I’ve been told various times throughout my life that I couldn’t do things or what I wanted to achieve was impossible. I’m sure you’ve heard, “You can’t do that” or a feeling like you can’t do something. Has it ever stopped you? How have you figured out how to overcome negativity from others or yourself?
I asked a friend of mine for ideas for a blog post and I loved it when she mentioned how I turned something that someone said I couldn’t do into something I did do. And often, these days I get called “strong” and to be honest, I don’t feel strong. I’ve been in a slump lately and although it doesn’t look like it online, I felt a little lost, struggling with things and maybe it’s work being a bit slower, but hearing friends of mine tell me they know I’ll always figure it out and persevere is a different perspective I don’t always have. I started thinking, I don’t even think it’s a choice. I have to move forward, I have to work to support my life and my kids, and it’s not that I’m strong, I’m just doing what I can. But she told me to give myself some credit, that I’ve overcome a lot the past year and to give myself a break. I struggle with crediting myself, seeing that I’m ok and taking my own advice. But I DO NOT say “can’t” or have other’s tell me I can’t do something. If you ever wanted to push my buttons, this would be it :).
Can’t is a strong word to say to anyone and yourself. And I’ve always taken that word as a challenge. I’ve learned in the past few years that who you surround yourself with can impact your personal and professional career and it has been a huge lesson in life in figuring out who is rooting for me vs. against me. The very first step in thinking you can is believing in yourself. If you surround yourself with those that believe in you, that positive energy enables you to feel more confident and to do something about your goals.
We all know those “friends” or even family, that root against you, that compete with you, and that takes you down a notch when things are happening for you. The best thing is to ignore the negativity or separate yourself from them (sometimes impossible to do) and ONLY FOCUS ON YOURSELF. If you find yourself feeling competitive or having FOMO, turn that focus back on yourself and what you can achieve. Looking at others only takes your energy away and your ultimate goal is to achieve your own milestones.
I believe if I set my mind to something I can do it. And I believe this is the same for anyone, but being able to check off that list of can do’s takes steps. You can’t sit on your butt and expect that things will work out or opportunities will come to you.
At first, when I was writing this I was trying to figure out what I was going to write about. With the closing of the T&J Designs site soon, and being a content creator/blogger full time, I realized I do take specific steps in achieving my goals and believe that “can’t” shouldn’t be said to anyone. So here are steps I take to turn the can’t, into a CAN . . .
- As I mentioned above, tell yourself you CAN achieve your goals every day
- Make reasonable and achievable goals that you can do weekly and then your highest REACH goals. Write those down. I say achievable as you want to feel good when you can check off your list. For instance, I told myself last year and finally this year I needed to work out. I began last month with the goal of twice a week. I feel pretty good I’ve been able to do that and may up it to three times. I would have failed immediately if I had told myself that I had to daily. My reach goals are typically my financial goals for the year and I divide that by the twelve months to figure out what I need to make per month to reach them. If I’m behind some months, I try to figure out how to get there to make it at the end. Writing them down helps keep you in check.
- So this is important, after listing out let’s say 3 goals. Really think about how to reach those goals. Plan of action: how do you achieve them and what are the steps needed to succeed. I do this every day. From negotiating a contract to figuring out what project is next. I think about every step I need to take to make it happen.
- Timeline – is there a time frame you want to achieve it by? I do monthly and yearly goals.
- Ok, this sounds stupid to repeat, BUT actually DO the steps you listed and take ACTION. If you want to turn something from a can’t to a CAN, you have to move and take steps to do it. Too many times have I heard someone tell me their business idea or that they want to start blogging or Instagramming and I hear about it for a year. If you aren’t going to do something about it, stop talking about it. If you really want to do something about it, just start. There’s no time like the present. And remember, even if it doesn’t work out, that’s not a failure, that’s initiative to try and there were learnings from it.
- There is progress in taking steps. Always evaluate how far the goal is and decisions can be made to alter the route or change. Be flexible, open to learning/new opportunities and get excited.
- Ultimately, if the goal is reached or not, you are attempting to make it happen and to many people, that is BADASS. Life is short, words are just words until actions make it real.
- If you reach your goal(s), take a moment to appreciate and relish in it. I’m telling you this as I am bad at doing this myself. I need to take this step when I reach my goals.
Photos by Jonathan Castellon
I certainly don’t always achieve my goals but I sure do go for it as much as I can. Determination and hustle are two skills that turn things into CAN DO’s. So although I struggle from time to time, I try to turn it around by thinking of what steps I can do to improve what’s going on and ask myself how do I change this course. Don’t settle into the negative (it’s ok to feel down or discouraged from time to time), but I always remember that I am in control of my life and I can make decisions to change it. So that’s how I’ve gotten where I am. Like the little engine that could I keep telling myself, “I think I can, I think I can” and you should too.