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When I was a child in primary school teachers and staff members would say countless times “there’s no such word as can’t”. It’s perfectly true that those words can give a child (or adult) hope that something could indeed be achievable, and that extra motivation can enable us to put in more effort. However, there are also many times when an action or goal purely and simply isn’t achievable.


At times you know your limitations and you really can’t do it

In those situations, is it wise and encouraging to give a person false hope? Or perhaps this person is saying that they can’t do something because they know that it is not safe for them to do so. An example I can give is when I was in Grade 4 and we were being taught how to do cartwheels in Physical Education class. I knew my limitations with coordination enough to say that I wasn’t able to do a cartwheel.

However, after my teacher said “there’s no such word as can’t” I made an attempt, though in the process I ended up injuring my neck and shoulder. Another experience like this happened at Taekwondo when we were being taught how to do body rolls on the ground, and I ended up with a serious injury to my lower back.


Denying impossibility can sometimes cause harm

Harm caused by denying impossibility isn’t solely in the area of physical danger either. It can also harm us emotionally and psychologically. Here I can give another personal example.

From the very beginning of my life and up until the present day, I have had immense difficulty with recognising facial expressions, body language and information which is not direct (or literal). Yet after I had been told “it’s not impossible, you can learn this if you try”, it eventually became apparent that I genuinely couldn’t do those things.

Some could possibly tell me that it’s a great opportunity for me to say “I told you so”. Though instead, it gave me a disheartening and discouraging feeling, as I had grown to believe that everything is possible if I only put the effort in. Therefore it gave me a realisation that there was something not right about myself, in addition to feeling that my best efforts were never enough for me to succeed.


Some things are however possible and can be done

Unfortunately, there are things in life which are impossible to achieve. But it is also true that there are some things which are possible to achieve. Every single person has strengths and various kinds of opportunities in certain areas, and we must all put our efforts into creating achievable goals from these.

woman with hands up high on hill Eunice De Guzman  unsplash. SpecialKids.Company

In a previous blog I spoke about how important it is for us to find our true passions, and then from there we must embrace them. The same can be said with opportunities we are given, that have achievable outcomes.

Just after leaving school my employment opportunities were nil. Though a rare diagnosis (of HSAM) came along that required lots of Skype talks with universities. Various kinds of media interviews came along as well, which gave me an opportunity to develop an international speaking career.

In regards to speaking to audiences, I find that much easier to do than “one-on-one” conversations because speeches can be prepared, and they don’t have to be so personal. Due to a combination of cognitive difficulties and anxiety, I was unable to do a university course. Yet two passions that I had were preparing/giving speeches as well as learning other languages. So it was still a possibility for me to do tertiary education courses in those specific areas. Nowadays I’m continuing to do those courses and they have helped me a lot with my career. Also, I’m now able to tell people that I have completed courses beyond secondary school, and that truly means a lot to me.


I’ll now conclude this blog by saying that life is full of both possibilities and impossibilities. So it’s always best to not throw away opportunities for happiness, by wasting our time on unachievable goals that will only ever bring us feelings of disappointment.