hope of accomplishing a goal.


Why do we ever say we CAN’T do something??

  • Basing future performance on past experiences
  • Comparing ourselves to others
  • Laziness
  • Improper goal setting
  • Unrealistic timeframes

This list could go on forever. As Henry Ford said:

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t… you’re right.

How about eliminating the word “CAN’T” from your vocabulary? Do it immediately. Instead of ever saying “I can’t”, say “how can I??”! Imagine how many possibilities this would open for you! What would you do with your life if you knew you couldn’t fail? Once you realize that failure is not fatal, and is actually REQUIRED to succeed, you’ll be able to achieve more than you had ever thought possible!

After the race, I asked one of my friends (who I thought would have quite a struggle himself) how it went. He was obviously sore, but said he finished all the obstacles, had a blast and was lining up to do it next year as well.


What’s the worst that would have happened if I had run the race? I would have been challenged, tired, sore… but I would have felt so good about myself for not giving in to the simple desire to say “I can’t”.

As for me, I am again reminded by the power of the phrase “I can’t”, and will continue to resist the urge to let it enter into my life!

What are some of the biggest things you thought/think you can’t do in life? Post in the comments and work towards figuring out how you CAN move towards that goal!

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