When You Can You Will

Sometimes you just can’t do it

“This is a book about change, but what I say here may surprise you… You may think that wanting and trying should be enough to make change happen. You may think that you should be able to bring about any change at any time, or that the inability to change is a weakness, a fault, a failure “copping out,” or proof that you’re bad. When you can’t affect the desired change you may accuse yourself of being self-destructive. I don’t believe that human beings are self-destructive. Instead, I believe that we are self-protective, that we’re each acting out best interests – even when it doesn’t seem that we are.”

There’s nothing wrong with you

“…problems can stubbornly resist your best efforts to solve them. The premise of When You Can You Will is that if you have such a problem – one that persists despite your best efforts to solve it – you’re not self-destructive or lazy or cowardly or crazy. On the contrary, you’re self-protective and self-caring, and you have a very good reason for not making this change even if you don’t consciously know what that reason is.”

You’re more than you think you are

“You may believe that you “are just the way you are,’ and that your family members are also just “the way they are.” You may believe that both you and your family members are the roles you’ve been playing. But it’s not true. It’s much more likely that each of you has been denying aspects of yourself for the sake of the family’s balance. Not only you, but all of your family members are capable of being very different people, but your natural reluctance to unbalance the rest of the family stops each of you from changing.”

Be kind to yourself

“Roles you’ve been playing for a lifetime are stubborn and persistent. Changing them means contradicting yourself. Suppose the change you want to make is to stand up for yourself, but all your life you believed that standing up for yourself… would only get you into trouble. If you have a lifetime of experience being a passive person, you know all there is to know about being a passive person and nothing about being an assertive one.