The other day I was at my CrossFit gym when someone had asked me if I thought I was going to be able to squat a certain amount of weight that I had never attempted before. I vividly remember replying “I don’t know” instead of immediately shutting down the idea and saying “No, I can’t.”
While the slight nuance between the two phrases may seem minor at first glance, I believe there are more consequences to our words then we might realize.
Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” The first time I heard this, I’ll admit I was skeptical about it and didn’t quite understand the underlying message. However, it has become increasingly apparent that our thoughts and our language do, in fact, create our reality.
Many times we forget that what we say is so without putting much thought into both our inner and outer dialogues, which creates the mold for our reality. The second we say we “can’t” do something, we immediately create an energetic shift of resistance and give up all of our power towards the completion of whatever it is we would like to do. On a subconscious level, we are likely to behave and operate accordingly with our belief of “can’t,” putting ourselves at a huge disadvantage.
Personally, I’ve learned it is immensely beneficial to operate from a place of wonder and curiosity and to come from “I don’t know,” instead of a definitively disempowering “I can’t.” Since that day at CrossFit, the focus on my beliefs and thoughts about my unknown and hidden abilities really stuck with me. I have chosen to adopt a mindset of curiosity about myself and my abilities. Every day, I consciously choose to focus on the fact that I really don’t know all that I am capable of.
It is essential to remember that limiting thoughts and belief ultimately create a limited life. Instead of immediately shrinking back to the safety of what you know and immediately saying “I can’t” to things you might not have tried yet, why not challenge and change your perceptions about yourself and your capabilities?
Ancient philosophers believed that we can never step into the same river of life twice. Meaning that the earth, ourselves, and present moment conditions have never been as they are today. Our self, like life, is always changing, shifting, and growing. Who we are today is certainly different than who we were in the “past.”
I have a quote on my wall by Lao Tzu, one of the greatest ancient Chinese philosophers, which says “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” It is a daily reminder for me as I start each day to drop what I know about myself and consciously decide to embrace all that I can become and do on a daily basis. It reminds me not to be defined by my past.
Truly, we all have within us great and vast potential just waiting to be tapped into, if we are only courageous enough to try. It certainly takes some work, but I believe it is quite possible to give up our past identities, thoughts, stories, and beliefs about who we were, and create ourselves powerfully as new each and every day.
When we let go of what we are, we begin accessing what we might be capable of doing and becoming. I invite you to get curious about where you may be holding on to limiting views about yourself. Let go of your past stories, beliefs, and ideas of who you think you are, and focus on creating and reinventing yourself on daily basis.