I Think I Can, I Think I Can

I think I can.png

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ― Henry Ford



When it comes to implementing changes, our attitude matters a great deal!

I know if I don't have faith that I can accomplish something, I don't put forth as much effort. I'm liable to quit faster and try with less than all of my might. I make excuses. I throw in the towel. Sometimes I give up even before I begin!

If I'm in the middle of a run or a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout and tell myself it's just too hard, I will probably just stop. Granted, there are times when it might realistically be a bit too challenging, but quitting isn't the answer. Usually it's just a cop-out. I don't want to put forth the effort sometimes and find myself making excuses that allow me to stop and take the easy way out.

Telling myself I can't do something or that something's too hard creates a negative self-fulfilling prophecy, draining me of my motivation and energy, effectively keeping me from reaching the very goals I'm claiming are too lofty to reach.



Maybe there is some magic in the mantra of the Little Engine That Could: "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can."

Reminding myself that I can face my challenges head-on and work hard to overcome them gives me just that little extra bit of oomph I need to succeed.

Sometimes I still fall short of my goals, but I make it farther before I quit and find it easier to get back up and try again when I remind myself that I am capable.

I'm trying to catch myself every time I think, "I can't do this" and correct my thinking to more true statements like, "I can do this," "I can at least try," and "I have to try first before giving up." 

I owe it to myself to put in the effort before giving up. If I don't push myself to new heights, I'm never going to accomplish my goals or see any real change. (And I have a pretty good feeling you wouldn't, either, and just might need that little bit of motivation to start rethinking your own inner dialogue of "can't.")



It also helps to take into account the things that might go wrong. This sounds counterintuitive when trying to build confidence and bolster motivation, but it actually makes us more likely to press on when things inevitably get more difficult than we imagined.

If I go into something blindly and stumble, I might get discouraged by how unexpectedly difficult it is and want to quit trying. 

If, on the other hand, I know that it might be challenging because I'm not yet as strong as I could be, as patient as I could be, or lacking a little in self-discipline, I'm aware of the areas of growth that are open to me, and more prepared to work with them when trying to reach my goals.

In trying to eat healthier, I know I have issues with eating too fast (and therefore too much in one sitting), so I'm working on going slower.

As part of my goal to grow my business, I'm recognizing my short fuse when it comes to learning new technology and giving myself a timeline to keep me on track and allowing breaks when I need them.



What helps you motivate yourself to reach your goals?


Further reading:

To Reach Your Goals, Imagine You Already Tried and Failed by Brad Stulberg, Science of Us