“I AM CAPABLE”. This is one of the most powerful statements an individual can ever say. Our lives are constantly filled with messages telling us that we are not good enough. Due to this, we often tell ourselves we can’t for a variety of reasons, and then to add insult to injury we are surrounded by the famous faces of those that have glorified success. All of these things make us feel like we are inferior, incapable or mediocre. But what we don’t always realize is that our success is not defined by the measures of others, but by our individual starting points and endpoints. This process starts with one simple statement: “I am capable”.
The 3 Components
I believe that there are three components that lead us to believe that we are incapable in work, in love and in personal health. It’s a vicious cycle, and if we don’t feel capable in one of them, then we are less likely to feel capable in another.
The first component is mental block. This block is created by how we speak to ourselves. It is not uncommon for any person to have a thought regarding their wants and needs, followed immediately by an ‘I can’t’ statement. This negative self-talk often arises from social norms, our self-esteem and the previous experiences we’ve had in our lives. For example a social norm would be a social expectation such as “skinny is beautiful”. Let’s say this social norm also affected a friend of yours who told you that you are not skinny enough – this act would create a memory that serves as a ‘previous experience’. Both of these may have affected how you see yourself and therefore your self esteem. Often we use social norms and our past experiences to create a safety bubble. We follow them in order to feel protected and safe, when in reality they often inhibit our true capabilities. Combined, social norms, self-esteem and past experiences can cause us to believe that we can’t make our desired life changes.
The second component is rationalization, which consists of a variety of reasons why we are incapable. An example would be the thought “I wish I could tone my body more”, followed by “I can’t do that because I don’t have the time, I don’t have the skill, and I can’t look like a celebrity – so there is no point in trying”. We often fixate on the reasons why we cannot do something instead of all the reasons we can.
The third component is desensitization. I’ve found over the years that this component often does not get attention. This component is our learned negative self-talk. Over time we may continuously beat back our wants and needs due to our delusions of incapability, eventually causing ourselves to become immune to these thoughts of change. This causes us to repeat our unhappiness over and over without the idea that things can be different. Not realizing that things do NOT have to stay this way if we don’t want them to. In essence, our sense of incapability is so ingrained that we stop striving for change all together.
Why Capability Matters
What we often do not realize is that feeling capable is the greatest form of control over oneself. Things may occur in our daily lives that are out of our control, however our feelings of capability do not need to waiver. They fuel the fire of change, success and happiness. Wouldn’t it be incredible to change your whole life with a single thought? Many people will tell you that this is not possible; they may call on realism and say it’s not possible because of reasons A, B, and C. But if someone truly believes that they have control and can invoke change in their lives, they will be able to find the resources, time and will power to cause that change. This is the essence of capability.
So why talk about capability in relation to fitness and health? If we look at the triad above, we see that health, love and work are the three components of a happy life. Which of these is under the most intrinsic control, relying solely on the self, and not on chance, or the decisions and feelings of others?
Personal health is the starting point of capability, it is the only of the three that is within our immediate control. If one can control the physical and mental self, it can give us great feelings of capability and possibility. This in turn gives us confidence, and feelings of capability in other facets of life such as love and work. It all comes down to starting small with the things we can change and working our way up. Helping yourself will help your overall life, and it can also help those around you feel the same.
To be honest, I never really felt capable of much. I almost always doubted myself, found a multitude of reasons why I couldn’t do something, and shut down any real goals I ever had for myself. But one day I met a Kinesiologist, and to this day I still say he saved my life. I do not even want to know the type of person I might have become had I not been recommended to him after a car accident. Having someone not only tell me I’m capable, but show me how to believe it within myself is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received.
Once I realized I could control my body (and not be a slave to physical restrictions), the more I believed I had options in life and I began to believe I was capable. I realized that for every negative there is an equal and often under-represented positive. This new found belief of capability was not just a physical one – that’s the amazing part. I believed “Heck, if I can control my body, why can’t I control my mind?” And that’s the thing, personal health doesn’t just involve physical health; it promotes mental and emotional health too. Having the control gave me confidence, and having that confidence made me feel capable of anything. Because of one simple thought; “I am capable”, I was completely able to change my life from a sad, unchanging place to a colourful, extroverted and eccentric life. It may not seem simple at first, but taking that first step of saying “I am capable, I can do this”, is all you need.
The greatest challenge in life is mastering control of the self. We may not be able to control certain things, but we can always control our actions, our feelings, and our thoughts. This is true freedom, and it starts here and it starts now, you can do this – it’s time to start believing it. Ivanco can be your resource and guide. Let’s get you started on your new life.
“There is no passion to be found playing small in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living” – Nelson Mandela