Just Because You Can Do It Doesn’t Mean Squat

I was listening to a podcast on my road trip yesterday when I heard a very familiar quote.  I’m sure you have heard it many times too:

If I can do it. then I know you can

Why?  I don’t get it.  Is that person saying they are the weakest person on the planet in whatever “it” is and that their ability to do “it” means anyone can do it?  Or are they assuming that their struggle is somehow so much more difficult than ours could possibly be that we should have no trouble in our attempt to accomplish whatever “it” is since they were able to do “it”?

Everybody is different.  Just because I can do something, doesn’t mean anyone else in a similar situation can do it – no matter what “it” is.  I was able to ride my bicycle 735 miles in 2007 from Glendale, AZ to Del Rio, TX in just under two weeks.  I weighed over 285 lbs when I started (and when I finished, believe it or not).  I don’t think it would be fair to say to anyone – “if I can ride over 700 miles on my bike, I know you can”.  It was hard work for me to accomplish that – and saying you could do it just because I did belittles my accomplishment as well as insults you if you are not able to do it.

What’s my point? We shouldn’t compare each others journeys.  Everyone is different.  You may not be able to run daily and you may have such a hard time with food cravings that you have failed any type of diet many times over – Or maybe you do eat only 1200 calories a day and run twice a day – that doesn’t mean I can.  I think its important that we remember everyone is different and just because you can do something doesn’t mean anyone else can.  The best we can do for each other is encouragement and accountability – not cliche’s like “drink more water” (although you really should… hahaha) and “if I can do it, so can you!”

4 thoughts on “Just Because You Can Do It Doesn’t Mean Squat

  1. that wasn’t Jillian Michaels podcast was it?
    cause I’ve heard her say many
    times that if she can do it anyone can. We all
    have struggles and I don’t think 2 ppl are the
    same but others can share what’s helped them
    over come it.

    1. It wasn’t Jillian Michaels (I didn’t know she had one – can you send me the link to her podcast?)…

      I know people mean well when they use the phrase, its their attempt to encourage the person they are talking to – I just find the statement to be less encouraging and more challenging in a negative way. I think of myself as a bit of a wordsmith so semantics are more important to me than most. Why not say, “I’ve been down this road, so if you need me, I’m here for you”… To me that is much more supportive and encouraging. “If I can do it, so can you” sounds more to me like “stop whinning and do it – I did it so anyone can – if you can’t its because you’re lazy or just don’t want to” – you know what I mean? Maybe I’m the only one…

  2. I have to agree with you 100%! I think the same thing when I hear someone say that phrase. It is annoying, and if something is so easy, why isn’t everyone accomplishing their goals?

    BTW, I think it is amazing that you rode 700 miles by bike across several states! Good job! I also am astounded that your weight remained the same before and after. Not fair! 🙂

    1. Thanks Sue! You are sooo right – NOT FAIR! 😀 — my wife say’s I looked better and that I lost weight on my legs and face – but the scale was not so kind to me. I enjoyed it regardless, and now have endless memories from it – if I had it do to again, I would absolutely do it again! You can read my blog entries from the trip here:

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