Focus on what you can do instead of what you can’t do

Have you ever had a problem with a clerk at a store or a customer service representative who seems bent on not helping you?

When you tell her what you need, she responds, “Oh, I’m sorry. I can’t do that.”

“Well what about this other thing?” you ask.

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“No. I can’t do that either. I’m so sorry.”

You need help and she doesn’t seem to want to help you. It makes you want to pull your hair out and scream, “What can you do?”

If she really wanted to help you, she would tell you what she can do instead of what she can’t do. She would do what she can to help you, instead of quoting company policy to tell you why she can’t do anything to help you.

What could you and I accomplish if we shifted our focus to what we can do instead of focusing on what we can’t do?

Here are some things to keep in mind:

Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean we can’t do it.

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Sometimes none of our choices are good and we have to make the best bad choice.

Focusing on what we can do opens up possibilities and keeps us from getting stuck.

As Henry Ford once said: Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.

I wish I could do cool stuff.

There are a gazillion things I can’t do right now. Deep sea dive, pilot a plane, play the cello, and ride a unicycle, to name a few.

But wait….

Do I know anyone who rides a unicycle? Yes. Would he teach me. I’m sure he would. If my goal were to ride a unicycle, what’s my first step? I don’t know, but I could find out.

It turns out, considering all the potential challenges life presents, learning how to ride a unicycle would be pretty easy to figure out.

Yes, there’s a lot I can’t do, but there are also a gazillion thIngs I can do if I want it bad enough.

What does it take to focus on what you can do? (especially when you feel stuck)

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Courage to make tough choices. When you feel like you don’t have a choice, you can get stuck in that discouraging mindset. But if you look at what you can do, you may see that you do have a choice(s). It’s just that the choices may not be ideal. You may have to make the best bad choice.

Be okay with being uncomfortable. Taking action may cause you to be uncomfortable. Things may get worse before they get better. Hang in there. The only way to move forward is to take a step toward your end goal.

Start small and be patient. You can’t finish a marathon at the starting line. Do what you can, even if it doesn’t seem like much. Small actions over time add up. You’ll be amazed at your progress : )

Focus on what you can do instead of what you can’t do to keep yourself from getting mentally and emotionally stuck where you don’t want to be.

There’s a lot you can do. Decide where you’ll start.