Jordan Kothe on Henry Ford's: "Whether you think you can or can't, you're right."
Jordan Kothe also writes on YouTube (edited):
"When I was growing up I heard the word "no" and the word "can't" a LOT! It came from my parents. When I wanted to try something new, they told me "no" a lot. I know it was because they wanted to protect me and they didn't want to see me fail at anything, but I really feel like they should have let me make my own decisions and if I failed, I failed.
I also heard a lot of "nos" from my peers, friends, and teachers. I had heard the word "no" and "can't" so many times that I developed the mindset that I could never do anything, and I simply developed that way of thinking.
In middle school, junior high, and even high school I wanted to try SO many different things and venture out on my own, but before I could even think about whether it was something I really wanted to do or not, I told myself that I couldn't do it... for whatever reason. I could always come up with a million reasons... why I couldn't do whatever it was I had wanted to do.
I missed out on so many great opportunities because I lived within that realm of thinking. I placed so many limitations on my life because I always told myself that I couldn't do anything.
That's a HORRIBLE way to live!!!
I am so blessed and so thankful that I was introduced to the "world" of personal development! I got involved and started reading books, listening to tapes, and attending seminars. Because of that my life has truly changed and I have transformed my way of thinking!
Don't EVER let anyone tell you that you can't do anything! Don't let anyone put limitations on your life, especially yourself!"
What Kind Of Person Are You? Positive or Negative?
Jordan Kothe writes on YouTube (edited):
"I made a video about a quote I really love by Henry Ford: "Whether you think you can or cant, you're right." That video and this one are both about believing in yourself, having a positive attitude, and surrounding yourself with positive influences.
That's what I want to talk about today, positive associations. The people you associate with have a huge impact on your life, whether your realize it or not. I'm sure you've have heard the saying, "You are who you hang out with." That saying is so true and most people don't realize it.
When I told my friends and family that I had decided to run a half-marathon, they were not excited for me. I did have a few close friends who were excited for me and they wanted to see me challenge myself and succeed, but the majority of my friends and family thought I was crazy and it was a dumb idea. I didn't let their negative words influence me, but I knew if I was going to run I needed to have a strong support system.
So I surrounded myself with people who had the same mindset as mine and I started hanging out and talking with other runners. Their words were encouraging and uplifting. I didn't let the negative things my friends and family were saying have a negative influence on me.
The exact same thing happened when I started building my business. I told my friends and family and what did they say? Blah, blah, blah! I know they responded that way because they love me, care about me, and didn't want to see me fail... But it's my life and sometimes you just have to figure things out for yourself, right?!
Anyway, my friends and family had their negative assumptions, so again what did I do? I surrounded myself with positive like-minded people and I didn't let other negative assumptions and opinions get to me.
There are two kinds of people: Positive and Negative. Positive people have a wealthy mindset. They encourage and lift others up and they always have pleasant, inspiring, and positive things to say.
Negative people usually have a broke mindset. They can be "energy suckers" who suck all your positive energy away from you! I bet you can think of some people like that...
So, what kind of person are you? A positive person who lifts up and encourages others? Or a negative person who tries to bring others down to your level?
I want to encourage you to start evaluating your friendships and your relationships. Make sure to surround yourself with positive people."
Robert Fritz and Shad Helmstetter on Negative Programming
"In his book The Path of Least Resistance, Robert Fritz cites an experiment in which three- and four-year old children had tape recorders attached to them, recording everything that was told to them: "After analyzing the tapes, researchers discovered that 85 percent of what children were told was about either what they could not do or how bad they were because of what they were doing." In other words, as children, as much as 85% of what we learned from adults consisted of negative programming. Eighty-five percent! With all those negative, self-defeating programs running in our brains, it's no wonder we feel powerless and unfree!" -- Mark Lindsay (Learned Permission-seeking).
In his book What to Say When You Talk to Your Self, Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D. wrote:
"I'll give you an example of some of the negative programming most of us have received. During the first eighteen years of our lives, if we grew up in fairly average, reasonably positive homes, we were told "No!," or what we could not do, more than 148,000 times! If you were a little more fortunate, you may have been told "No!" only 100,000 times...
Meanwhile, during the same period, the first eighteen years of your life, how often do you suppose you were told what you can do or what you can accomplish in life? A few thousand times? A few hundred? During my speaking engagements to groups across the country, I have had people tell me they could not remember being told what they could accomplish in life more than three or four times!
...Everything and everyone around us, without being aware of it, has been programming us... Year after year, word by word, our life scripts were etched."
What if Your Depression and Helplessness are so Bad...?
"Yes. This is quite the revelation. I read about this very thing some years ago in a very thought-provoking little book called The Little Engine That Could. After all, isn'' "could" the polar opposite of "can't?"
For those of us that suffer from debilitating and crippling emotional depression, "can't" and "won't" don't enter into the equation. We are simply "unable" to do anything about our situation. I've gone to therapy, and tried various anti-depressants over the years. The therapy was useless and the anti-depressants turned me into a happy zombie, with no real motivation or desire to deal with life in any substantive life-changing way.
Believe it or not, I do truly believe in the powers of negative and positive energy. Most people will tell you that I'm a fairly easy-going and even-keeled person. But little do they know or understand that I'm actually in a dark dungeon of clinical depression.
I used to be an incredibly talented and unstoppable illustrator and painter. Everyone told me that I was truly going places. I have barely drawn or painted anything in almost 10 years that wasn't strictly a paid assignment. All motivation, desire and just the pure joy of doing artwork has left me. I don't blame anyone or anything for my circumstances. I used to wallow in self pity and simply blame myself for my lack of drive and motivation.
But, I've come to realize there is no one to blame at all. This is simply the way it is for myself and so many thousands of other lost souls out there.
So, for me it isn't about "can't" or "won't," but simply that I'm "unable" to climb out of this black place they call clinical depression. I'm all for positive thinking. But clearly, people like me are in need of something a little more drastic to help us live any kind of normal life, let alone be happy and successful too."
For possible remedies, see Raise Your Mood Level! This is an MBI. Until this person handles his depression/helplessness, nothing else he tries to improve himself is likely to work.
This could be the most Self-Empowering Success Technique you ever come across!
By watching the above video enough times, you can fully activate the "WHY" part of your "Why-Can-Do Booster".
You may have an "I can't..." program in your brain. In certain situations or at certain times, a thought pops into your head: "I can't..." It could be specific to one or a few things you need to do or handle, for example a problem you need to solve. It could also be more general and pervade much of your life. The "I can't..." can also enter your awareness as an "automatic voice." An "I can't..." program can be a debilitating habit. It can destroy your life.
Practically anything that can hold you back is something you're STUCK in. You have the potential power to get unstuck and break out! You may be able to use Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) to get unstuck.
If you're stuck in "I can't..." -- and/or in any other form of negativity -- then it's very difficult to engage the thinking parts of your brain. This may make it difficult or impossible for you to LEARN. So it may be vital that you activate your Why-Can-Do Booster!
"The chains of habit are too light to feel until they are too heavy to break." -- Warren Buffet
"The concept was simple, and only involved removing one word from my vocabulary and replacing it with another. But actually removing this one word from my vocabulary was more difficult than I imagined and led me to discover all kinds of things that I was hiding from my own self... I gained 100% control over my life." -- Christine OKelly
Activating your Why-Can-Do Booster may provide you with more benefits than the total gains from everything else you've done so far in your life to become more successful!
To activate your Why-Can-Do Booster, every time you find yourself thinking or saying, "I can't...," CHANGE IT to "I won't..." Examples:
"I can't become successful" Change to: "I won't become successful!" (Optional) because __________
"I can't read all this stuff" Change to: "I won't read all this stuff!" (Optional) because __________
"I can't understand everything" Change to: "I won't understand everything!" (Optional) because __________
"I can't learn all this stuff" Change to: "I won't learn all this stuff!" (Optional) because __________
"I can't learn to market" Change to: "I won't learn to market!" (Optional) because __________
"I can't be strong enough to do this" Change to: "I won't be strong enough to do this!" (Optional) because __________
"I can't be happy all the time" Change to: "I won't be happy all the time!" (Optional) because __________
"I can't learn difficult things" Change to: "I won't learn difficult things!" (Optional) because __________
"I'm busy; I can't do it now" Change to: "I'm busy; I won't do it now!" (Optional) because __________
"I can't control my emotions" Change to: "I won't control my emotions!" (Optional) because __________
"I can't stop overeating" Change to: "I won't stop overeating!" (Optional) because __________
"I can't help it" Change to: "I won't help it!" (Optional) because __________
"I can't get a job" Change to: "I won't get a job!" (Optional) because __________
"I can't get along with my wife/husband/partner" Change to: "I won't get along with my wife/husband/partner!" (Optional) because __________
"I can't help how I feel" Change to: "I won't help how I feel!" (Optional) because __________
"I can't get enough money" Change to: "I won't get enough money!" (Optional) because __________
"I can't find time to study" Change to: "I won't find time to study!" (Optional) because __________
"I can't stop smoking, drinking, etc." Change to: "I won't stop smoking, drinking, etc!" (Optional) because __________
"I can't get this to work" Change to: "I won't get this to work!" (Optional) because __________
"I can't make any sales" Change to: "I won't make any sales!" (Optional) because __________
"I can't control my hunger" Change to: "I won't control my hunger!" (Optional) because __________
"I can't sponsor people" Change to: "I won't sponsor people!" (Optional) because __________
"I just can't do it" Change to: "I just won't do it!" (Optional) because __________
"I can't afford a new car" Change to: "I won't afford a new car!" (Optional) because __________
"I can never win" Change to: "I won't never win!" (Optional) because __________
"I can't get rid of it" Change to: "I won't get rid of it!" (Optional) because __________
"I just can't keep going" Change to: "I just won't keep going!" (Optional) because __________
"I can't fall asleep" Change to: "I won't fall asleep!" (Optional) because __________
"I can't get up in the morning" Change to: "I won't get up in the morning!" (Optional) because __________
"I can't solve this problem" Change to: "I won't solve this problem!" (Optional) because __________
"I can't find my keys" Change to: "I won't find my keys!" (Optional) because __________
"I can't get rid of my program/habit" Change to: "I won't get rid of my program/habit!" (Optional) because __________
"I can't focus on what I need to do to succeed" Change to: "I won't focus on what I need to do to succeed!" (Optional) because __________
Eagerness Oriented vs. Vigilance Oriented
There's a great deal of psychological research supporting the Why-Can-Do Booster. People can be "eagerness oriented" or "vigilance oriented." The first tends to be positive, the second negative. You activate and use different parts of your brain depending on whether you're in the eagerness or the vigilance mode. In the first mode you strive to win, in the second you seek to avoid loss. Spending too much time in the "vigilance orientation" can cause illness and even early death! (However, it's prudent to employ the vigilance orientation when appropriate for your own protection and the safety of your assets.)
Much of the time, "I can't..." is an excuse. Often, "I can't..." is spoken as a victim. "I can't..." tends to put you at effect. "I won't..." makes you the cause. "I won't..." is what you choose. It tends to make you responsible. The slave says, "I can't..." The master says, "I won't..."
The psychology underlying "I won't..." replacing "I can't..." is quite powerful. "I can't..." is essentially an expression of helplessness. "I won't..." is an expression of choice, control, and power.
"I can't..." and "I won't..." may also have some profound neurological and health effects. It seems quite possible to me that saying "I can't..." too often can make you sick, or even kill you! For more on this, see below.
Replacing "I can't..." with "I won't" -- and eliminating "I can't..." from your vocabulary -- may be one of the most self-empowering and life-changing techniques ever invented.
Replacing "I can't..." with "I won't" could be an MBI for you -- a "Make-or-Break Issue." Your "I can't..." habit/program may have been the biggest thing holding you back until now.
You can also try it on others. Ask your boss for a raise. He says, "Sorry, I can't pay you more..." You respond, "Do you mean you won't pay me more?" Well, that might not be such a good idea! He might get offended. You see, "I can't..." is often used as a white lie to shield both yourself and the other person. Think about it...
A friend or colleague at work says, "I just can't... (whatever)." You respond, "You mean you won't..." If you persist in this way, you could lose your friends!
Nevertheless, I suggest you eliminate the word "can't" from your vocabulary! You can always respond to a request, "Sorry, I have another appointment" or, "I have something else I promised myself I would do."
Above/right, Jordan Kothe describes how she was programmed into "I can't...," how she deprogrammed herself, and how she has benefited by becoming a more positive person. Previously, the "I can't..." program/habit had most likely been a serious MBI (Make-or-Break Issue) for her.
In her second video, Kothe distinguishes between positive and negative people. Some psychologists have used the terms "approach motivated" and "avoidance motivated." A great deal of research has been done on the topic of "regulatory focus theory" (you may want to Google it). Various terms have been used to distinguish between the two characteristics, including "pleasure-seeking vs. pain-avoidance"; "positive vs. negative"; "optimistic vs. pessimistic"; "creative vs. reactive"; "promotion vs. safety"; "risk vs. protect"; "approach vs. avoid"; "play to win vs. play not to lose"; and "eagerness vs. vigilance." I've decided to use the terms: "eagerness oriented," "eagerness motivated," "vigilance oriented," and "vigilance motivated."
I don't know if any research has been done to determine what percentage of people are eagerness oriented vs. vigilance oriented. I speculate that during most of the evolutionary history of our ancestors, the vigilance oriented had a much better chance of survival than the eagerness oriented. In an environment with many large animals that could kill you at any moment, natural selection must have favored the vigilance oriented. So we can expect that vigilance motivation was passed down the evolutionary heritage as the predominant trait. So we can expect that many more people are vigilance oriented than eagerness oriented.
Eagerness oriented people are primarily motivated to seek pleasure; and vigilance-oriented people, to avoid pain. Kothe indicates that her parents wanted to protect her from failure, i.e., avoid pain.
"I can't..." can be associated with the vigilance orientation -- avoiding pain. Switching to "I won't..." involves "reverse psychology" on yourself. It tends to snap you out of the helplessness of "I can't..." into: "I'm in control, what am I going to do now?" -- eagerness orientation.
Kothe seems to have switched from "I can't..." to "I can..." It may be worth doing some experimenting for youself to determine wheter "I can..." or "I won't..." will work better for you.
The human brain has a reward circuit ("pleasure reward system") and a punishment circuit ("pain punishment system"). Consider the brain's "behavioral approach system" (BAS). The BAS has two main neural circuits: one to reward successful action, and the other to reward successful avoidance. The reward circuit, or medial forebrain bundle (MFB), is activated to complete the desire --> action --> satisfaction cycle.
The other main neural circuit of the BAS is the punishment circuit, or periventricular system (PVS). When you decide whether to fight or flee, your PVS is activated. The activation of the PVS -- which includes the amygdalae -- in turn activates the sympathetic nervous system and causes ACTH (adrenal cortico-trophic hormone) and adrenaline to be released into the body to quickly prepare it for the effort required to fight or flee.
The same thing can be seen as an opportunity or a danger. What Kothe saw as an opportunity, her parents saw as danger. Eagerness oriented people may see something as an opportunity, while vigilance oriented people see the same thing as danger.
When something is perceived as danger, it's likely that the amygdalae will be triggered and the body will be stressed by the release of adrenaline and ACTH. So the same thing could cause stress for a vigilance oriented person, but no stress for an eagerness oriented person!
Note that the reward circuit involves activation of your MFB (medial forebrain bundle) -- part of your thinking brain. The punishment circuit involves activation of your PVS (periventricular system) -- including your amygdalae -- but does not activate your thinking brain.
Can you imagine why politicians, preachers, and other manipulators might want to use fear to motivate people? Hint: The thinking brains of their victims don't get activated!
You can expect that eagerness oriented people (seeing opportunities) would be optimistic, while vigilance oriented people (seeing danger) would be pessimistic. So, optimists are likely to experience less stress and be healthier than pessimists.
There seems to be evidence that people who are "moderately overoptimistic" (not "excessively overoptimistic") tend to enjoy a higher level of psychological health and also tend to perform better than people with "completely realistic" expectations in certain situations. For more on this, Google: "self-fulfilling prophecy"; "pygmalion effect"; "+illusion +"self-confidence" +performance"; "illusion of control"; "positive illusion"; "realistic overoptimism"; and "depressive realism."
Where do you think "I can't..." is located on the diagram below? How about "action impossible -- fight or flight impossible?" Therefore "freeze" or do nothing. Can you see that procrastination (no action; "I can't..."; helplessness) might be involved with the activation of your BIS?
So, there are also strong physiological reasons to ditch "can't." BIS is also called the "Stop System." The basic function of BIS is to prevent you from taking ineffective or harmful actions. However, prolonged BIS activation has been associated with increased incidence of anxiety, stress, psychosomatic illnesses, weakening of the immune system, stomach ulcers, arterial hypertension, and cancer. It's quite possible that saying "I can't..." too often can eventually make you sick, or even kill you!
Eagerness Behavior vs. Vigilance Behavior
The diagram below depicts behavior associated with eagerness orientation (on the left) and vigilance orientation (on the right):
Eagerness Orientation and Learning
From an article in The Arizona Republic, 12/13/07 by Mark Ryan, Ph.D. (edited and emphases added):
"...How learners acquire knowledge has to do with a concept we can call student engagement.
Simply put, when students are eager to go to class, take notes, study for tests, and turn in their homework, they not only learn, but find it easy to continue to learn.
These students feel good about themselves and their chances of succeeding with new learning tasks are high. [See Raise Your Mood Level!] We call this "can-do" attitude a feeling of self-efficacy.
On the other hand, when students do not participate in class work on a consistent basis... Many times the student does not want to face public failure in front of his or her friends, the teacher or the parent. Thus the student retreats by not putting forth the effort to learn in order to save what little ego is left. ["Retreat" = "pain-avoidance motivation" = vigilance orientation.]
There is a psychological cushion in saying, "I didn't really fail, because I never tried..."
The following "self-reporting" process can be implemented by a student, teacher or parent. It consists of five questions to be answered daily:
Do I feel good about trying to do my best?
Did I figure out what was being taught today by making a connection with things I already know?
Did I ask questions about things I didn't understand?
Do I know when my next assignment is due?
Do I have an action plan to be sure I successfully complete the assignment and turn it in on time?
All five questions can be answered with a yes or no, and the student can then elaborate orally...
When students perceive that they are in control of their learning, they utilize adaptive learning processes to reach their goal."
"The above diagram shows how we choose optimal behaviors and some of the brain structures involved in this process. The diagram also shows the feedback loops present throughout this process, whereby our memories let us associate positive or negative connotations with situations that we experience, then adjust our behavior accordingly the next time they arise." [Vigilance oriented people can get into the habit of seeing wide ranges of "items" as "dangerous" when they're not. This would unnecessarily activate the punishment circuit, with negative health consequences.]
"But this whole process falls apart if, for example, you're not a mouse hiding from a buzzard, but a worker who has to deal with a boss who is exploiting you. You cannot fight or flee, or you would be out of a job. So you let months and years go by while you inhibit your own behavior. This can ultimately have disastrous effects on your health. For one thing, such inhibition causes hormonal changes that produce high blood levels of gluticocorticoids, whose depressive effect on immune system function is well known. This weakening of the immune system is why remaining in a state of behavioral inhibition for too long can open the door to all kinds of pathologies."
"Another situation that can inhibit behavior is a shortage of information. To behave effectively, you need a certain amount of information about the world. If you have not acquired enough information from your past experiences, or if you cannot access this information, you may be stuck and not know how to act. That is why some people freeze up when they have to deal with a computer, or when they are confronted with death."
If it's not yet clear to you that vigilance orientation (and negativity in general) can be disastrous for your health, and deadly for your life, you may want to go through this technique again from the beginning. You can also research all the aspects of this technique on the Internet.
So, if you have an "I can't..." program/habit, it's in your interest to get rid of it as soon as possible!
Nevertheless, there are activities that require vigilance. When driving, it's safer to think in terms of avoiding pain! So drive defensively and safely. Arriving at your destination a few minutes later is much better than getting involved in a collision!
Another area where vigilance is most important is preserving your capital. There are thousands of people who'd love to separate you from your money. When investing, both the potential upside and the potential downside should be considered. "What will happen if this thing goes completely wrong and I lose everything I put into it?" But you also don't want vigilance to prevent you from taking appropriate risks when great opportunities come your way!