The Power of Asking the Right Question
“𝑊ℎ𝑒𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑘 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑐𝑎𝑛 𝑜𝑟 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑘 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑐𝑎𝑛’𝑡, 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑑𝑜𝑛’𝑡 𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑢𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝑘𝑛𝑜𝑤. 𝑆𝑜 𝑤ℎ𝑦 𝑙𝑖𝑚𝑖𝑡 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑓 𝑏𝑦 𝑔𝑢𝑒𝑠𝑠𝑖𝑛𝑔?”
- Michael Neill
You know, it’s amazing to me how I use to live and breath the words, “𝑰 𝒄𝒂𝒏’𝒕”
𝐈 𝐜𝐚𝐧’𝐭 𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐝 𝐚 𝐛𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩
𝐈 𝐜𝐚𝐧’𝐭 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐬
𝐈 𝐜𝐚𝐧’𝐭 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐲
𝐈 𝐜𝐚𝐧’𝐭 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐥 𝐫𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐧𝐨𝐰
𝐈 𝐜𝐚𝐧’𝐭 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐢𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐝𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞
𝐈 𝐜𝐚𝐧’𝐭 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞
Honestly, this list could go on for so long that at some point you would stop reading…
Or say, “𝑊𝑒 𝑔𝑒𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑏𝑙𝑜𝑜𝑑𝑦 𝑝𝑜𝑖𝑛𝑡. 𝑌𝑜𝑢 𝑐𝑎𝑛’𝑡 𝑑𝑜 𝑎𝑛𝑦𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔”
I laughed a bit as I unintentionally said that with an accent in my head.
As I write this, I find myself on a 13 hour bus ride to Pula, Croatia.
So there’s time for my mind to wander, to contemplate, and tell myself jokes that only I would laugh at.
And more importantly than anything, I have the full five back seats to myself, so it’s like I have my own hotel bed.
Score one point for me.
Anyways, back to my world of “can’t”.
I asked myself,
“𝑤ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑖𝑠 𝑜𝑛 𝑚𝑦 ℎ𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑡 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑚𝑖𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝐼 𝑤𝑎𝑛𝑡 𝑡𝑜 𝑠ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑙𝑑?”
And telling a story of “𝑰 𝒄𝒂𝒏’𝒕”, came to mind.
And for me, I lived many years of my life using “𝑰 𝒄𝒂𝒏’𝒕” as my safety mask.
It’s how I kept myself “𝒔𝒂𝒇𝒆”.
It’s how I kept myself from risking losing it all.
Even though, “it all”, I later found really didn’t mean much when I was living a numb, dull existence.
The peak of my “𝑰 𝒄𝒂𝒏’𝒕” lifestyle was In November 2017.
I was still living in Kansas City, MO.
Having just purchased a new place to live, and moved in.
During this peak was when my “𝑰 𝒄𝒂𝒏’𝒕” attitude was really causing me a lot of pain.
I was freshly out of my engagement, and was spending a lot of time exploring what I wanted for my life.
I was also exploring how I prevented myself from having it.
After spending two years lost in a relationship where I didn’t know who I was, what I wanted, and trying to create a life around what I thought I was suppose to do…
This second chance at creating a different life for myself was both terrifying and exciting.
And as I became clearer on what it was that I really wanted, my own self sabotage started to become crystal clear.
𝗜 𝘄𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗹 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗹𝗱, 𝗯𝘂𝘁 “𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱𝗻’𝘁”
𝗜 𝘄𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝘂𝘆 𝗮 𝗝𝗲𝗲𝗽, 𝗯𝘂𝘁 “𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱𝗻’𝘁”
𝗜 𝘄𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗺𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗔𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗻, 𝗯𝘂𝘁 “𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱𝗻’𝘁”
𝗜 𝘄𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝗮 𝗰𝗼𝗮𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘀𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗼𝗹, 𝗯𝘂𝘁 “𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱𝗻’𝘁”
𝗜 𝘄𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗺𝘆 𝗷𝗼𝗯, 𝗯𝘂𝘁 “𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱𝗻’𝘁”
“𝘔𝘢𝘺𝘣𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘢 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳 — 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦’𝘴 𝘢 𝘭𝘰𝘵 𝘨𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘯𝘰𝘸”
“𝘐𝘵’𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘣𝘦 𝘮𝘦𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦”
“𝘐’𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘳𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘪𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘦𝘯 𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘐…”[Insert many future events that are irrelevant]
This time of my life was extremely challenging, emotionally and mentally.
As I looked around me, everything I saw that I had created for my life, didn’t reflect any resemblance of what I wanted it to be long-term.
All of these wants and ideas were challenging the way I saw the world.
Challenging the way I saw myself.
Challenging everything I ever believed to be true.
I felt like my world was crashing down on top of me.
And that’s because…
I had created a “𝒔𝒂𝒇𝒆” life.
Full of 100% predictability
And a… “𝐼’𝑚 𝑗𝑢𝑠𝑡 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑘𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑟𝑒𝑡𝑖𝑟𝑒𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡” 𝑎𝑡𝑡𝑖𝑡𝑢𝑑𝑒..
It’s important to note, if that’s the way you want to live, that’s your right.
It’s just not for me.
I want adventure
I want freedom
I want to explore my endless curiosity
And most of all..
I want to look back on my life and be able to answer the question,
“𝑑𝑖𝑑 𝐼 𝑚𝑎𝑘𝑒 𝑎 𝑑𝑖𝑓𝑓𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑛𝑐𝑒 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑙𝑑 𝑤ℎ𝑖𝑙𝑒 𝐼 𝑤𝑎𝑠 ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒?”
𝗬𝗼𝘂 𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗜 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗲𝗱 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗺𝗲?
It was the realization that all my fear about…
And other, “risks”
Kept me using “𝑰 𝒄𝒂𝒏’𝒕” to stop me from doing anything new, exciting, and what I really wanted.
There was no room for creative thought in this place.
NONE AT ALL.
What changed for me was when I realized and learned that saying, “𝑰 𝒄𝒂𝒏’𝒕”, really is saying, “𝗜 𝘄𝗼𝗻’𝘁”
𝗜 𝘄𝗼𝗻’𝘁 — 𝗔𝘀𝗸 𝗺𝘆𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗳 “𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗜 𝗺𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗔𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗻, 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗺𝘆 𝗷𝗼𝗯, 𝗲𝘁𝗰”
𝗜 𝘄𝗼𝗻’𝘁 — 𝗕𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗺 𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗮𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗶𝘁 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝘁𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗮𝗰𝘁𝘂𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗜 𝘄𝗮𝗻𝘁
𝗜 𝘄𝗼𝗻’𝘁 — 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗲𝗳𝗳𝗼𝗿𝘁 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁𝘀𝗼𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗼 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗶𝗿𝗰𝘂𝗺𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲𝘀 𝗜 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗮𝗹𝗹𝗼𝘄𝗲𝗱 𝗺𝘆𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗳 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝘆 𝗶𝗻
And because of this, I most certainly won’t have/create/do any of the things I mentioned that I really wanted.
My first “𝑠𝑚𝑎𝑐𝑘 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑓𝑎𝑐𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑙𝑖𝑡𝑦” for this is when all my frustration kind of peaked during that winter in 2017, because I wanted all of these things, but was not getting any closer to them.
𝗜𝗻 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝗿𝘁, 𝗜 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗽𝗶𝘀𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝗼𝗳𝗳 𝗮𝘁 𝗺𝘆𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗳.
I had overcame some crazy odds in my life.
And then I got comfortable.
I became stagnant
I started living the life I thought I was suppose to..
I became ever more attached to what everyone else thought of me, and let that guide my life.
And so… I did nothing to rock the boat.
And you know what, I hated it.
I recognize this as a peak in my life, because what occurred in the following 12 months were nothing short of a rapid expression of me starting to live differently.
Living by “𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗜 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗵𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗲𝗻” vs “𝑰 𝒄𝒂𝒏’𝒕”
During this time, I started to become more of me than I had ever been in my life.
Over the course of the next 12 months
Moved to Austin
Joined the coaching school I wanted
Bought my Jeep
Backpacked the Philippines
Started building my practice
Left my job
And.. Made the decision and plans to start traveling around the world long-term
𝗔𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗳𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗮𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝘄𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀…
#1 𝐼 𝑏𝑒𝑐𝑎𝑚𝑒 𝑒𝑥𝑡𝑟𝑒𝑚𝑒𝑙𝑦 𝑐𝑙𝑒𝑎𝑟 𝑜𝑛 𝑤ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝐼 𝑤𝑎𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑑, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑤ℎ𝑦 𝐼 𝑤𝑎𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑖𝑡
#2 𝐼 𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑎𝑠𝑘𝑖𝑛𝑔 “ℎ𝑜𝑤 𝑐𝑎𝑛 𝐼 𝑚𝑎𝑘𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 ℎ𝑎𝑝𝑝𝑒𝑛” 𝑣𝑠 𝑠𝑎𝑦𝑖𝑛𝑔 “𝐼 𝑐𝑎𝑛’𝑡 𝑑𝑜 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡”
Short of saying things like, “I can’t make myself taller, or change my appearance”
Most “𝑰 𝒄𝒂𝒏’𝒕” statements
Come from fear and really saying, “𝗜 𝘄𝗼𝗻’𝘁”
And it makes sense, seriously.
Our fears are very real to us.
The stories in our mind feel very real.
It’s important to know that…
#𝟭 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗳𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗱𝗼𝗲𝘀 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗯𝗲𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀, 𝗶𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗮𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗺
#𝟮 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝟮𝟬 𝘆𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀 𝗮𝗴𝗼. 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗱 𝗯𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝘁𝗼𝗱𝗮𝘆
#𝟯 𝗥𝗲𝗴𝗿𝗲𝘁 𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗱𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗵𝗯𝗲𝗱 𝗶𝘀 𝗳𝗮𝗿 𝘀𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝘆𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘄𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝗺𝗮𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝗳 𝘄𝗲 𝗴𝗼 𝗮𝗳𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘄𝗲 𝘄𝗮𝗻𝘁
If you are open to it, I invite you to ask yourself two questions
#1 Where are you currently saying, “I won’t” to something you really want?
#2 Are you ready to live a created life vs a reactive one?