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Canning the Can’t | Dinakshi Arora

Women biting nails

Women biting nails“I can’t sleep on the right side of the bed.”

“I can’t sleep with lights off.”

“I can’t drive.”

“I can’t dance.”

“I can’t go to crowded places.”

“I can’t go ahead after a black cat has crossed my path.”

“I can’t lose weight.”

“I can’t make it to Harvard.”

As you must have guessed, these are common statements we often hear. And you must have also realised that these are more of “I don’t think I can” statements than the literal “I can’t” ones. We are so used to hearing these kinds of statements that these don’t call for special attention and mostly leave us unaffected. Even our own. In reality though, they affect us big time.

These “can’t” statements are a window to our inner world, if you will. Actually these are window to cobwebs in our inner world. Anybody who is a genuine seeker of truth, or wants to be in touch with their core, has to try at least a “why?”. Why can’t I sleep on a particular side of the bed? Why can’t I go into dark? And please, a shrug is not a valid answer.

Don’t be fooled by their magnitude or level of impact on your life. Every “can’t” statement is a block. It could be as simple as – “I can’t step on sidewalk cracks while walking through the city”. (Remember Jack Nicholson in As Good as It Gets?) While it is convenient to dismiss smaller blocks, you should be aware that smaller blocks have this inordinate prowess to make you vulnerable to bigger ones. To put it into fancy new-age language: you become an easy “can’t”-er subconsciously.

Blocks block growth to your highest potential as a wholistic individual. That’s what blocks do, the name is a dead giveaway.

If you can logically explain a “can’t” in your life, and the explanation is acceptable to you, it’s fine. If you are sure there’s nothing that can be done to change the “can’t” to a “can” or you absolutely don’t want to change it, that’s fine too. You don’t have to justify it to anybody else.

But there are some “can’t”s lurking in the back of our minds, which we know shouldn’t be there. We do our best to brush them under the mental carpet, or try to justify them unsatisfactorily, or feign complete ignorance of their existence. For these types of “can’t”s, there’s also this unmistakable nagging feeling that prompts us to take some action and refuses to be shushed. Somehow we learn to live with that feeling – because that’s easier than “canning” a “can’t”.

Or is it?

Here’s a simple step by step guide to reversing undesired “can’t”s that are bothering you:

1. Bring your “can’t”s out into the open. List them all.

2. Take a magnifying glass and study them thoroughly.

3. List the ones you are not able to explain and which are causing discomfort, however mild.

4. See what you can do about them. Write down all the possibilities. Get help, if required.

(You may want to refer to my previous article on options.)

5. Choose the best recourse.

6. GO AND DO IT.

(If you say “can’t” to this one, repeat)

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