Saying no to “No-can-do”February 1, 2010
You know these people. Every group has one of these. (You may even be one!) They lurk in the shadows of negativity, brooding over past wrongs as justification that the future is never gonna get any brighter. They prefer the known ways and being in control, even if this means neglecting favourable opportunities.
You suggest something to them, and their automatic reaction is dismissive, defensive, or even repulsion. They can’t – and refuse to – see beyond their caged world. They can’t take any leaps of faith as their refuge in the upheavals of life rests in their ability to be firmly grounded.
They may not even know of this inertia lodged in the depths of their hearts, nor aware of their tendencies to say “no-can’t-do” whenever they are faced with a new opportunity.
Although there’s nothing wrong with a “no-can-do” attitude in itself, it can be a hinderance to progress in our modern society where change happens at a pace faster than any of our predecessor societies. Change and adaptation are the key tools of survival in our political, social, professional, economical, and even internal worlds. Opportunities present themselves to us in so many forms, at ever encounter of the day, that to seize these opportunities really require an ability to say “yes – I can do.” Even if it’s just a “no-can’t-do-NOW, but yes-I-will-do”, it at least allows the opportunity to seed.
I find that social conditioning has made it a habitual tendency in us to be protective, to cling to the known ways for security the way a child clings to her security blanket. It has become easy to say “no it’s too hard” and “no it won’t work.” It is easy for us to criticise and pull apart an opportunity before we even give it a chance. Cynicism has become an accepted form of humour. Pessimism has become a common attitude towards life.
It is against this background that makes an ”Can-do” attitude that much more important. It takes courage, insight, confidence and hope. The same can be said with positivity. The “Can-do” attitude is not about doing everything people ask you to do because you can’t say “no”. It is not about arrogance or reckless risk-seeking. It is a readiness to act when appropriate, an outlook that the change we want to see starts with becoming that change ourselves. It is about venturing into the unknown – not full of armour – but with a trust in life and the wonders that can unfold before us.