The Bullet List: Here’s Why You Can’t Win (Not)

05 January 2013, by A.Cedilla

There’s something you’ve been thinking about. And you already know why you can’t do it anyway. For example:

  • You’re too old, or too young, and you’re always in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  • You have too much experience.
  • You don’t have the experience.
  • You don’t have the time to spare to get the experience.
  • Or the money. Or the training.
  • Or the money for the training. Or even money for the rent. (It could be food and housing, but not new shoes, or whatever the most urgent two out of three important things you pick. Your choice.)

There’s always something, you know.

And there’s also this one thing that you absolutely have to get done….actually, several things you have to take care of — pay off your student loans, take care of your kids, hold body and soul together under the weight of your responsibilities….Busy-busy-busy. Take your pick, I bet you have a whole magician’s hat-full of reasons you can pull out at a moment’s notice. Go ahead and write them down. I’m serious. Write them down. I’ll wait.

Why did I ask you to do this?
When you make goals, you need to have laid out, at the very least, all of the following things:

  • What you want? – You want something: an end result, whether it is a changed situation, a changed circumstance, or an introduction of another pathway you can take in your life. You want something other than what you have. You want something else.
  • What’s in your way? – What’s stopping you? What are all those impediments and barriers between you and what you want?
  • How do you circumvent those things? – What are the ways and means to get through them, around them, or under them?
  • With what resources? – What do you have (asset assessment) and what can you get (asset management and resource allocation) with it. What are you prepared to do with what you have, and for how long are you willing to do it?

When you’re you write down about what’s stopping you, you’re doing double duty: you’re identifying the things you see as obstacles, and your getting them out of your head to see in real, actual life. Right out there in front of your eyes, written down by your own hand.

Scientist and researchers have already observed that the action of writing out our thoughts often have a purgative effect on messy internal tangles, acting as a vent to bleed out the self-imposed internal pressure. You write things down, you get them out of your head and see them more objectively than if they remained in your head, obscured by all those feelings and possibly further mutating under pressure.

Writing Things Down = Naming Your Demons
Names have power. Once you know what you’re up against, you can arm yourself with the knowledge to deal with these things standing in your way. To paraphrase GI Joe, the first step to battle is knowing your enemy.

By getting these hurdles out of your head and on paper, you identify what your obstacles are. From there on out you begin start thinking of ways to get past them. The operative phrase here is ‘you can.’ It replaces the old, worn loop that says you can’t.

When you move past the heavy emotions, you can think clearly, presenting fact-based arguments to counter all those “I can’t’s”, and do what you can do to improve your situation instead of taking things at face value — right up to the moment they run right over you.

Use reason instead of letting feeling take the reins. “I can’t because reasons!” is not enough.

Keep asking “why?”

Have a good answer based on knowledge and facts –the more you can articulate those ‘feelings’, the better your changes of working things out clearly.


Gut knowledge is based on experience and faith in ones’ self. When you keep clinging to the notion that you can’t, you lack faith that you can.

Hey. Let’s be real here.

You won the fertilization race. Out of all the haploids in all the world to meet, yours did, and you were the result. You’re here. You’re you. That alone in itself is a miracle. You’re gonna give up now because you’ve been taught to think you have to do exactly everything by the book, or copy everyone else and follow all the rules (“Follow ALL the rules!”) to qualify as a success? To be somebody — when you already are somebody?

You’re here.

You’re you.

You can.

Funny thing about making a bullet list (pun coming up, wait for it.) You pulled all these blocks out of your head and wrestled them onto paper. Once they’re OUT OF YOUR HEAD, you can flip them over. Your reasons why you can’t are now the things in your way. They become targets.

It’s up to you to take the shot.

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