I can’t and I don’t 

Every time you tell yourself “I can't”, you're creating a feedback loop that is a reminder of your limitations. This terminology indicates that you're forcing yourself to do something you don't want to do.

In comparison, when you tell yourself “I don't”, you're creating a feedback loop that reminds you of your control and power over the situation. It's a phrase that can propel you towards breaking your bad habits and following your good ones.

“I can't” and “I don't” are words that seem similar and we often interchange them for one another, but psychologically they can provide very different feedback and, ultimately, result in very different actions. They aren't just words and phrases. They are affirmations of what you believe, reasons for why you do what you do, and reminders of where you want to go.

The ability to overcome temptation and effectively say no is critical not only to your physical health, but also to maintaining a sense of well–being and control in your mental health.

To put it simply: you can either be the victim of your words or the architect of them. Which one would you prefer?

James Clear 


The Chains of Victimhood

Glorying in victimhood is a favorite path for people hurt in relationships (especially the divorced). When someone has been wronged (and wronged many times), it is easy to keep seeing life through those pain-filled moments and “define” yourself by what others have done to you. Instead of moving on and creating your own identity, your past pain becomes an excuse for not taking responsibly for today.. and a means to gain sympathy. When you meet new people, you find yourself quickly working your way to an explanation of what happened. You want it front and center so that others to see you in that light. You want that shadow of the past to fall over your face when they look at you. How much better it is to let them get to know the person you have become rather than what you once were! It’s a risky but healthy step toward breaking the chains of victimhood.

Stephen Goforth


In the victim role, a person chooses to act powerless, often using language that implies they are being acted upon. The victim doesn't take responsibility for their own actions because "I can't help it."

The victim must learn that NOT to choose IS to make a choice. An unsafe one. The pathway to healthy emotions begins with taking control of their life by setting boundaries against unwelcome behavior-and sticking to those borders.

Feelings of powerlessness can be the result of a lack of trust. For a child, it may be dealing with an untrustworthy adult. After a time, the child stops trusting his own judgment because the role of victim becomes comfortable and familiar. Stepping out of it requires re-establishing confidence in a person's own God-given ability to make wise decisions and take control of his or her own life.

Stephen Goforth