can't buttoncan't signOften people are told that they can do something and their reply is, “I can’t.” You know that they can do it but they just don’t seem to have enough confidence to take that step. Its like when you try to teach a baby how to crawl or walk, they are unsure at first but then once they try it they go everywhere. Some people grow up being taught that they don’t have the ability to be successful; they are a loser; they will always be a failure; they will only go as far as their parents in success and careers; and they will never amount to anything or have a happy life. All this negative mental programming gives an individual the inability to even take a chance so when asked to try something new, improve their education, try dating, their answer is always the same, “I can’t.” The words are sad to hear. I know a person who has been sick. She has been told that her life will only be a certain way and she will always be dependent upon others. “I can’t” are new words now in her vocabulary. She is a bright vibrant person with a great laugh. Prior to her sickness she was very successful. Now, she doesn’t believe she can be on her own ever again. It made me sad when she said those words. I understand if you are afraid of heights and fear jumping off a high dive for swimming. When my children were young they were sure they could not jump off the diving board at our local community pool. As soon as they said, “I can’t” I immediately corrected them that they just needed to take that first try on the lowest board possible. When they finally did, they were elated. Of course, they moved quickly to the high dive but then that was what I expected.  There are countless stories about people who were told they would never walk again or be able to use their limbs.  They decided that it didn’t matter and pushed themselves until they did walk and have use of their limbs.  In the Good Gus series, Katie is in a wheel chair.  I never modified any story to make her walk because it wouldn’t be right to tell the children who will never walk again.  I didn’t want to give false hope.  However, Katie does many things and the wheel chair is only a minor inconvenience.  She has the “I can” attitude.