Have you ever been around a can’t person? A person who thinks nothing is possible, doable, or enjoyable? If you have you know these people suck every remotely happy atom out of the air around them and you.
Word to the wise: Don’t be that person. The person who constantly is miserable. Who is miserable for themselves and for others. Who finds any negative and magnifies it so it hides joy and possibility. This isn’t a way to live.
As a mental health professional who treats can’t people, I can say "can’t" isn’t the way to go. As someone who has been both a can person and a can’t person, I can say “can’t” isn't the way to go. As someone who has loved can’t people, I can say "can’t" isn’t the way to go.
Can’t robs you of possibility. Living without possibility means living without joy, happiness, excitement, love, thrill, achievement, adventure. Negativistic thinkers usually find little joy in their lives. They also try to keep those around them from joy. Negativistic thinkers are at a higher risk for physical and emotional problems. “Negative feelings activate a region of the brain called the amygdala, which is involved in processing fear and anxiety and other emotions,” (Jane E Brody). Repeated activation of the amygdala is unhealthy and maladaptive, and research has shown those with chronically activated amygdalas have a greater risk of health problems. (For additional information on long-term health effects of stress, check out the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study.)
Enjoy life. Take a chance. Explore. Learn. Do something new. When you hear the word “can’t” from yourself or others, challenge it. “Why can’t I learn a new language? Why can’t I try to change my own oil? Why can’t I start a different job? Why can’t I go on a trip by myself?” Really, why can’t you do these things? I have found most people truly CAN.
Dismiss the fear, banish the “can’t”, and do it.
- Erica L. Daniels, LPCC-S
Pediatric Mental Health Counselor
Child Counseling Place, Partner of Symatree Counseling