CAN'T vs WON'T updated

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Can’t vs Won’t - Updated

In the past 27 years as a coach I have probably been told “I can’t” no less than at least twice a day by a client or someone asking for advice. Every time I hear “I can’t” I have proven to that person that they can but just won’t. Sometimes it’s fear but most of the time it’s laziness. I say it’s laziness because it requires effort to do something that they have never done before.

Relationship Perspective

In a relationship both people need to give 100%. If one person is giving 100% and the other person is only giving 80% what happens? Well, eventually the relationship fails because the 80% person over time will begin to give less and the 100% person will begin to feel the pressure to support both. When the 80% person was asked why they were only giving 80% or less they responded, “I thought I was, I guess I Can’t”. The real answer is they won’t because they are afraid. In relationships people typically won’t give 100% because they are afraid of loving completely, sharing secrets (fear of rejection) or just lazy and they are comfortable.

Fitness and Nutrition Perspective

Fitness is the easiest to conquer, also the first place where people are laziest. 90% of people are afraid to try new exercises, as well as, increase the resistance that they are lifting. Why, because it requires change and effort. When people get lazy and the safety box is put up. This safety box is the reason why you will see people in the gym that never change ever, but they still come all the time.

Cardio is a prime example of laziness. For cardio to truly be effective you need to increase your heart rate to a high enough level where you begin to sweat and are now burning fat for fuel. Interval training is another example of cardio training the people won’t try. Interval training can be a mix running and jogging or a mix fast walking on hills and flat levels. Either can be very effective based on your fitness level.

Once again though most people would rather just be comfortable in the gym and walk or ride a bike comfortably for 30 minutes while watching TV. Again, this is not fear but laziness.

Nutrition is also an area where people are constantly saying “I can’t, it’s just too hard”. First, nutrition is not hard you make it hard. Nutrition is easy but does require effort in planning and preparation. Eating healthy means eating fresh vegetables, lean meats or fish and drinking lots of water. It does not include drinking sugary drinks, eating fast food, eating sweets and consuming alcohol daily.

Business Perspective

The workplace is a great example of where people become comfortable and only perform the basic tasks required to receive a paycheck. Why, does this happen? That’s an easy answer as well. When these people are asked why they only perform the basic amount required the answer is “Well I know how much I need to earn and why would I want to move up and work harder. I am comfortable”. This perspective is fine for some, but the people that complain about work and are only performing the basic requirements are the ones that are afraid to step outside of the safety box. The safety box exists in business as well. The safety box holds most people back from ever reaching their potential every day.


Can you see how the safety box affects all three perspectives? Hopefully you can because you probably recognize someone like this or possibly it is you. Don’t be offended if it is you. You can still take it to the next level, but first you need to figure out what is holding you back.

·       What is causing you to be lazy or afraid?

·       Is it a learned behavior?

·       Is it something that you developed because of something that happened to you?

All these questions can be answered if you truly desire more out of life. The change for you begins when you recognize when you say, “I Can’t” and how often you say it.

Next, is when you realize that you can, but won’t unless you put in the effort.

Don’t be afraid to step outside of the safety box and make positive improvements in your life. The changes are all behavioral which means that you can overcome them with mindfulness and discipline to yourself.