Mantra of the month

Mantra of the month

How often do you find yourself saying, “I can’t” instead of “I can”? “I can’t” seems to be an auto-pilot statement for many of us even when it comes down to the smallest things. For example, “I can't do that because of XYZ”, or “I can't face it” — you probably say it a lot more than you realise!

Many years ago when I worked for a national newspaper, I was lucky enough to be sent on a press trip to Africa where I met some beautiful people. One man in particular who was another journalist on the trip, at least double my age (and a lot wiser!) said something to me that has stuck with me ever since. He said he had noticed that I say “I can’t” a lot and asked me to try to become aware of it and turn it into “I can”.

I had no idea how often I said it and realised that I probably came across as someone with little self-belief; and to be honest that was the truth.

I was afraid of a lot of things and would avoid putting myself in vulnerable situations in fear of feeling shame.

Since then, and over the course of many years, I have consciously tried to resist the “I can’t” and instead to tell myself “I can do it”. I have since run three marathons, quit my job to set up my own business, started teaching both yoga and calligraphy, and pushed through many “I can’t” boundaries. I have well and truly felt the fear but done it anyway. You can too.

If we consciously find some self-belief and determination, know that you CAN do it. If you believe in yourself, then others will believe in you too. T

he next time you hear yourself say “I can’t”, see if you can turn it into “I can”. The magic will soon be sure to follow.

Try this pose... Wheel Pose, Urdhva Dhanurasana

This pose is perfect to accompany your mantra. It requires building up strength and flexibility to achieve it. Know that with determination and patience you can work towards it and one day master it knowing you worked hard to get there.

Kirstie Bird is a yoga teacher and modern calligrapher ( Find her on Instagram @inkandflowlondon

Om Magazine

First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.