We’ve all been in some pretty tough spots throughout our lives. Regardless of how good things seem to be, we all experience those moments which make us think “I can’t do it”, or “I can’t go on any longer”. These are important moments in our lives. They have the potential to make or break us on our path towards success and happiness. So we must make the right choices in these moments.
To help you find that crucial inner strength I’ve put together a helpful list. And I’m going to walk you through 10 of the most important things to remember that will turn “I can’t do it”, into an “I can and I will do it!”
1. Persistence Is Often Key
Our persistence towards any goal is very often the key to whether we achieve it or not.
It’s not uncommon for the most successful people in our lives to also be those who were willing to persist through the most struggles, failures, and hardships.
If you are the type of person who gives up in the face of a challenge, chances are you won’t get far. If you think “I can’t do it” and then give up, obviously you won’t succeed. You need to remember that success comes through your persistence.
You need to be willing to face these struggles head-on and power through them. Remembering that persistence will lead you to success will help you overcome these hard times.
Remember, life will take things from you, it will help you grow. Then, once you’ve persisted through these trials, it will begin to slowly give things back to you continuously.
So find ways to remind yourself in your daily life that your persistence is key. It will often be the make or break characteristic determining whether you reach your personal definition of success or not.
If you want a great book on this topic, consider looking into psychologist Angela Duckworth’s book Grit
. It talks about how passion and perseverance are the main determinants of our success.
2. Acknowledging a Challenge Leads to Its Correction
Building on the last point, it’s important to acknowledge the challenges you face. By acknowledging them, you can accept that they exist in your life. Then, you will be able to begin generating solutions to overcome those challenges.
Also, be proactive with the mindset acknowledging that every journey will experience at least some struggles. Nobody’s life is completely problem-free. We all have our struggles to cope with and overcome.
Learning to accept that there will be challenges along your path will help prevent you from being blindsided by them as they arise. Then, you can acknowledge their existence and begin working towards creating a solution that works for you and your life.
Remember, just because things get tough doesn’t mean that you’re doing anything wrong. Sometimes doing the right things can take a great deal more effort. Dedicating time and making sacrifices to do the right thing is never going to be easy.
So acknowledge these challenges, be ready for them, and don’t let them get the best of you.
3. Get Comfortable with Discomfort
When you feel like you can no longer do what you’re supposed to do and want to scream “I can’t do it,” remember that life was not designed to be easy.
We are all always going to be facing hurdles and overcoming hardships and personal battles throughout our lives. If you can get on board and accept this reality, things will get easier for you. You’ll be better prepared mentally to face the challenges that pop up in your life.
And just because you’re accepting that there will be discomfort in your life doesn’t mean you’re being negative. Being positive doesn’t mean that you have to ignore all the bad things in your life. As I’ve already stated, often acknowledging these bad things is the first step towards overcoming them.
An additional thought to keep in mind here is that true growth begins when you step outside of your comfort zone. There's no doubt that’s a difficult thing to do. But the discomfort you experience stepping outside of your comfort zone may be exactly what you need to make those big breakthroughs in terms of your development in your life.
So maybe it’s time to begin forcing yourself to make small steps outside that comfort zone of yours. Feeling unsure? Take a look at this article: Is It Really Better to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone?
4. Positivity and Gratitude Goes a Long Way
You can’t get mad at yourself from going through and experiencing a rough spell. We all experience those tough times, it's just the reality of living a life here on Earth.
But instead of getting down on yourself when you’re thinking I can’t do it anymore and going to pout in a corner, think about how good it felt the last time you were successful at achieving one of your goals. Remember how happy that made you feel, or be thankful for what you’ve been able to achieve.
It’s truly amazing how far these little doses of positivity and gratitude can go in our daily lives. They can completely flip our mood and turn our days around.
So if you’re unhappy with where you are, move. You’re not rooted to the spot.
Remember, things could always be worse. We choose the mindset and perspectives we approach a situation with. We can choose to fixate on certain thoughts over others. So train yourself to see that silver lining. This positivity can go a long way.((Scheier and Carver: On the Power of Positive Thinking: The Benefits of Being Optimistic
5. Remember Where You Came From
When I feel like I can’t do it anymore, I often try to look back at where I’ve come from. I’ve grown a lot throughout my life and overcome some pretty tough things. If you’re anything like me, I’m willing to bet that you have also.
So, remember to be proud of the person that you’ve become today. Be proud of the time and effort you’ve invested in your development because it’s what has gotten you here.
One way that you can begin to remind yourself how awesome you are when you hit these funks is to begin celebrating the small victories you achieve in your life. If you don’t celebrate these small wins, it’ll be hard to remember how proud you truly are of what you’ve achieved. This can help you through tough times as well.
The next time you get stuck in a rut, think about the things that you’ve been able to overcome in your past. I’m sure there are some pretty tough things. And just like those challenges you rose above in your past, you will also rise above the challenges you are currently facing.
Remember, despite having possibly seen better days than where you are right now, you have also likely seen worse. You can and you will get through these tough times! Better days are on the horizon as long as you keep yourself moving forward.
6. Breaking Things into Manageable Steps Works Wonders
Divide and conquer. Sometimes we stand in our own way by focusing on our biggest goals as a whole.
If you don’t already do this, you’d be amazed by how much simpler even your biggest goals seem when you break them down into small manageable steps.
The next time you catch yourself thinking “I can’t do it,” take a quick pause. Are you looking strictly at the end result? Or are you looking at the steps you need to take towards that goal?
If you’re only looking at the final result, take some time to create a plan. The benefits of planning are further outlined by Gollwitzer in the book The Psychology of Action: Linking Cognition and Motivation to Behavior
Reflect on the individual steps that you need to take to achieve that goal. Write them out in the order that you’ll complete them and then get to work!
By taking continual small steps, you’ll ensure that you’re always making progress towards your goals. This will lead to a momentum in your life that will help you overcome even some of the most difficult challenges you’ll have to face.
7. Remember Your ‘Why’
Remember your WHY -- This is probably one of the best ways to overcome that “I can’t do it” feeling.
Remember why you started on this path in the first place. Remember why you passionately pursued this goal. Don’t let that vision of yours slip away.
Sometimes, we start with these visions that we are completely passionate about but lose sight of it over our journey. When we lose sight of it and stop focusing on it, we can find ourselves getting lost.
When your vision and focus get a little foggy and you’ve lost sight of your passion, regain that crucial bit of clarity. Focus in on why that goal was originally important to you. Rediscover that passion that can put you back on your path towards success!
Write out what made this important to you. Leave is somewhere that you can easily visualize it regularly. This will serve as a continual reminder to you for why you’re on this journey and why it’s important to continue moving forward and overcoming the challenges that may get in your way.
8. Life Isn’t Certain, Accept It
The final thing to remember when you feel like you’re struggling is that life is never going to be certain. Nothing in life is ever going to be 100% guaranteed for any of us.
Additionally, sometimes things are just going to happen. You can predict or plan for everything in your life but, things will pop up and surprise you.
Lucky for you though, if you’ve embodied a few of the previous things mentioned on this list, then you’ll embrace these moments and make the best of them. Take uncertainty and treat those moments as opportunities to turn them into something good and positive in your life.
Sure, you may not have been expecting your life to take some of these turns but, it may open your eyes to new things that you never even knew you wanted.
The fact that life isn’t certain and learning to embrace that uncertainty is one of the best ways to ensure that we don’t miss any exciting plot twists along our journeys towards our goals and our success!
I hope that you’ve been able to pick a few of these to try when you’re struggling with overcoming a challenge.
You don’t have to use them all. You are a unique person and the combination of these which works best for you will also be unique to you.
Overall, these tricks will help you turn “I can’t do it” into “I can overcome this, I just need to figure out how!”
Stay excellent everyone!
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