What if I could?...

I used to find perfectly good and valid reasons not to do the things I said I wanted to do.

“I can’t start my day without a coffee”…

“I’m not a morning person so I can’t get to work on time”…

“I can’t go to the gym because my children need me”…

"I can't swim because it gives me a headache"...

Fritz Perls, the originator of Gestalt Therapy*, and one of the three major therapists NLP was modeled on, used to respond to his clients who said, “I can’t…” By saying, “Don’t say I can’t, say I won’t!” This reframe shifted the client from being stuck in the belief that held them back, (in NLP we call this a limiting belief) to acknowledge the possibility of choice.

Every time I catch myself saying “I can’t” do something, I stop and ask myself, “what if I could?” Will doing these things add value and bring pleasure to my life? If they do, I now know that I have a choice.

On examining even further by asking “what is stopping me from doing it?” helps me find the barriers in my mind. It moves me from being stuck in a problem frame of hopelessness towards a solution frame of hopefulness.

I now can -

Start my day without coffee..

Get to work on time...

Go to the gym... Swim without headaches...

I invite you to be aware of the things you tell yourself you can’t do. And every time you catch yourself saying, “I cant”, ask, “what if I could?”

* Gestalt Therapy –The explanation of gestalt according to Fritz Perls, “You can for instance, tear a house down into bricks into windows and so on. And when you have all the rubble there, you can count them, but it’s not house anymore…So what ever there is, the gestalt, which means the relationship of one part compared with a context, a larger unit, is what gives meaning.

©Charmaine Pandya www.charmainenlp.com