I often find myself in situations where I’m being told we can’t do this or that, followed by the reasons why we can’t. As a show director and contractor I am often brought in on a project basis and of course come in with my thoughts and ideas. I love when I am met with enthusiasm and collaborative energy, but sometimes the energy is quite the opposite. I actually don’t mind the push back energy – I understand there are parameters and limits to resources and ideas that are sometimes just way too big or ambitious. But I always push to go beyond the “Why we can’t” energy. In fact, I’ll often refer to it specifically: “Okay, I understand why we can’t – now I want to spend some time considering how we can.”
The “why we can’t” response is almost automatic in many groups and relationships. In fact, I find myself doing it, especially in my relationship with my children. They often have ideas for something they’d like to do and I find myself quickly listing the reasons why we can’t. I have begun to train myself to catch that energy and turn it around. My first question to myself is “Wait a minute – why can’t we?” This immediately transforms the energy of the moment from looking at it as an impossibility, to opening up the well of possibilities. Now that this pathway is opened up, I can go to “let’s see – how can we…?”
Now I’m in a completely different place, and surrounded by a completely different energy – the positive energy of possibilities as opposed to the negative energy of frustration and disappointment, listing and relisting the reasons we can’t.
When I’ve been in these situations I am careful not to cut-off the initial spout of why we can’t. If I do, the situation will become adversarial and confrontational and will actually escalate the negative energy I’m trying to avoid. So I let it go on and make sure I keep my cool and keep my composure or once again, that will add additional negative energy into the mix. After a time, I then make a simple request: “Okay, I see why we can’t. What if we spend no more energy on that, and spend some time considering a hypothetical – Let’s just say we could, by some miracle. If that were true, how might we do that?”
I many times will have to withstand another round of why we can’t, but it will undoubtedly be shorter. Then, I keep quiet for several moments. Suddenly, as if magically, an idea might pop up from somewhere in the room, and then another... Or maybe there is a follow-up idea to something offered previously.
Best of all though is when I leave the night or meeting feeling like there is no hope – the pushback intensity is too great – but I’ve still made my pitch – “just spend some time considering, ‘how can we?’” The next day I’ll get a call or text message with a solution or functional workaround the gets us where we wanted to be.
The steps and encouragements to transform the energy from “Why we can’t – to – How we can” are quite simple.
Let the “why we can’t” flow – it’s important to get this energy out, so that it can be released and not hinder the energy we want to get to. If the energy is held in or squelched – it will impede forward movement. This is a means to let it go.
Limit the amount of time and energy given to why we can’t. Once expressed, it is done and doesn’t need or deserve any more energy.
Switch energy as soon as possible to “How can we?” Consider a universe or environment where it is true, or, it can happen. Then look at ways to get there. If nothing else find possibilities that can at least be explored and something previously unseen or not thought of yet can present itself. This can only happen if we are in the realm of seeking possibilities and seeing beyond the inhibitors.
Enjoy the new possibilities that unfold before you or the solutions that seem to magically present themselves.
Whatever the hurdle is your stuck on and looking to overcome, I am confident something will come to you that is a solution, or at least a spark to a new idea or approach. Many times, just by converting your energies to a more positive vibration, answers and possibilities will find their way to you, often presented in forms or by individuals you had never even thought of or considered.
So change “Why We Can’t” to “How We Can!” in your life starting immediately.