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| By Wellvyl Media Editorial


We’ve all heard it before and we say it all the time. It is a negative contraction that incurs disappointment and causes broken hearts, a negation of restriction - “can’t”. In every relationship whether professional, interpersonal, or social, I have been privy to the declaration of “I can’t”. "Can't" is a word of limitation and unwillingness. 

As a teacher of Yoga, ‘can’t’ is the phrase I hear the most. What is the truth behind this evocation that so many of us default to? What are we revealing about ourselves?

The words we use shape our consciousness. Our language informs our mindset and habituates our behavior patterns - in summation, our entire reality. In reflecting why we choose to express this contraction of negation, we can arrive at a deeper insight that can provide us with better clarity.  

One way we can refine our usage of this negative contraction is to evaluate whether we are unwilling to do something or if we lack the ability or the resources to follow through. If we do not have the resources or the skills to follow through with a task or request, then we are “unable”. By refusing to put forth the effort to attempt or accomplish, it is simply an unwillingness to explore the possibility. Being averse to entertaining possibility naturally cultivates limitation.

As soon as we utter the word “can’t”, the next questions we should ask ourselves what is informing our unwillingness? If we say “can’t” enough times, we then start to perpetuate a mindset of limitations and without a second thought, we then identify ourselves by these limitations. It is a brilliant strategy for self-sabotage. To see ourselves through the lens of limitations ensures that we believe ourselves to be incapable of growth or evolution. In the mindset of “can’t”, we become stagnant because the essence of finality is embedded in such a word. The decisions we make become unilateral and with the danger of this linear thinking comes the incompetence to accept the multidimensionality that is our world.

Being inaccessible or unable is always momentary state that carries an openness to have things otherwise in the future. When we use “can’t” as a terse declaration of unwillingness, we expend energy in order disconnect, to cut ourselves off. The more we say that we "can’t", the more rigid we become, and rigidity always renders isolation. If we form a consciousness that perceives reality merely as a set of limitations and absolutes, we lose the ability to adapt, grow, and accept ourselves and others as dynamic and multi-faceted. Evaluating how we use negations is necessarily gaining a deeper understanding of ourselves. When we can understand ourselves better, we can build more solid relationships and give more depth to our interactions.