Start with the words . . . “I can!” when approaching your next challenge

In my blog, ‘Impact Value[1]’ it was said that words have great power.   They conjure a pitch and value proposition around the uniqueness of your brand.

Whilst they make your brand unique, they can also do the same for your mindset when approaching a particular task or challenge that sits outside your comfort zone.

Words can make our mindset unique if we choose to empower our mind with positive expressions that are supportive, protective and encouraging of our abilities and skills.

I want to take this opportunity to examine the soundtrack of words that buzzes between our ears, the track that influences our ability to say:

“I can do that job”

“I can complete this course”

“I can exercise and lose that weight”

“I can, I can, I can!”

For many, it is the sound track that too often contains the words “I can’t” which affects the object of any sentence in which those words appear.

Clearly, on too many occasions, a person’s focus either consciously or subconsciously is directed toward a negative belief around their capacity to achieve their goals.   A focus on positive outcomes or positive attributes in one’s personal makeup too often takes a back seat in life’s journey.

For instance, when faced with a challenge the mindset quickly moves to neutral or hits high-speed reverse when forced to reckon with something that is outside the comfort zone.   Self – doubt can corrode the possibility of there being any promise of taking a proactive position toward a difficult challenge.

Challenges in the corporate world see people spinning their wheels in their endeavour to get on even terms with the task.   Their mindset becomes fixated on the reasons that will prevent them from completing the job.   Negative thoughts stream in and around their person, division, team or office that scream:

  • we lack the necessary resources;
  • we have too much on our collective plate;
  • we lack trust amongst team members to see the job completed with success and on time;
  • we do not have the skill levels required; and, amongst other things,
  • we lack confidence in our willingness to tackle the task. 

At a personal level, people have a soundtrack that spins with the following tracks:

  • Fear of failure
  • I have no support
  • I can’t get no motivation
  • I am uncertain
  • Don’t test the waters
  • I have never tried that before
  • Confrontation scares me!

For some, the above tracks would be representative of their most downloaded songs on iTunes!

So it’s time to get the DJ to change his tune.   It’s time for that personal soundtrack to reward your person with a successful beat.   It’s time to say “I can!” and it is time to say it with conviction.

The music analogy here is a powerful one.   When exercising, whether it is running, pump aerobics or some other high octane exercise regime, we want something playing that is up beat.   Something that lifts the heart rate; something that gets the adrenalin flowing.

Taking a spin class is a classic example.    When the instructor shouts “There is a straight stretch!”, the music intensifies and the legs spin hard to increase the pace before the next hill climb.   The soundtrack reflects the prevailing conditions of the class to maximise the output of each participant.   Your sound track also must change to reflect the prevailing conditions that you confront on a daily basis.

So to reset your BOOM CRASH OPERA, take note of what makes you say “I can’t” and get busy strengthening those personal attributes that will assist with you saying “I can!”

Just like preparing for a 10-kilometre run, we can’t all hit the running track and pump it out with little to no preparation in the lead up.   We stretch, get the right running shoes and shorts and slowly build our way toward the goal.   Changing your soundtrack is no different.

First we start with the removal of negative thoughts.   Those thoughts that hold us in our current holding pattern and prevent us from taking on and accomplishing that next big challenge.

The next step is to share the new soundtrack with close friends and mentors.   This is done to ensure that they too can realise how you are trying to change your thought process in an effort to achieve more positive outcomes in your personal and working life.

Interestingly, peer groups have a wonderful habit of holding you back whether purposefully or because of their innocent interpretation of your own person.   Their interpretation could result in conflict or the loss of friendship in your endeavour to bring about greater change to your person.  Monitor that carefully.

The third step is to change the words that stream through your mind when faced with your next challenge.    The best demonstration of this is to show how it can work in practise:

You are on the treadmill.   Running for 30 minutes.   You start feeling the pinch.   Sweat drips from your brow.   Muscles are tightening with each step.   Your negative soundtrack crackles to life  . . . “I can’t do this . . . the pain . . . the stitch . . . the pinch . . . it’s too much!”   You reach out and hit that button that says ‘STOP’.   With disappointment you step from the treadmill, towel down and think what could have been.

Well, let’s change the soundtrack to lift your performance and to achieve a different outcome.

You are on the treadmill and you are feeling the pinch.   Your chest is heaving; your heart rate is climbing as you try to find your rhythm.   You are thinking it is too much just before your soundtrack spins to life with a shout that says ‘There is no pain!’  Your out stretch hand falls away from the stop button.  

Those simple words focus your attention.   They distract you from your negative thoughts that see you wanting to quit.   One step is taken after the other.   Your desire to stop, to quit, to give in is but a distant thought.  A thought shredded by your desire to achieve success notwithstanding the hardship or pain.      

Words playing through your mind have changed the outcome.   Mental toughness, a strong belief with a desire to achieve a goal that was originally approached with trepidation has been successfully smashed.   The certainty of your vice like mindset that says ‘I can!’ has you completing the task.   

Your soundtrack that plays for business, for sport or for play will always influence the outcome.   Revamp your mindset with the BOOM CRASH OPERA that says ‘I can!’   Share your new tracks with colleagues, family and friends and watch as you achieve things that you once thought impossible.

Words are powerful!


[1] http://damienschulze.com/2013/02/14/high-impact/