Alternatives to “I can’t”

I was reminded of Daniel Pink and his book A Whole New Mind—Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future when I saw a sign posted in the art room at Hamilton Park Elementary School in Dallas.

Pink advises us to substitute “and” for “but.” For example, instead of telling yourself, “I would like to learn to speak Spanish, but I’m busy and I’m not good at learning languages,” tell yourself, “I would like to learn to speak Spanish, and I know the task will take time and hard work.  I will take a class and listen to Spanish tapes in the car.”

The sign I saw offers this list of alternatives to “I can’t.”

I don’t know how.

I’ve never done this before.

I’m having trouble.

This is hard to do.

Would you help me please?

I’ll try.

I can do it!

–Joy

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