You say you can't but you mean you won't

Often we hear the words, “I can’t,” in reference to goals we set and didn’t reach, projects we started and didn’t finish, or things we should do, but don’t do.

I’d like you to think about those things in your life that you have said “I can’t” to and figure out if some of them are really, “I won’t.

You’ve heard the expression that negative thinking gets negative results but I wonder if you have really thought about that. Do you tell yourself I can’t?

How I can’t gets in the way of progress

I have had a goal to be healthier forever. But I find ways to set up barriers. Last year I offered to buy the stationary bike from my 89 year old father-in-law because he never used it. He told me he would let me borrow it so we moved it to our house and I rode it a few times right after we got it here. Then as with many good intentions, it sat there.

It stared at me every day. And I just told it, “I can’t.” I am too busy. You will require too much of my time. I can’t sit there that long. I can’t, it will hurt my knees. I can’t

But one day, I decided to give it a try, telling myself 5 minutes was ok. Now, in about 20 days, I have reached 33 minutes a day and more than 6 miles, burning up to 240 calories.

Think creatively instead of setting up barriers to your goals

I started by getting on the bike and permitting myself to ride for a very short time. No massive goals of an hour or 10 miles that would have ended in pain and defeat.

I thought creatively on how I could make it fun. I figured out that I could read and do other things while I rode. So I positioned the books I mean to read on the bookshelf. Saturday, I cleaned shelves and put even more books I want to read on the shelves. Now I have reason to ride. I do intervals, so I put the book down and speed up for a bit, then slow down and recover and read.

I am surprised at how easily those 5 minutes turned into 30+. Guess what? Not only do my knees not hurt on the bike, the increased exercise seems to have helped. Now I have no pain when I walk up and down the stairs.

What barriers are you putting up to your job search?

What “I can’ts” are in the way of your success? Are you saying I can’t get a new job? I can’t change anything in my life? If you are saying I can’t, please examine if you are really saying “I won’t” and take the first step to make a change.

Stuck in your job search or just ready to move on from your existing position? Julie Walraven can help you find a new career! To find out how, Click here!

Photo Credit


  1. Dona, Life Coach on February 2, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I realized that “baby steps” do it for me and a lot of people that I got in touch with. I tend to make small day-to-day plans that get weekly organized and then little by little, I have a nicely worked out plan that functions!

    • Julie Walraven on February 10, 2012 at 6:57 am

      Great idea, Dona! Baby steps always bring us closer to the end goal.

Resume Design and Job Seeking Tips

Here are Design Resumes' latest articles on job search, resume design, resume writing, and Linkedin optimization articles I've written.

FREE Resume and Job Search Tips by email

Get free tips and strategy direct to your inbox. just add your name and email below. I respect your privacy.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

Here are ways I can help you land your dream job.

You may be halfway across the country or the world. When you work with me, we share coffee, laughs, and concerns. This turns the scary job search into creative, consultative writing and learning sessions.