The difference between can and can’t is …


A few weeks ago, the workout we were doing at CrossFit called for ‘consecutive double unders’.

What are consecutive double unders? It’s where you’re skipping normally, but the rope is passing beneath your feet twice on every skip.

Yes, that’s exactly as hard it sounds (even though this chick makes it look easy!).

I’ve actually perfected the art of ‘non-consecutive double unders’: a nice rhythm of single-single-double, single-single-double. But as far as consecutive double unders go … never been able to do them.

So when this particular workout was announced, I muttered to myself “well I can’t do consecutive double unders” and decided to do my ‘close enough’ version of single-single- double.

Meanwhile my friend Danny heard my “can’t do it” mutterings and shot back: “Yes you can Kel.”

To which I replied with a look. A look that said, “Uh Dan, I’m pretty sure I know what I can and can’t do.”


The workout started and for the first round I happily knocked out my single-single-double rhythm. But a funny thing happened when I started the second round. Danny’s voice came back in my head:

“Yes you can Kel.”

Could I?

Was it worth a try?

I actually didn’t have anything to lose – it’s not like anyone was looking at me.

Ok, worth a try then.

I tried.

And I did them. For the first time since I started CrossFit a year ago, I did those bloody consecutive double unders.

And of course I felt like such a bad friend for the look I’d given Danny not five minutes before!

That little experience got me thinking about belief. And the fact that if someone like me, someone who has a lot of self-belief, can still manage to put limitations on herself, then most people are probably doing the same. And it makes me realise how crucial it is to have people in your life who don’t just passively believe in you but will also challenge you to go beyond those self-imposed limitations.

It also brings to mind just how damaging the reverse can be: to have people in your life who are constantly placing limitations on you, telling you “no, don’t try that, you won’t be any good at it.”

I can’t think of a more powerful illustration of this than the video below. Set aside nine minutes and get some tissues. Then get busy both surrounding yourself with people who believe in you … AND being that person who has belief in others.

Do you have people who will push you beyond your self-imposed limitations in your life?