Firewirks over Sydney Opera House

Firewirks over Sydney Opera House

Thursday, 3 November 2011

"I can't" (yes you can Orville!)

As I get older I come to hate those 2 words more and more. They just seem to represent such a defeatist attitude. I know they must be justified sometimes, after all there are things one just cannot achieve but often they are a self-fulfilling prophecy.

2 recent examples of this spring to mind:

In SW class on Tuesday night, one of the women had had a gain. She has never been a particularly perky or positive member and has obviously been having trouble dropping weight for ages but this week her negative attitude really struck me. Phrases like "I just can't" or "that wouldn't work" tripped off her tongue without her really thinking about what was being suggested. Beth, the Leader was really trying to get to the root of the problem with her as to why she is slowly but steadily gaining weight (half a stone since summer apparently). She said that her meals were all SW compliant but that it was what she ate between meals at work which was the problem. I think she works in the Health Service and apparently any chocs and biscuit gifts are left in her office and she can't (there's that word again...) resist them.

Beth asked for suggestions. They came pouring in as we all tried to come up with helpful solutions for her: put a brightly coloured sticker on the box or table to make you pause before you indulge; set mini-targets of half a day for resisting and build on each small sucess; tell people that you're not having anything in the hope of shaming yourself (your chimp!) into resisting; suggest pooling all the gifts and distributing them by raffle or rota once a certain number has built up so they are not opened at work (seemed like a good one to me); put them away, out of sight; etc etc etc. We spent quite a while on this topic and I thought that, out of these suggestions, one at least would work. But then I looked over at her and realised that any suggestion other than a magic wand to instantly make her thin would have been too much effort for her. She seemed to ENJOY her failure to lose weight and her face was totally closed off to the possibility of doing something about it. It's a shame as she seems like a nice woman and she has a very funny turn of phrase.

But, in the face of such resolute negativity, what can you do?? Who knows, maybe she'll surprise me next week and report taking action. I hope so and I'd be happy to eat my words (calorie-free as they are). I doubt it though.

The other example was less dramatic. I played golf yesterday with a very nice, very posh older lady. In most respects she was pretty positive. She was out playing despite struggling with the after-effects of a broken wrist. Her game had suffered but she still enjoyed the sport despite not being able to hit the ball as far now. But yesterday her putting and short game were terrible! It was costing her shot after shot. But instead of slowing down and focussing on trying to change it, she got more lacksadaisical and casual, just walking up to each shot and bashing away without thought or care. She kept on saying "that's it, I just can't putt today". "My putting is rubbish today, I just can't do it!". She effectively talked herself into playing badly. I'm sure that what she SAID made the difference between a mediocre round and a terrible round. If she had said - "right, I really need to focus here, I can do better than this" or "I'm going to have a better back nine" or "I'm not going to 4 putt again" or something, I'm sure she would have improved.

So - I'm going to watch what I say and make sure that the dreaded negativity and tentativeness do not creep in. Beth agrees with me: she pulled a few people up for saying that they were going to "try"....and asked why they don't just "do it" instead??! A good point.....


Seren said...

I believe it was Yoda who said "Do or do not. There is no try."

Wise words indeed...(from both yourself and the little green alien!)


Claire said...

“Do or do not... there is no try.” as Yoda says. (yes I am a geek)

Peridot said...

And if she finds that magic wand, please wrestle her to the ground, nab it and post it express-delivery to me.

Btw, are you doing Red/Original Days if you're keeping your carbs down?


Lesley said...

Ha ha ha!! Snap!

Still doing Extra Easy but less pasta/spuds/ rice etc...