My Response to “That Won’t Work”

My Response to “That Won’t Work”

I was couch surfing in Portland, and stayed with *Stella who had in her words, “a very naughty cat. *Frankie was only a year old, had tons of kitten energy, but would regularly stalk her, lash out and scratch the couch.   She told me that Frankie was vengeful and would regularly “get back at her” when she tried to discipline him.

Having taken classes on cat behavior, I had strong doubts about her interpretation of her cat’s behavior.   As an expert on cat behavior, Jackson Galaxy says,our cats rarely act vengeful. We humans need to understand that stalking and pouncing is how they find their prey. It is a part of being a healthy cat, and if they don’t need to hunt for food, they still need to do it for play and exercise.

playful catFrankie, was not showing the signs of a vengeful or angry cat. That would have been evident by a puffed up tail, swished back and forth, low to the ground, growling and/or hissing. I saw Frankie as a young cat with tons of energy who needed a lot of stimulation.   Yes, he would scratch when pouncing or bat at people, but a lot of this would have been avoided if his nails were regularly trimmed!

When she complained about Frankie scratching the couch, I suggested using foil, one sided sticky tape or scents, which are standard recommendations to address the problem.   I also suggested using an upright cat scratcher near by.   I immediately was countered with, “It won’t work”. When I asked if she had tried it, Stella said, no but insisted that none of these things worked with their other cat.   I didn’t argue with her. She clearly did not want to talk about it or find solutions to her problems with Frankie. She just wanted to complain.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have an issue with all naysayers.   Sometimes naysayers help point out important points we haven’t thought about. But there is a true difference between naysayers who seem determined to stay stuck, and keep the rest of us stuck, and those who make us better prepared for our impending plans.

Whether your think you can or you cant youre rights.

The naysayers that concern me the most seem married to the idea that “it won’t work”.   They are the kind of people who seem to regularly complain of how they are treated.   Any suggestions made to remedy the situation are quickly rejected.   It seems that they are more interested in sympathy than fixing their problems.

I understand their feelings of defeat.   I myself grew up with a lot of emotional sabotage.  Because I had a learning disability, I had to work extra hard, and I was exhausted by he amount of effort I had to expend to keep up in school.  I can’t remember my parents supporting my dreams or celebrating my successes. But if I felt I couldn’t succeed, I would get compassion from my mother.  Consequently, I would be easily discouraged.   Without realizing it, I gave up a lot with the belief that I wouldn’t be able to get what I want.

I also got to see the devastating consequences of playing the victim card. A family member regularly blamed others for her problems, and refused to see her part.   Consequently she spent 2 decades in a miserable abusive marriage, while she worked long hours to support the family.

I decided that I didn’t want to be a victim. I wanted control over my path, and I resolved to find a way. In my journey as client and a healer, I saw the power of negative beliefs to interfere with what people want.

When we believe nothing will work, that is what we will manifestI noticed that when we believe that nothing will ever work, than that is what we will manifest.

Why?   A self defeating belief will stop us from trying. It is equivalent to giving up hope. Imagine your life is like a horse. People who believe nothing will work, are giving up the reigns of the horse.   They are letting everyone else and circumstances take charge. They are giving up their power. 

In contrast, if we believe we can change or make a difference, we will do what it takes to resolve our problems.

Changing our beliefs is one to the most powerful ways to change behavior.

Check out the wonderful research about the power of believing you can improve here.   A simple mindset shift had mind-blowing effects!

Changing our beliefs is essential to changing behaviorA naysayer can also provide a pretty devastating effect to a working team.   If ideas from team members are regularly met with, “it won’t work”, it will inhibit the free flow of ideas.   In contrast, when members are mutually supportive and celebrate each other’s ideas, ideas will flow, and better ideas will be generated from previous ones.

I have been in both types of groups. The former experience was frustrating, and heartbreaking and at the end of our allotted time, we had nothing to show for it. I didn’t want to be stuck with these people ever again!   In the later group, the exchange of ideas and creativity that ensued was invigorating! Not only were we proud of what we came up with, but we felt an immediate connection and affinity with other members of the group.

So what you say to a naysayer who says, “It won’t work”?

Ask them, “Are you interested in finding a solution or would you rather stay stuck?” . If they continue to make excuses, or justify themselves, say, “It sounds like you have given up. When you are ready to find solutions to address this problem, let me know.”  This would be a good time to walk away if you can.   If they are sabotaging a group with their negativity, you can say, “your expression of that belief inhibits the free flow of ideas.   Why don’t we see what is possible when keep an open mind about what we hear?”

Are you a naysayer? Do you know others that regularly try to defeat any good idea that comes across their path?   Remember that our beliefs shape our reality.   Conscious and subconscious negative beliefs can be released.   If you would like to learn more about how, read more about the Body Code and call me to schedule a complimentary consultation.


*Names are changed to protect identity.

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