Can’t, Don’t, Won’t

Can't Don't Won't“I can’t do that.  I’ve tried it before and it didn’t work.”

“I don’t have the skills”

“I won’t be able to do it”

I believe apostrophe t should be removed from our language.  That’s right.  All those don’t, won’t, can’t, shouldn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t words should simply go the way of the dinosaur.

How many times have you, or someone you know, used the apostrophe t reason or excuse for not doing something?

So many people are willing to quickly tell you why they “can’t”.  I say: YES YOU CAN.

Whatever you set your intention and mind to, make a decision and then take action, you CAN and WILL accomplish.

It’s when you let those pesky doubts and fears creep in…when you let those around you tear down your dreams…when you have self-doubt that it’s so much easier to say you can’t.  And it’s easy to blame external circumstances – bumps in the road…disappointments…difficulties…for detouring back, sitting idle and not taking steps in the direction of your goals and dreams.

There’s a saying that goes:  Many a false step was made by standing still.

Apostrophe t’s are excuses to stand still.

Will you stand still or move forward today?  What decision have you made, and what’s the first step you’ll take TODAY in the direction of that decision?

  • Bill Dorman

    So, out for a run are we? Do bears chase you up there, eh? FYI  – alligators chase me down here, y’all.

    Some things are physically not possible so it might be proper to use. But other situations it only allows you to put up artificial barriers and use it as an excuse for whatever reason; being fear of failure, looking foolish, etc.

    The next decision I’m going to make is I CAN get off my lazy butt and I WILL go down to the store to get me some lunch. Fat boys gotta eat, right?

    Good to see you today and hope you have a great weekend.

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      Oh, I do so luv you Bill!  No bears…just dogs.  But only one today.

      Agreed when something is physically impossible, and ditto agree that in other situations it’s just putting up, in your words, artificial barriers and excuses.

      So, Bill, I’m now coaching you, haha: lift LB off chair, take steps in direction of store and enjoy your lunch my friend.  Have a blast this weekend, whatever you do:)  Cheers!  Kaarina

      • Bill Dorman

        We call those wolves……………just sayin’……………..

        • Kaarina Dillabough


          Did you eat lunch?….just remindin’…

          • Bill Dorman

            Off course; fat boys gotta eat…………hey, I see the Canucks pulled one out last night.

          • Kaarina Dillabough

            Wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take it.  One more to go Monday night (I’m ever the optimist!)  Have fun this weekend…and every day, of course.  Cheers!  Kaarina

          • Bill Dorman

            Edgar Guest’s ‘It Couldn’t be Done’

            Somebody said it couldn’t be done,
            But he with a chuckle replied
            That “maybe it couldn’t” but he would be the one
            Who couldn’t say no till he tried.
            So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin on his face. If he worried he hid it.
            He started to sing as he tackled the thing
            That couldn’t be done and he did it.

            Came across it today and thought it was appropriate for your post.

          • Kaarina Dillabough

            Where do you come up with these things?  So good.  Thanks!

          • Kim Davies

            I think Bill is a genie or something. 😀

          • Kim Davies

            Love this, Bill. :)

    • The JackB

      @a76049f6a32a1e633a732b81bafb98c9:disqus Bill if you ever find yourself being chased by alligators let me know and I’ll help you out. I am good with gators, crocs and other dinosaurs that have managed to survive for thousands of years. After all as my exgirlfriend of many years declared, “I am an Uncivilized Barbarian.”

      And like all good barbarians I have found that brute strength and a broadsword are often good cures for “can’t.” Tell me you can’t do something and I’ll help motivate you to make a better decision.

      Kids are good for that too. Experience hasn’t taught them that dreams are impossible.

  • Gingerkeon

    So on point! I am in the process of moving forward today on a new venture and this hit home. Life us about not giving excuses. Everyone should take accountability for themselves and their actions. Great work

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      Thanks so much Jen: my tweet to you must have crossed paths with this in the stratosphere!

      Ooooh, you’ve piqued my curiosity on the new venture.  Maybe you’ll share sometime? (if not in a public forum, you can always DM me or email me.  Let me know if there’s anything I can help you with: would be happy to do so)

      Great to see you here.  Now we just have to get that lovely photo of yours on a gravatar:)  Cheers!  Kaarina

  • Gini Dietrich

    My middle brother, Jonathan, is the father of five children (!!!). He’s taught those kids there is no such thing as these words. So much so, in fact, that when you say them in front of the kids, they make you put a quarter in the jar. It gets expensive visiting them!

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      Oooh, I love that Gini!  Your brother is one smart cookie…obviously runs in the family:)

      • Gini Dietrich

        Yes, but I’m much better looking.

        • Kaarina Dillabough

          No doubt, my dear.

  • Mark Harai

    Hi Kaarina, love love love this post :)

    Progress is tied to taking action. Nothing changes the fact that we cannot predict the future, or what the results will be by taking action; but you’ll never know if you’re not willing to face your fears and step into the unknown. 

    One thing you can absolutely count on; every new experince will make you more capable, knowlegdable and wise. These characteristics are what successful lives are built on. 

    Have a wonderful weekend Kaarina!

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      Thanks, Mark for those wise words.  I love your statement: “…every new experience will make you more capable, knowledgeable and wise.”  Can I use that?:)

      Enjoy your weekend. Hope it’s packed with fun and family.  Cheers!  Kaarina

  • Marcus Sheridan

    Hey Kaarina, I must admit, I’m not a big fan of the apostrophe ‘t’ either.

    For me, my life changed when I stopped thinking I couldn’t do well with computers and technology. Although I still have a long way to go, I’ve come such a long ways simply because my attitude is now in the right place.

    Thanks for your passion lady. :)


    • Kaarina Dillabough

      Thanks for the comment and the compliment Marcus.

      It’s hard for me to believe that you ever thought you “couldn’t do well with computers and technology”…look at you now!  You’ve mastered it, and you’re teaching it.  Your attitude is most definitely in the right place, and we all benefit from that.  Thanks for all you give to us and share with us.  Cheers!  Kaarina

  • Amber-Lee

    Good Morning Kaarina!
    I found this a couple of weeks ago, when I started reading Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self Reliance.” I thought it fit…
    “Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.”
    I agree completely with you and R.W.E., my Gramps always said “can’t never did anything.” (simple, but true.)
    If we don’t try, again and again and again and then ask for help if we are still on again and again, where will we be? No where. Alone. Not helping anyone. Not making any difference. And that is just sad and lazy.
    I have discovered that there is so much GOOD out there and I really want to be part of it. All of it. Thank you for a terrific one to hang up and be a constant reminder.

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      Amber-Lee, I love your Gramps saying, “can’t never did anything.” 

      There truly is soooo much good out there, and you are certainly part of it.  When we open up to new experiences, people and points of view, our world can only be enriched.

      I’m going to remember and use: “can’t never did anything.”  Great comments. Cheers my friend:)  Kaarina  P.S.  Don’t pay attention to critics who tell you you’re wrong, or you can’t.  They’re coming from a place of their own insecurities, and wanting to impose those insecurities on you. 

  • Annie Andre

    Kaarina, i’ve been thinking about this exact topic for over a year now.  I think for a lot of people, the fear of losing what they already have makes people stand still in their tracks. That and all the people around you following the status quo pro.

    For so many years i was stuck in an invisible jail wearing Golden handcuffs.  

    It’s amazing but i think that sometimes when you come perilously close to rock bottom it can be liberating. The things you most feared are not so scary anymore and it allows you to move forward because you know you can handle your scariest fears.

     I’m no thrill seeker but i do get a sense of thrill from the challenge of doing things differently and challenging the status quo pro. That and i hated wearing High heels to the office for 10 hours a day:)
    thanks for the reminder that Nay sayers are all around us and even within ourselves.

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      Thanks, Annie, for chiming in.  Wow: “stuck in an invisible jail wearing golden handcuffs”…what a profound image!

      Delighted to hear that you are challenging yourself and the status quo, and growing from that and enjoying it to boot! (speaking of boots…no more high heels for 10 hours a day…woohoo!)

      I think the naysayers around us are much easier to deal with than if there’s a naysayer inside oneself.  In either case, it’s time to give them a boot…maybe with a stiletto, haha!

      I can relate to what it feels like to hit rock bottom (that’s another story for another day), and once that happens, it can indeed be liberating.  The sense of empowerment that comes from weathering the worst storms emboldens you and prepares you for all that comes your way, good and bad.  Keep on your great journey Annie: we’re here to support you.  Cheers!  Kaarina

  • Diana Strinati Baur

    Ciao Kaarina.  There are so many things that brake our flow – sometimes they are avoidable and sometimes not.  The point is to keep going – even if the first steps back into the world of moving forward are miniscule.  They make us feel better.  If we’ve taken on more than we can actually cope with, standing still might be necessary for a short time that our soul can catch up with where our minds and bodies have brought us.  But to get moving again – that’s critical.  It’s the action that makes us better, not thinking about the action.

    xoxox lots of hugs on this Sunday afternoon…

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      Ciao Diana, and hugs and sunshine back at’cha this lovely Sunday afternoon:)

      I agree: action is where it’s at!  And equally important: pausing, or “slowing down to speed up”.  We don’t need to be a whirling dervish, constantly in motion.  But we do need to take small, manageable, measurable steps in the direction of our goals, taking breaks or pauses to reflect, and then picking up the journey again.

      Sometimes it might be one step forward and two steps back, but results come from adjusting to setbacks, re-setting one’s course, and, as you said, “get moving again. It’s the action that makes us better, not thinking about the action.”

      Cheers my friend!  Kaarina

  • Kim Davies

    Hello, Kaarina.

    I always believe that we could do better in life if we take the stance of a child, who thinks that everything is doable and that words like can’t, don’t and won’t don’t exist. Now, although I try my best to be that way, sometimes these horrible words get the better of me. So, my novel is yet unfinished, I have stopped writing poems and my sketchpad has gathered dust.

    So, thank you very much for this one, lovely and passionate lady. It surely picked me up and told me that yes, I can finish my novel! Yes, I can go back to writing poems even if I am not depressed or sad! And, yes, I can still drawn and sketch even if there are people better than me! Nothing should hold me back. Not even those words that may come barreling at me at times like tons of bricks. 

    Hope your weekend went well,

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      I’m SO delighted to hear the inspiration in your words, and I’m excited for you to get back to your novel, your poems and your sketching.  You CAN and you WILL do it! Start today, my friend.

      I had left my watercolour painting by the wayside for a long time, until a fellow named Adam Greenberg @2nightsH2Ocolor:twitter reminded me that there’s always time and ability to do something you love.  Adam had decided (and then did!) a watercolor painting every night for a year.  He then gave them away to anyone who wanted them.  What a cool thing!  There was and is no “can’t” in his vocab.

      So Kim…novel…poems…sketches.  You can.  You will. Nothing will hold you back, my friend.  Cheers!  Kaarina

      • Kim Davies

        Thanks for the encouragement, Kaarina. :)

        I will draft my letter today requesting permission to contact the incest victim that inspired my novel. I will send you a photo of a pastel painting I did as well as a poem that I wrote for my sister who died of leukemia just to get started.

        Then, maybe in a couple of days I can send you photos and copies of the new stuff that I’ve done. :)

        • Kaarina Dillabough

          I’m so excited for you Kim! I look forward to seeing the fruits of your labour, and I know this will set you further on your path of growth and happiness.  I am so proud of you!  Cheers!  Kaarina

  • Life, for instance

    Moving FORWARD, for sure! I’m already on a count-down for my vacation (40 days) and have so much do do between now and then. I’ve hit the ground running and I LOVE it!
    I got this from Daniel Wood – @lookingDaniel:twitter  – I have a little sign attached to my monitor that says, “You can Do it ! Go Go GO!”  
    Happy Monday Kaarina!

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      Go Go GO indeed Lori! I believe that people who use the apostophe t’s are just making excuses for not go go GOing:) (sort of like the coulda shoulda woulda people)

      Where are you going for your vacation? That’s always something to look forward to, so enjoy this lovely Monday morning, and the count-down to your days of R & R.  Cheers!  Kaarina

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