"I Can't" to "I CAN!"

James 1:12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.



    One of the most pressing issues we will face as athletes and as people is the belief that we are unable to do something. The phrase “I can’t” is the biggest lie we tell ourselves, sometimes on a daily basis! Those words carry with them several implications: doubt, shame, laziness, and the worst of all, JEALOUSY. It’s strange, though, to think that as athletes we would have beliefs that ultimately limit our abilities. Especially when we are capable of so many wonderful things.

    Have you ever had an “I can’t” mindset? I know that I have, and it seems like when I am in that place, I am STUCK!  I’ve done quite a bit of soul searching, researching, and reading my Bible/asking God to try and figure out the best way to combat these doubtful and limiting thoughts. Read on for my super SIMPLE 5 steps of how to beat the WORST case of “I cant’s”.

1. Identify WHAT it is that you think you cannot do

Maybe (right now) you cannot do a pull up, or keep up with the varsity team, or maybe it’s simply that you feel you cannot eat healthy, or you feel you cannot relate to people in your grade/age.

2. Figure out WHY you are feeling this way!

This step is often the most difficult to deal with. Why? BECAUSE IT’S NOT EASY TO ADMIT THAT YOU HAVE FLAWS. For me the worst case of “I can’t” stems from laziness and from jealousy.

How do I do this? I go through and ask myself how I’m feeling and try and diagnose it. This is what I mean:

Laziness: It’s easier to say I can’t when the reality is, I’m just lazy.

Jealousy: Someone does something REALLY cool that I wish I knew how to do, but I make excuses like, “I can’t do that because I’m busy and she just has more time on her hands.” (Who else is guilty of this? Be honest)

3. Examine WHAT is keeping you from being able

This takes PRACTICE my friends. May find that we have not been honest with ourselves. Do the following scenarios look familiar?

I can’t read because I’m busy- *Spends 5 hours a day on social media watching videos of makeup tutorials, cake decorating, and cat’s vs people.

I can’t do a cartwheel- *Dude, have you even ever tried?

I can’t hang out I’m broke - *Spends $10 at in n out when pantry has unlimited snacks at home.

AM I RIGHT OR AM I RIGHT GIRLS !? You’re attitude about what you can and cannot do is entirely up to your choices.

4. Understand that NOTHING is impossible

Simpler said than done, but believe me. I went from the average semi-flexible athlete to being able to do the splits because of a simple change in my attitude and behavior (actions)...(It took MONTHS of practice).

A change in your attitude starts with a positive outlook. I promise you that if you really start focussing on positivity, and actually SET A GOAL, you will be unstoppable.

Attitude change + Behavior (action) change = Positive outcome  (“I CAN”)


5. Things to say INSTEAD of “I can’t”  

“I want to learn how to…” –

Challenge yourself!! Is there something you want to learn? Don’t just go straight for the “I can’t”. Push yourself into taking steps to learning it!

“I haven’t tried this before” –

Inexperience is the start to MOTIVATION and learning new things. Don’t be insecure in your lack of experience. Search for adventure everywhere.

“I don’t want to…” –

Yes, some things in life we just don’t have the desire to do. Period. Free yourself from the burden, if you truly do not want to do it.

Our words are SO influential on our beliefs. If we tell ourselves lies, we begin to see them as truth. Skip the lies and start straight away with the truth, no hidden agendas. You are capable, and your words have the power to make you BELIEVE it.

God loves YOU

God Calls us to action. He calls us to persevere, and when we show him that we are ABLE, we CAN, and we are WILLING, he rewards us. If you are having trouble identifying your passion, don’t worry. It will come to you, but in the meantime, be open to new experiences, focus on your ABILITY, and never approach something with a belief that you “can’t”. Leave the rest up to God, he’s got your back, ALWAYS.

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Erica Wadell

Hello everyone, my name is Erica Wadell and I am just your regular female athlete who loves to inspire, create, and motivate. I was a gymnast as a child and a soccer player for my teen and college years at Vanguard University (and recently a yogi). I find so much joy in athletics and in helping others. I feel so blessed to be continuing to find God’s purpose for my life and I hope to share some wisdom that you all can take advantage of.