Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Don't v. Can't

I read an interesting article the other day at Forbes by Heidi Grant Halvorson: The Amazing Power of 'I Don't' vs. 'I Can't'.  In it, she points out that only you have the power to decide what you do and don't do.  When you think in terms of I Can't, it is easy to lose sight of that.
I don’t is experienced as a choice, so it feels empowering. It’s an affirmation of your determination and willpower. I can’t isn’t a choice – it’s a restriction, it’s being imposed upon you. So thinking “I can’t” undermines your sense of power and personal agency.
She uses the example of chocolate cake, but it got me thinking about my own diet choices.  I've been gluten free for nine months now and I'm still thinking I Can't eat gluten.  

But that's just not true. My deciding to remove gluten from my diet was a purely personal choice.  I wanted to feel better and chose to give it a try.  I could easily start eating gluten again but I don't and I won't.  It's time I start aligning my thoughts with my actions.

Do you ever struggle with 'I Don't' vs. 'I Can't'?


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