How to Overcome Your Can’t-Do Attitude

UPDATED: March 4, 2019
PUBLISHED: February 25, 2019
How to Overcome Your Cant Do Attitude 1

You might feel inadequate when others flaunt the tantalizing places they go, the fascinating people they meet and the envy-worthy stuff they buy. But the voice in your head can land a worse blow to your confidence and your drive toward achievement.

Related: The Art of True Confidence

You know that voice, the one that traps you in negativity by dwelling endlessly on what’s missing. Although all small-business owners worry about needing more employees, capital and expertise, unchecked hand-wringing over deficiencies can sidetrack you from conquering the real issue, which is figuring out how to make great things happen.


The voice in your head can land a worse blow to your confidence and your drive toward achievement.


Aprille Franks-Hunt, an Oklahoma City-based business coach and small-business conference producer, knows firsthand the paralysis of a fretful, can’t-do attitude. While trying to grow her presence in the coaching space for six months, she suffered from a crisis of confidence. Franks-Hunt knew she could provide valuable services, but her self-defeating mentality held her back. “I was stuck thinking that because I wasn’t a big-enough name, I couldn’t transition from empowering people who had heard me speak to coaching and training them [to grow their businesses].”

She thought the solopreneurs of her target market would laugh at her because they’d compare “little me to big brands that have more capital to work with, large fan bases, robust resources and extensive star power.”

How to Overcome Your Cant Do Attitude

Three words—not big enough—held her back for months, she says. “I’m not a known name in coaching. Although my small fan base jokes that I am their Oprah, I didn’t feel that way. I felt that because I don’t have certain things, starting with a high school diploma, that I have to work so much harder to prove myself. I let that stagnate me for quite a while.”

Related: 5 Simples Strategies for Conquering Self-Doubt

Franks-Hunt says she turned her business around by getting real. “I got over not feeling big enough when I started listening to people who really support me. The fact is I am a great teacher, and I get my clients results in their businesses quicker than they can on their own. By dissecting my programs and services, I realized that what I do truly works. I began to let that speak for itself.”

Instead of fixating on woe-is-me, Franks-Hunt began proving to the industry that she is definitely a player. “I got myself booked for speaking gigs. I engaged much more actively on social media. I created a strong newsletter that I sent out consistently instead of randomly and infrequently.”

How to Overcome Your Cant Do Attitude

After a few months, she no longer fussed over what she lacked and shifted her emphasis to what she had to offer. “People with hundreds of thousands of [social media] followers started coming to me for coaching, which made me confident that I am big enough. I began to own it for myself.”

To avoid becoming trapped again, Franks-Hunt starts each day recounting a challenge that she has overcome as well as something big or small that she achieved the day before. “It reminds me that I have what it takes to get what I want.

“The answer to challenges is often within me.”

Related: Why Your Attitude Is Everything


Editor’s note: This post was originally published in March 2016 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.
This article appears in the April 2016 issue of SUCCESS magazine.

Tory Johnson is CEO and founder of Spark & Hustle, a weekly contributor on ABC's Good Morning America and a contributing editor of SUCCESS magazine.