New release - PASSION STRUCK

Anyone Who Dares to Be, Should Stop Saying “I Can’t”
It’s our inner voice that gets in the way

Ready for one of the most important life and leadership lessons you will ever learn? Stop Saying I Can’t.

YOU are the most challenging critic you will ever face.

Need proof, let me lead you through a short thought experiment. In your mind — or better yet, on a piece of paper — take a moment to write out a few of the biggest opportunities ever presented to you?

Have it documented? Now, as you think about those opportunities, write down the answer to the following question: Did you pursue the opportunity or let is pass by?

How often are we presented with amazing opportunities only to let some of them go by the wayside. Why? Because a simple four-letter word often shows up at the worst possible moment, snuffing out our dreams and telling us it’s impossible: I “CAN’T.”

I “can’t” make that deadline.

That idea “can’t” work.

Those consumers “can’t” respond to that idea.

I “can’t” accomplish my dreams because I don’t have the training.

I “can’t” afford to do it now.

“can’t” get myself in shape to run that race.

Overcoming Your Personal Obstacles

When you realize that you are your biggest obstacle, you can start to take steps to silence your own inner critic and move toward truly-innovative concepts and a growth mindset.

A real example of a veteran overcoming her “I CAN’T transition is marine-turned-mountain-climber Kristie Ennis.

The morning of June 23, 2012, began as a routine day. Sergeant Ennis was in high spirits. She attended check-flight briefings and then set off on her last mission during her second Afghanistan combat tour. It was on that final flight when her helicopter crashed while performing combat resupplies. Ennis was severely injured. The crash left her with broken bones, burns, a traumatic brain injury, and damage to her spinal cord, jaw, and left leg. Ultimately, she underwent 40 surgeries and her doctors were forced to amputate her left leg.

Video Credit: ESPN Body Issue on YouTube

Following extensive time in the hospital, Ennis considered ending her own life as the impacts of her physical and invisible injuries engulfed her. However, at this moment of crisis, she experienced a breakthrough — overcoming the voices telling her she couldn’t rise from the ashes of her traumatic experience and limitations. Ennis decided that just because she was missing a limb, experienced head trauma, and was disabled, she didn’t have to give up living a full and fulfilling life.

“Looking at my life, people can see me now climbing Mt. Everest, or receiving an award, or whatever it may be. They see these glorious images and pictures. But, what they don’t see are the dark days and the hard days. Like having to put my leg on in the morning and how miserable that can be. Especially at the beginning of my recovery. It was hard to do things for myself. I think that is what makes it hard for people to go through these periods of transition. They think they are all alone.” — Kirstie Ennis.

Ennis decided to wrestle back her life from the edge of despair and set a personal goal to push past her limitations and take up a new hobbies: mountain climbing and snow boarding. Ennis has made it her goal to climb the seven tallest peaks on each continent in the world, all the while raising money for the Kirstie Ennis Foundation. Since she began her journey, Ennis has raised over $70,000 for veterans, women, and disabled populations.

After she finishes this current goal, she plans on tackling the World Marathon Challenge where she will attempt to run 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days.

Move Past Yourself and Stop Saying I Can’t

One of the biggest obstacles that anyone faces in their life is moving past themselves and busting through the status quo set for them by their circumstances.

Consider the story of Ottawa native Sindy Hooper. As a competitive runner, Sindy was used to overcoming physical, mental, and emotional challenges to reach the finish line of some of the world’s most intense races. After joining a friend for a half-marathon, Sindy caught the bug for competition and began to push the limits of what she had once considered possible for herself.

A half-marathon quickly led to a full-marathon in Ottawa, then she conquered the Boston Marathon. Not satisfied with a Boston completion, Sindy then took on the ultimate physical competition: the Ironman Mont Tremblant.

As Sindy continued breaking her own physical barriers, she soon came up against a race she never expected: pancreatic cancer. With a prognosis of around one year, it seemed that the finish line for Sindy’s life had moved up devastatingly fast.

Video Credit: Sindy Hooper on YouTube

While many individuals would be crushed by such a diagnosis, Sindy said yes to her life. Instead of sitting around in self-pity while undergoing a Whipple procedure followed by months of chemotherapy treatment, she turned them into a reason to truly live. She could have accepted the status quo of drifting away in hopelessness. But, Sindy hit the road once more to train for the Canada Ironman while undergoing chemotherapy.

In August of 2013, Sindy burst through the Canada Ironman competition’s finish line, a feat most people, including her oncologist, thought impossible. Along the way, Sindy’s inspiring story helped her raise nearly $50,000 through Marathoners Gone Viral for pancreatic cancer research. Sindy continues to race even today. She is now a global ambassador for pancreatic cancer survivors and inspiring millions to push through their personal limitations to achieve a breakthrough.

Sindy recently told me about her next goal is to run 50 kilometers across Ottawa on November 1st to kick-off pancreatic cancer awareness month. She and her dear friend Janet want to challenge themselves, raise awareness of pancreatic cancer, and raise much needed funds for cancer research at The Ottawa Hospital.

Becoming Passion-Struck On The Other Side of Can’t

You may feel that you do not have the education, the experience, the ability, or the potential to succeed. You may be an underdog in your own life.

However, underdogs like Kristie Ennis and Sindy Hooper illustrate that in life, our most significant limiting factor is often our own inner critic. It’s our inner voice who tries to convince us that I can’t.

But you can.

Will you allow yourself to be knocked down by your own sharp angles and fears? Or, will you take advantage of the unique opportunities you have been granted and become passion struck to fulfill your creative and leadership abilities?

The real work begins when you delete the word “can’t” from your personal vocabulary. Once you do, you will start to see how you can genuinely breakthrough and become passion struck.

Conclusion of

So how do you translate this knowledge to practical use?

Similar to Kirstie and Sindy, you also need to settle on a decision. You will either keep deceiving yourself — many do their entire life — or you can be honest with your inner voice and face your fears.

You have a choice. Mindsets are just beliefs. They are potent beliefs, but they are just something in your mind.

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”
— Dale Carnegie

What is essential is to make the decision to stop listening to your inner voice when it tells you, “I Can’t.” Instead, start taking deliberate steps to change how you react to the opportunities thrown your way every day.

I provided a couple of specific examples in this story that you can study and learn from. Both Kirstie and Sindy had a choice just like you do. It started with them tackling their fears and making a positive choice. They decided to not let their disabilities and invisible injuries stand in the way of living their lives to their fullest.

I would encourage you also to take a hard look in the mirror. You have to take the initial steps towards a world of “I CAN.” For some it may be a straight path. For others it may be a zigzag. The important thing is to make decisions that generally move you closer to your dreams and not farther away from them.

It could make all the difference in how you live your life to its fullest.

Your mindset is everything. The way you approach an opportunity or challenge, and its result is solely based on you — You are the most challenging critic you will ever face.

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