[Focus Mag] The Power of CAN’T


The Power of CAN’T

There is tremendous power in the word ‘can’t’. It’s just not GOOD power. Right now you are probably unaware of how often “can’t” is present in your life and how it’s messing you up, blocking your money health and love.


Let’s explore the world of “can’t” together. We’ll

learn what it REALLY means and how it may be the hidden architect of your current struggles.


I can’t wait to share! (Yes. I DID have to do that

pun! You still love me anyway….)



Henry Ford – American Industrialist &

Founder of Ford


Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.













Today’s TRAINING: The Power of CAN’T


The Power of Can’t


I’m usually focusing on the positive but it is important sometimes to talk about and explore the negative, so you fully understand why you want to stay away from it.


  • Can’t versus Won’t
  • Can’t Avoids Responsibility
  • Examine Your “Can’ts” Suspiciously – Expectations Create
  • Immigrants Don’t Know “Can’t”
  • Necessity, The Big WHY & “Can’t”
  • The Can’t Answer (Cancer)


Can’t versus Won’t


You are having a party and you ask your close friend to come over and she says “Oh, I’m so sorry, I can’t.” OR “I feel like staying in, so I won’t make it.”


It’s almost a rhetorical question to ask you which one of those triggered you. We are a LOT more concerned and upset when people tell us that they WON’T do something, than when they say they CAN’T do something (even if they are lying).


So let’s look at that for a moment. Won’t implies an ability, a choice and a refusal. 


Can’t implies an inability.


The reason we are much better with our friend saying she cannot come is because we assign no responsibility when someone claims an inability.Basically, if you are physically unable to do it or it is impossible to do, we relieve you of responsibility for doing it.


Won’t is getting a bad rap here wrongly, as won’t is the place of power. Alpha, I want you to claim your won’ts (ability & choice) and not your can’ts.


Because we get a free pass from responsibility, blame and feeling uncomfortable when we claim inability – guess what’s happened? Everybody claims INABILITY instead of REFUSAL.


Won’t means you were exercising your choice – to exercise choice is power and remember I teach that the precedent of ALL power is responsibility.


Can’t Avoids Responsibility


I suspect 75%+ of the “can’ts” used in social, work and education are a false inability claimed to avoid responsibility. That’s so important I’m going to repeat that – a false inability claimed to avoid responsibility.


Here’s an example a lot of married women will recognize – or really anybody who’s ever watched a sitcom:


Woman: Honey, can you go downstairs & bring up that pink comforter for me?
Man: I don’t know where it is. (Claiming inability)
Woman: It’s downstairs on top of the piano.
Man: I didn’t see it last time I was down there. (Still claiming inability)
Woman: Can you just go down there and look? (Exasperated)
Man: I don’t see it! (Shouting from the basement)


You know how this ends up. You get up and go downstairs. You walk right to the piano, lift your finger 2 inches and point to the neon pink comforter on top of said piano.  Which he miraculously did not see. If you are smart, you refrain from comments about his vision and snakes biting people.


What happened there? He didn’t really want to do your errand, so he claimed inability. That claim of inability genuinely makes him unable see the damn pink comforter that he doesn’t WANT to see and doesn’t EXPECT to see.


Passive-aggressive people (who drive Alphas insane) LOVE the word can’t! Passive-aggressive acts are often based on claims of false inability to avoid a responsibility someone doesn’t want.


Examine Your “Can’ts” Suspiciously – Expectations Create


We are very sloppy with this dangerous word. Most of the time when you are saying that you cannot – it’s not true. You know this if you have children. If you take the last 10 things they told you they CANNOT do – you know 90% are claims of false inability to avoid responsibility or failure.


You can only teach them to do what YOU are willing to do.


Therefore, examine all of your can’ts suspiciously. You should have a presumption that “I can’t” is an attempt for you to avoid some kind of responsibility. Challenge your cannot’s. Start converting them to won’ts.


You remember my teaching on expectations. These are laws of the Universe. What you expect shapes what you actually receive, because it collapses possibilities and your ability to recognize possibilities. (No pink comforter!)


Truth? Saying can’t is a LOT more comfortable than saying won’t. Just understand the real cost of that comfort.


Immigrants Don’t Know “Can’t”


What does immigrant success have to do with the power of can’t?


Immigrants to any country excel faster than the regular citizens already present because immigrants are usually closer to the direct struggle for survival.


When you are involved in the struggle for food and shelter and basic necessities, the word “can’t” is not in your vocabulary. You simply can’t (funny that I use that word) afford to decline any opportunities, options or offers.


If your mate is offered a job working from 4 AM in the morning to 4 PM, seven days a week in order to feed you and his children – the answer is never “I can’t do that”. The answer is “thank you and when can I start?”


Ignoring whether that is fair or happy, new immigrants are generally in a place where they cannot afford to allow the pretense of inability to block survival. They tend to take more responsibility and they excel. Because they are saying yes to responsibility, they can see more opportunities to say yes to.


Because they know the difference between cannot and will not and choose to seek responsibility – they can excel faster than citizens comfortable with saying “I can’t.”


Necessity, The Big WHY & “Can’t”


Necessity is the mother of invention because extreme need erases a “can’t” mentality.


You would be surprised at what you could do if you really TRULY had to do it. If your life or your children’s lives were on the line – you would be shocked at what you could now do.


Most advancements in the modern way of living came from necessity, which overcomes the desire for comfort and the willingness to say “I cannot”. Immigrants apply this necessity to erase “cannot.” 


The Big Why – You have probably read it at least a half a dozen places that you need to have your big WHY. I’m actually leading a Think and Grow Rich based Millionaire Mastermind starting next week.  In what is the holy grail for millionaires (second most widely owned book by millionaires behind the Bible), author Napoleon Hill calls the WHY the “burning desire”.


The big why is considered critical to success because the big why is the “necessity” that puts you in a mindset of I can, I will, I’ll figure it out.  The big why is your extreme need that overcomes your desire for comfort and moves you toward action, risk & responsibility.


When you’re operating without a deep purpose that’s about you (not about somebody else), when obstacles hit, you start saying “I cannot”.


That burning desire converts your mindset from “I can’t fix that..I can’t worry about that..that’s not my job”  to “I WILL do something now and I don’t need to know HOW.”


The Can’t Answer (Cancer)


While I was working with this material (and pacing) I came around the corner and there it was big as day… Can’t as an answer is just like a cancer.


When you start letting yourself say I can’t in any one particular area of your life, it spreads and it multiplies and that mindset of false inability just rips through your life, spreading weakness & destruction.


Using can’t as an answer spreads. Both hands go up and you take one step back saying, don’t ask me… because I CAN’T. After awhile, that leads to you looking for someone else to blame for all the weakness you feel. (That’s another post.)


Examine your life and start exercising can’t from your vocabulary. It will make you uncomfortable to find a way to tell somebody that you refuse something without stating it is an impossibility to do – figure it out.


Me? I decline without reference to possibility. I may say, “That doesn’t work for me or this isn’t a good fit for me.” The more you can TELL the truth and HEAR the truth, the more powerful you are. Period.  People who cannot hear or tell the truth are weak.


I’ll close with the story of an alpha that I coach. She broke her arm almost 20 years ago. During and post recovery she told herself “I can’t do…” a laundry list of things. Fast forward 20 years and she still CAN’T.


After examination of her “can’ts”, she has just discovered that her long healed arm WILL do things she gave up on 2 decades ago! The Power of Can’t should not be underestimated.




Tanya Recommends:


Many of you need a vacation. Right now. Yet, you would tell me…

Tanya, I just CAN’T.


Yes. You. Can. You won’t.


I recommend you take one day in the next week to have a mini-vacation from your current life. Go alone or bring the family. Go do something different.


Drive to a different part of town. Find a park or museum. Challenge each family member to create a wonderful day plan costing only $20 per person including meals and see who wins. Then DO that!


Don’t tell me what you cannot do. Take a trip. Full day. ½ day. Drive around town. Tell me what you CAN DO to take a break.


Your life is RIGHT NOW. When you are old, you will regret all of your “can’ts” far more than you know.


Take a CAN Day totally outside your normal routine.


Talk to Tanya





Start noticing when you and others say, “I can’t” and dig to see if it’s actually a “won’t” disguised as a “can’t” to avoid responsibility.


Don’t worry about changing it right now. Just start noticing it. Awareness always precedes change.








If you repeat, “I can” 10x in a row you will find that you feel stronger, your pulse speeds up, voice rises and the physical state of your body shifts to get ready to DO something. This is part of our design. Avoid using weakening words when you can use words of power.

If you repeat, “I can” 10x in a row you will find that you feel stronger, your pulse speeds up, voice rises and the physical state of your body shifts to get ready to DO something. This is part of our design. Avoid using weakening words when you can use words of power.



Wow, Did You Hear?


Author & Coach Enjoys Her “VIP Day”


Within just a few hours of working together, Tanya implants a lasting effect. I acquired a new appreciation for the value of my coaching business.


Where before I was fumbling to pull the right words together, Tanya grasped a clear vision of my strengths, abilities, and skills and succinctly gave me the wording to encapsulate my transformative work.


Thanks to her coaching, I have new insight and enthusiasm for my growing coaching business.  I couldn’t be Happier! Thanks Tanya!


~  Debbie D’Aquino,  #1 Best Selling Author, Rapid Results Business Coach & Mindset Mentor


Talk to Tanya 


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My Mission:


I Show Alpha Women Entrepreneurs How to Stop Struggling 

in Your Relationships, Own Your Potential, Build Your Business and BALANCE IT ALL. 


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