Amy Rees Anderson

Never Think Nor Say “I Can’t”

Someone once told me that the moment you either think or say the words “I can’t” you’ve lost, so never to do it. Hearing that advice had a big impact on my life because I believed it and I tried to never allow myself to think or say it when it came to my business life and I am convinced it made a difference for me. Can’t is a dangerous word because it destroys our courage to try.  I love this poem about the word “can’t””

Can’t is the worst word that’s written or spoken
Doing more harm here than slander and lies;
On it is many a strong spirit broken,
And with it many a good purpose dies.
It springs from the lips of the thoughtless each morning
And robs us of courage we need through the day:
It rings in our ears like a timely-sent warning
And laughs when we falter and fall by the way.

Can’t is the father of feeble endeavor,
The parent of terror and half-hearted work;
It weakens the efforts of artisans clever,
And makes of the toiler an indolent shirk.
It poisons the soul of the man with a vision,
It stifles in infancy many a plan;
It greets honest toiling with open derision
And mocks at the hopes and the dreams of a man.

Can’t is a word none should speak without blushing;
To utter it should be a symbol of shame;
Ambition and courage it daily is crushing;
It blights a man’s purpose and shortens his aim.
Despise it with all of your hatred of error;
Refuse it the lodgment it seeks in your brain;
Arm against it as a creature of terror,
And all that you dream of you some day shall gain.

Can’t is the word that is foe to ambition,
An enemy ambushed to shatter your will;
Its prey is forever the man with a mission
And bows but to courage and patience and skill.
Hate it, with hatred that’s deep and undying,
For once it is welcomed ’twill break any man;
Whatever the goal you are seeking, keep trying
And answer this demon by saying: “I can.”

Have an adventurous, courageous day everyone!

~Amy Rees Anderson

1 Comment

  • Jane says:

    I had a teacher in high school who used to say can’t is not interchangeable with won’t but we use it that way. We say we can’t when we really mean won’t. I think my teacher was pretty much spot on.

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