I can attitude

Whether you think you can or can’t, you are usually right.

-Henry Ford

Maybe as adults we should revisit reading children’s books, there’s a lot we could learn. In the classic children’s story The Little Engine That Could, children are taught the lesson that hard work and belief in oneself pays off. The story is about a standard train that needs to go over a very high mountain. After being refused help by all the big engines a little blue engine is willing to offer help. Even though the task seems impossible, the little blue engine repeats a mantra of “I think I can, I think I can” and succeeds.

The moral of the story is to develop an attitude of thinking you can succeed no matter how big the obstacle, or difficult the journey. More precisely, if you think you can’t, it will stop you from succeeding. If you think you can, it will drive you to success. As children this notion is reinforced over and over.  We are told repeatedly, “you can do it!” When we doubted ourselves as children, an adult would invariably step in and say, “try.” If you failed that was ok as well, “you gave it your best.”

Later we would be asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” That question gave us the freedom to see the world as limitless in possibilities. It encouraged us that we could become and accomplish anything.  As we become adults we often lose these basic principles that we learned as children, freedom to explore possibilities, belief, willingness to try, and acceptance of failure with the ability to move on and try again.  We doubt our ability to create change and succeed.

A person who doubts himself is like a man who would enlist in the ranks of his enemies and bear arms against himself. He makes his failure certain by himself being the first person to be convinced of it.
-Alexandre Dumas

Our mindset shapes our behavior. Once you think that something isn’t possible, you will not commit your energy in the direction of that goal. You develop a mindset of, “I can’t.” This leads to a lack of belief and unwillingness to try. This comes in many shapes, forms and disguises. We change the “I can’t” to, “there are no good jobs out there” or, “there’s no one to meet, the good ones are all taken” or, “the timing isn’t right” The self-defeating phrases we come up with can be very inventive and there are endless combinations. However, the common theme is believing “I can’t.”

Here’s the ironic part, when you state these reasons, your reasons are the truth. However, they are not the truth because they’re universal truths, but only because they’re your truths. They become your truths because you make them so with how you believe. You can change the truth by how you think. As Henry Ford put it, “how you think is what makes you right”. What he missed in that was that you are right for you and you alone.

The truth is that there are jobs to get, people to meet, and the time for change is right, right now!  Don’t live a life less than what you want by aiming the weapon of doubt at yourself. It is time to develop an, “I can” attitude. Believing in an “I can” attitude, you will usually be right. When you’re wrong, just like as children we are taught that failing is ok, you simple try again. The world is filled with as many possibilities as you choose to believe.

There’s no point in identifying goals that you want to achieve, and developing an action plan to create those goals if the foundation of beliefs are founded on “I can’t” attitude. Your beliefs will hold you back from creating the life changes you want. Build your future by setting your foundation on the principle of “I can!” Just like the little blue engine, make it your mantra. Repeat it to yourself all day until all you see in the world are possibilities and opportunities. Keep climbing that mountain on your road to success, I know you can do it. It’s as simple as saying,

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can , I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…………………

Leave a Reply