Eliminating My Cannots

I stood in front of the bar looking down at it with my trainer by my side. 

Sara, 8 deadlifts. Consecutively. Then we’re finished. 

I didn’t think I could do them. I knew I could do 8 deadlifts. That wasn’t the problem. But consecutively? Without stopping? Without resting? I didn’t think I could.

You just did 4 without stopping, how is 4 more any different?

I don’t know. I don’t know how 4 more is any different but it feels different. Doing four seems like a reasonable chunk. I can do four. I know I can do four. But eight? Eight feels impossible. In my mind I wanted to break them into 4 then 4. That makes 8.

I’m good at math right? No. Not really.


Credit google for this photo… And yes, I did those deadlifts anyway

One of my largest adversaries in life is myself. When I look back at the things that in life that I started and never finished, I’m almost definitely ashamed. I have started so many things. I have not finished many though. One of my biggest limits in life isn’t my hearing loss, communication barriers, people’s lack of ASL, my balance, my food allergies… My biggest limit in life is my mind. Because If I believe I can do something, then I can, but If I think I can’t, then I won’t.

This transfers to the smallest things- Balancing in yoga, deadlifting at the gym, making new friends, creating a life outside of work, doing a triathlon, seeking the Lord’s will, following Him.


When I was 15 years old and struggling to communicate and feel a part of the hearing world, I knew that I could learn sign language. I believed that I could. Learning another language, grammar, syntax, culture… that was never a question for me of “Can I”. I knew I could, I believed I could so I did.

But last year when I graduated with my masters degree after a traumatic experience with an internship and looked for jobs everywhere… I would read description of work qualifications again and again. I would think I can’t do that. I wasn’t trained to do that. I can’t talk on the phone… pick up clients… i’m terrible with people… I am irresponsible… what if I fail?.. I will fail… And I’d apply for the job anyway, with little confidence.

Only when I believe those things about myself is when they become true. Without believing those things, I am great with people, I am bubbly, I am beautiful, I can find avenues to advocate for myself so the phone can be adapted in a way for me to make calls. I become responsible. I honor the Lord by loving myself.

It’s what I believe about myself that becomes true.

I once heard in a sermon and read in an article much like this one about something called The Confidence Gap. This is a gap between men and women in confidence. For example, when job searching, looking at job qualifications, men will maybe meet one or two qualifications and apply for the job, and talk their way through an interview after some research, thinking they can learn the rest on the job. While women may see they do not meet one or two of the qualifications and not apply at all.

There’s a huge confidence gap between the sexes. I, for one, agree with this psychology. Mainly because I live it.

I live it. Every day. Everywhere I go. I feel like there’s something telling me i’m not qualified. I’m not good enough. I can’t possibly lift that much weight for that many reps… I’m a little person. I can’t possibly apply for that job, look at the bad experience I had such and such a time- it will surely be like that. I can’t possibly do missions.. i have no experience. I can’t possibly… I can’t… I cantCAN.


Today is the first day where I am going to eliminate “cannot”, “will not”, “Can’t” from my vocabulary. I’m tired of not being good enough. I’m tired of listening to the voice in me that slowly crushes my will to do the things and be the person I’m called to be. I’m not listening anymore. Listening to that kind of negativity from myself is exhausting.

I can. I CAN. I AM beautiful. I AM smart. I AM athletic, and strong, and energetic. I am good with people. I am compassionate and loving. I am silly. I am goofy.

I am HIS. He made me. Why would I believe I’m less? I am a daughter of a King, the same King who gave me a brain to use, and muscles to move, and a life to live.

I refuse to waste my life on my cannots.  


About scarmich

A girl in her 20's looking at love, life, and laughter in the mundane.

4 responses to “Eliminating My Cannots

  1. Polly Kindred

    Thank you for this. I LOVE IT! You absolutely ARE all that and a bag of chips! I CAN too! Philippians 4:13 Through Christ who gives me strength! A friend of mine shared this with me: (You may have seen it)
    CAN’T = “I Certainly Am Not Trying”.

  2. Mom

    That which you cannot do, God will do when we lean on Him’ 😉

  3. Pingback: What I’m into… May 2015 Edition | I am Sara, See me RAWR!

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