The Lie of “I Can’t Do This”
The biggest lie I’ve ever told myself is something I still believe, from time to time, although I’m trying to see it for the lie it is. It’s a simple one. No mental gymnastics required at all.
It is: I can’t do this.
I said it when I started learning to drive.
I said it on my first day of high school (and probably primary school too, but my memory doesn’t stretch that far)
I said it when I heard I would be a father.
It is easy to believe. Living with a disability means that you always have to think about your limitations, you greet every new event with the thought: can I actually do this? And there’s where “I can’t do this” comes in. Because, more often than not, that was my internal response to the question.
But that response was — and is — a lie.
I learned to drive (took me three cracks to pass the test, but I did it)
I made it through school and went to university.
University Might Not Change Your Life (And That’s OK)
Try to relax, and don’t expect too much.
My disability hasn’t negatively impacted my parenting so far — if anything, it’s my complete cluelessness that’s the problem!
“I can’t do this” is an easy response. The easiest, in fact. It gives you an easy out if you fail at something (“well, I knew I wouldn’t do it anyway”) or a preemptive excuse not to do something, to stay in your comfort zone.
But it’s a lie.
Am I saying “you can do anything if you just believe in yourself”? No. That’s a lie, too.
But what I am saying is that if you think carefully, practice and persevere then you can do a lot more than you think.
“I can do this” is a lie I told myself for a long time. The truthful version I use now is “I can’t do this…yet”.