Can’t, Won’t, and Not Willing

She wanted to quit her job. The work was ok she guessed, but the management was oppressive, and she wasn’t getting the opportunities and benefits she deserved. She was worth more, and if they couldn’t see it, then she would find a place that could.

I’m in Las Vegas this weekend. I’m here quite a bit lately, and as a girl who gave up drinking and doesn’t gamble, this is not necessarily an ideal destination. I am a seeker of peace and tranquility, it’s a stretch for me to hang here; but this season has served as a great place to watch and to observe some of my fellow humans. Plus, being here has given me the opportunity to nurture a budding relationship that has more merit than anything since my divorce. So, it’s what I’ve chosen right now.

I can’t – I just can’t….

 I overheard the trio at the table next to me. I understood how the woman felt. Trapped, stuck. Out of solutions. She was making her case to her dining companions. I have been where she is. I understand how she feels, but I also know she was not a victim to her employer or her circumstances, or her friends for that matter.

Over the years, I’ve tried to eliminate the word can’t from my vocabulary. Can’t places you in the position of the victim. Can’t offers an excuse not to do the thing you know you need to do, or want to do. This mindset can sometimes put unneeded drama around the circumstance – which allows for the focus to remain on the drama, rather than the solution.

Friends, I beg you not to let this way of thinking limit how you experience life for you will surely miss out. When you say you can’t, what it really means is that you won’t. Won’t put in the extra effort, won’t make the hard decision, won’t release the status quo that allows you to be who you truly want to be.

Won’t isn’t a negative necessarily. Won’t just means you’re not willing, or you are choosing a different option that is better for you. It’s ok to not be willing. You can own not willing, but be sure to call it what it is because that’s the way you take back your power.

We tell ourselves (or others have told us) it’s not ok to simply be unwilling to partake in relationships, tasks, jobs, whatever, in which we’d rather not or don’t serve us well.

We are rarely ever trapped - in every given situation, there are choices, maybe tough choices, maybe choices that put an end to what we know as normal. Perhaps choices that force us to look at our current circumstances and behavior – but there are choices.

We either choose to take action, or we choose not to take action. There is always a choice.

If you don’t want to do something, own it. It’s ok to own it. Even if that means taking responsibility for your happiness might disappoint others. Taking responsibility for what you’re willing/not willing/no longer willing to do, puts you in a much more powerful place.

It puts you in the position to take control of your life.

Can’t is a measure of avoidance and it enables evading responsibility for making tough choices about what we need and what we want.

But that’s not the way to freedom.

Decide what you are willing and not willing to do and accept-  and you’ll see your future open wide.