Seth Godin talks about Accepting False Limits:
I will never be able to dunk a basketball.
This is beyond discussion.
Imagine, though, a co-worker who says, “I’ll never be able to use a knife and fork. No, I have to use my hands.”
Or a colleague who says, “I can’t possibly learn Chinese. I’m not smart enough.”
Seth Godin goes on to say you will not be able to deliver or accomplish things unless you put in the necessary time, and apply the needed hard work, and overcome your fear.
Necessary time. Hard work. Overcome fear.
That is radically different from I can’t.
I can’t means there is some really hard limit, like I can’t run a 30 second mile or invent the personal computer or get a Master’s degree in two semesters. Usually I can’t means I won’t put in enough time, exert the hard work, or battle my fear.
All of us (and I put myself at the top of the list!) can accomplish more than we yet dreamed. We just have to put in the necessary time, do the painfully hard work, and overcome our fear. That is hard to do. I know that. But it’s difficult is totally different from I can’t.
P.S. Mr. Godin has been high on my reading list for a while. If you aren’t familiar with him, it would be an exquisitely productive use of your time to check him out at his blog. You can do it.
P.P.S. In case it isn’t painfully obvious, all the core ideas from this discussion are from Mr. Godin’s blog. He does not allow comments on his blog so other people will take his ideas and expand them. I hope I have done so.