When it comes to encouragement and motivation, there’s one phrase in the English language that annoys me more than any other.
“If I can do it, anyone can do it!”
I know it’s meant to mean something like “I have limitations, but I overcame them and I know you can too!” but personally, I think it’s a pretty terrible way to encourage me, at least. (If it works for you, then that’s awesome!)
For one thing, the person saying it isn’t me, and I’m not that person.
Our strengths and weaknesses are different, as are our manners of dealing with them.
Our physical and mental limitations are different. I can sit here and say, “If I can train for and run a marathon, you can too!” But if your doctor has said, “Don’t run or you’ll need a knee replacement.” Then honestly, you’d better not run. (If however, you’ve got no such physical limitations and want to train for a marathon, you definitely should. Crossing that finish line is an amazing feeling.)
“If I can do it, anyone can do it!” assumes a lot. It also, in my opinion, motivates through guilt, which I also hate. Like you’re a failure if you can’t do what I can do.
And that is completely untrue. I fully believe that you can do whatever you put your mind to; you just don’t have to try it because I did. And hopefully, you’ve never heard or read those words from me. (The HORROR!)
If anything, my motivational phrase to you would be more along the lines of, “I’ve been there and now I’m here to help you.”
Are there any “motivational” phrases out there that make your teeth clench? Let us know in the comments below or on the Writer’s Fitness Plan Facebook page!
If you’re looking for a little extra help in reaching a fitness/weight goal, I’m currently accepting 5 individuals who are serious about getting healthy for an upcoming challenge: 15 pounds in 21 days. Is that you? Let’s talk!