Can't vs Won't


In the past 26 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 when person is giving 100% and the other person is only giving 80% what happens? Well eventually the relationship fails because the 80% person overtime 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 could only give 80% they responded with I Can’t, the real answer is I 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 Perspective

Fitness is the easiest to conquer, also the first place where people are lazy. 90% of people are afraid to try new exercises, as well as, increase the weight that they are lifting. WHY, because it requires effort! Cardio is a prime example of laziness. For cardio to truly be effective you need to increase your heart rate and maintain it. Once again most people would rather just be comfortable and walk comfortably for 30 minutes while watching TV. Again, this is not fear but laziness.

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 limits they answer is “Well I know how much I need to earn and why would I want to move up and work harder”.

Can you see a common theme in these 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 of these questions can be answered if you truly desire more out of life. The start begins when you recognize when you say I Can’t and how often you say it. Next, is when you realize that you truly can but just won’t unless you put in the effort.