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One Powerful Phrase That’ll Change Your Finances and Life

Mar 11

Here are some common things we say:

I can’t lose weight.
I can’t have supper with you tonight.
I can’t get that project done on time.
I can’t be happy.

Here are some financial (and common) things we say:

I can’t pay off my debt.
I can’t save money.
I can’t budget.
I can’t make more money.

I can’t, I can’t, I can’t.

Does that sound familiar?

We say “I can’t” to ourselves all the time.

And in some weird way, it makes us feel better — like we become exempt from the trouble because we simply can’t do it.

But you and I both know, “I can’t” is just an excuse.

Really:  I can’t = I won’t.

Ouch, that doesn’t sound so good, right?

Here’s an idea.

Instead of I can’t, try “I can if…”

Permit yourself to dig deeper.

I can if _____________________________.
(Go ahead, try it.  Fill in the blank.)

What would happen if you became a “can-if” person?

Like everything is figureoutable.

How would your world look?

Could something so simple have a profound effect on your finances and your life?

I know it does.

Do you?

Tell me in the comments below.

About The Author

Hi, I'm Avraham (pronounced Av-Rum.) I'm a reformed spender, financial coach, and the founder of Avraham Byers Financial (I'm better with money than coming up with company names.) In a funny and non-preachy way, I teach people how to take control of their finances without giving up their smoked butterscotch lattes.


  1. Caroline
    March 12, 2018 at 2:54 pm ·

    I like this blog post Avraham. I always have a negative outlook on my finances and health. I constantly think that I can’t do it. Your idea of “I can if” sounds so positive. I just tried it out for my debt and finally feel positive about it.

    • Avraham Byers
      March 12, 2018 at 2:57 pm ·

      Caroline, thank you for trying it out. I’m glad that it worked. Now you just got to take that positivity and make it happen. 😉

  2. Kitty B
    March 12, 2018 at 3:15 pm ·

    I can take control of my finances if…

    – I have a budget system in place
    – I respect my money more
    – I can get my husband on board
    – I hire Avraham

    Thanks for writing this Avraham.

    • Avraham Byers
      March 12, 2018 at 3:17 pm ·

      Kitty, the last one’s my favourate. LOL!

      Okay, seriously, what does “respect money more” look like to you?

      • Kitty B
        March 12, 2018 at 3:23 pm ·

        It means not to spend more than what you are blessed with. Respect what is yours and don’t take what is not yours. And by that I mean not relying on my credit cards.

        • Avraham Byers
          March 12, 2018 at 3:31 pm ·

          Yes, Kitty. Love it!

  3. Terumi
    March 12, 2018 at 3:21 pm ·

    I loved this post, Abraham! A shift in mindset can make all the difference. Thanks for the reminder. I can if… I am brave enough to set my financial goals without always knowing the answers to start with. My goals can also evolve as I get financially smarter!

    • Avraham Byers
      March 12, 2018 at 3:34 pm ·

      “Brave enough to set my financial goals without always knowing the answers to start with.” Well said.

      Thanks for your contribution Terumi!

  4. Ira Smith
    March 12, 2018 at 4:02 pm ·

    Another great post Avraham. The power of positive thinking. The brain truly is the strongest part of our body. Continued success.

    • Avraham Byers
      March 12, 2018 at 4:05 pm ·

      Ira, I love how you said: “the brain truly is the strongest part of our body.”

      It’s so true!

  5. Nicholas Lee
    March 13, 2018 at 8:11 am ·

    Avraham, this is very interesting… I suspect our brains are built to default to the negative. Our first response is fear of what might happen, what we can’t do. Your suggestion is a clever way of short-circuiting this limitation by helping us to build a new habit. I’m thinking about all the things I told myself “I can’t do”. A good example is my fear of not being able to make sense of spreadsheets. I told myself that ‘if’ I work with somebody who is good with them and copy what they do, I’ll overcome that fear. And it is working, slowly, but it’s working.

    The plain fact is that we have to be willing to respond differently to something we find challenging. And that’s why your suggestion is so powerful – no talent required, just a willingness to try something different.

    • Avraham Byers
      March 13, 2018 at 8:52 pm ·

      Of course Nicholas, spreadsheets! I think the majority of people fear them. Thanks sharing that.

      And you’re right about having the “willingness to try something different.” That’s one of the main ingredients in being successful with budgeting — and most things in life.

      What if the “willingness to try something different” is a talent itself? How would that change our perspectives? How could we build that talent?

      I’m curious to hear your thoughts…

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