Can vs Can’t

Another New Year resolution –

Replacing an ‘I can’t’ statement with an ‘I can’. Okay, that doesn’t mean that I’ll say stuff like “Hey, I CAN  be a real bitch!”. It means saying stuff like “Hey, I can master classical guitar-ing!” and implementing it too, duh.

I underestimate myself, often not aware of the loser-attitude that creeps into my nature. Like the time my hands kept trembling while handling a bacterial culture in the Microbiology laboratory, because all that was going in my head that time was, “Fuck, I can’t be so precise while streaking the media with bacteria!”. That was embarrassing. Not to mention the amused stares of my colleagues and teacher.

I want to sing before an appreciative audience (Note the use of  the word ‘appreciative’ because it sucks to sing before a sea of blank faces, who applaud politely once I’m done with my performance but clearly do not comprehend the lyrics. Nevertheless, it’s less terrifying). I can sing. I love singing. But I feel nervous at the thought of facing a multitude of faces, riveted at me, grasping the music and lyrics. I think I can’t muster the guts to present them with a flawless performance. I think I’ll pass out.

I get frustrated easily with myself. I can’t tolerate myself when I get indecisive. There goes. Can’t. I could probably handle and endure myself if I learnt the art of being decisive. Yes, it’s definitely an art. An acquired skill that’s a necessity. I will deny having been indecisive while choosing a career path. That is one thing I have prided myself for. I was firm. I knew what I wanted. I knew I could. I know I can.

It’s occasional but low self confidence does tend to enter my system, stealthily and then becomes conspicuous by manifesting in the form of indecisiveness, under estimation and hesitation. There’s no point wishing for it to go away as it will, inadvertently, if I ‘can’ do away with it. I don’t know which part of me gets convinced by the ‘can’t’ but sometimes, that part manages to convince me into avoiding the challenge and the non-comfort zone.

The ‘can’t’ keeps me cozy in the comfort zone. There’s absolutely no need for me to go that extra mile. But that comes with a price. A sense of regret. I could have done it. Maybe? And then I look at ineptitude and silently exclaim to myself, “I could have done it better goddamn it!”. If only I wasn’t so unsure of myself.

The path taken by ‘Can’ is obviously challenging, demanding and uncomfortable. It can be terribly difficult too. But ‘Can’ mostly makes you smile triumphantly in the end. Similar to wearing orthodontic braces for three years which involves staying away from chewing gum, bhutta and coke, not directly biting into a juicy apple or a supercheesy pizza and of course, cringing in embarrassment on looking at your shiny metallic teeth in pictures. But hey, once they are off, there is no dearth of compliments, you smile freely, and bite, nibble and chew hard on anything edible. It’s all good.

Have you ever wondered that there is a trace of ‘I don’t want to’ or ‘I am afraid to’ in every ‘can’t’? Of course I can be terribly mingy and sick. But I don’t want to be that way. I could have ignored those every single individual who illogically hurtful to me. But I couldn’t because I didn’t want to. Because it went against my nature. And I was afraid to do so.

It’s a bit strange but Carl Allen from ‘Yes Man’ is oddly inspiring at times like these.

YES MAN I CAN.

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