What’s on your ‘can now do ‘ list?



A couple of weekends ago I was visiting one of my best friends in Sheffield. We went for a walk with her husband, her two gorgeous daughters Daisy and Gracie, and Woody the dog.

The adults were talking about our new exercise regimes and the pain we were experiencing. Belinda and I talked about how we couldn’t walk down the stairs the day after our recent training sessions, and her husband told a funny story about how he couldn’t raise his arms, after a particular gruelling PT session.

( We didn’t mention at all what we had actually achieved to gain this pain)

I went on to mention that one of my goals for this year is to do a full proper press up and to be able to touch my toes.

Both of these I can’t do and often seem to be mentioning the fact I can’t do it.

‘I can’t even touch my toes or do a full press up’

Daisy who is nine heard our conversation and with delight shouted ‘I can touch my toes, and do press ups’.

At this point in the middle of the woods we were walking through she dropped to the muddy ground, and demonstrated she can indeed do press ups, very well.

When I’d arrived at their house a few hours earlier, Gracie had told me how she ‘can’ now read a particular book and Daisy how she ‘can’ now do a particular dance.

I just love seeing what they ‘can’ now do, and they are delighted to demonstrate their new skills.

It got me thinking, what age is it that we really stop talking about what we can now do.

Is our perception that we stop learning, or are the skills we can ‘now’ do just a little subtler? Perhaps we just don’t notice how much we continue to grow.

I read a statistic recently that 92% of women have a problem with self esteem and that 50% of women feel they would be further ahead at work if they only had more confidence.

Given some of these statistics it surprises me that programmes such as the one I run which promises to raise people’s confidence are not being constantly over subscribed.

One of the simplest forms of raising your self-esteem and confidence is to remind yourself of what you ‘can’ now do.

If there is something you want to be able to do, be or learn than some action is required.

For me that’s doing a rather lame type of push up each day until boom at some point this year I’ll be able to say ‘I can do a press up’. I’m looking forward to that, although for many of course this wouldn’t be so impressive, as they can already do it, or doing a press up is of no interest to them whatsoever.

On my programmes I run an exercise called past – present – future.

Part of this involves inviting people to look back at a point in time about three years ago and recall what was happening in your life back then. What challenges where you facing, who was around, what was going on.

Then think about where you are right now in life and look back over what you have learnt, what are you doing now that you were not doing then, and what new skills have been added.

Try it out, you will be able to add some ‘I can now ‘ statements into your life.

Children are so delighted to share their ‘ Look what I can now do’s , we can see how this raises their self esteem, and gives them confidence to go on to try more.

We can learn so much from children, before they even know what ‘not’ having confidence looks like.


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