Reframe the Word “Can’t”

Reframing I can't

There is no doubt 2020 is a challenging year, and all indications point to things getting worse, before they get better. The shock of March and April shutdowns has given way to a business environment that is new for everyone, and the end of business for too many.

The world of business ownership is tough on profits, and also tough on emotions and resiliency. No matter how gung-ho you are about your company and your ability to drive success, sometimes the odds are stacked against you.

It’s easy to say I can’t. I can’t expand my retail shop because there isn’t enough traffic. I can’t buy a multi-family unit, because rents will be too uncertain. I can’t introduce a new product line because the supply chain isn’t there. I can’t grow my business.

Our suggestion this week is to reframe the words I can’t. Instead, acknowledge the situation isn’t good, without giving up. You can do everything you want, but not right now.

  • I can expand my retail shop, but not right now while social distancing limits foot traffic.
  • I can buy a multi-family unit, but I’m going to wait until rental income is more stable.
  • I can introduce a new product line, but first I need to let the supply chain catch up.

Reframing I can’t doesn’t change the situation, but it does change your reaction to it. And if you’re familiar with the Jack Canfield formula of E+R=O, you know that how you respond (R) to an event (E) is what determines the outcome (O). You can do the things you want in your business, but maybe not right now.

Reframe the message you tell yourself and others, and focus on the response, instead of the event, and we believe you will be poised for success. You will also quite possibly uncover new opportunities as you think about what you can accomplish, rather than what you can’t.