At some point during the course of almost every day, most of us ask the question: “Can I do it?”—with “it” being anything we are thinking of doing.   Starting a new business project or a new hobby. Trying to convince someone to do something or refrain from doing something. Meeting a deadline. Etc.

Depending on our beliefs, skills, and experience, sometimes we answer “yes,” but far too often we answer “no.”

Minimizing the influence of beliefs

The saying Belive You Can and You're Halfway There on pieces ofI would like to suggest that—“Can I do it?”—is the wrong question. Frequently our beliefs (such as, I’m not capable or Nothing I do is good enough) lead us to conclude the answer is, “no,” when we actually have the skills, knowledge, and experience to accomplish whatever it is we are thinking of doing.

Obviously unlearning the beliefs would solve the problem and enable you to realize that you really can do much more than you assume you can do.

But there’s a technique you can use to minimize the impact of your beliefs in the meantime: Assume that whatever it is you want to do can be done and that you can do it. In other words, the question shouldn’t be, “Can I?”, but, “How can I?”

By asking “how” instead of asking “if,” your focus is on finding a way to achieve your goal instead of allowing your doubts and fears (caused by your beliefs and conditioning) to tell you that you can’t do it.

Even if you use my suggested question your beliefs can impede your ability to find a solution, but by bypassing the question of “Can I?, you minimize the power your beliefs have to sabotage you.

Make 2015 your best year ever

So here’s my suggestion to you for the new year: Whenever you find yourself asking “if” you can do something (anything at all), rephrase the question to assume you can do it and the only question is finding the best way to do it.

Write this phrase down and tape it to your computer and any other place you are likely to see it frequently during the day:

HOW can I (do whatever I want to do)?

If you happen to notice that you are using the “Can I? question, stop and immediately switch to the “How can I?” question.

After doing this for a week, please come back to this site and let me (and my readers) know how merely changing the wording of the question you ask yourself during the course of the day enabled you to achieve so much more than you had before.


Thanks for reading my blog. Please post your questions or comments on my suggestion to ask, “How can I?” instead of, “Can I?” Disagreement is as welcome as agreement. Your comments add value for thousands of readers. I love to read them all and I will respond to as many as I can.

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If you haven’t yet eliminated at least one of your limiting self-esteem beliefs using the Lefkoe Belief Process, go to our interactive online belief-unlearning program where you can unlearn several limiting beliefs free.

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Copyright © 2014 Morty Lefkoe