"I'm useless at sport, I always have been. I was so bad that I was the only person in our school to be excused games permanently."
"History is just not my subject. I switch off when I hear anything historical; it's so boring."
"I can't handle money."
"I'm no good with animals; they hate me."
"I don't have enough intelligence to run my own company."
This category mainly limits women. Society has trained most women from the cradle to expect a lot less than their male counterparts, so typically they have I-Can't beliefs such as:
"I could never be a company director."
"I could never be a millionaire."
"I'm useless at figures, science, woodwork, DIY, car mechanics etc."
"I don't understand a thing about electricity, it's so complicated."
"A woman's place is in the home, not following a career."
"Men need looking after. They can't wash clothes, iron, cook or tidy the house, so I do all that."
Men do not escape from this category! Society has trained them also:
"I could never look after a baby, men just aren't tolerant enough."
"I can't sew, knit, bake, or cook."
"I have no decorative sense, my wife does all that; women are so much better at it."
"You have to be white to make it in this town."
"You have to have lived in this village for at least twenty-five years before they acknowledge you."
"I'm a foreigner and can hardly speak the language; what chance do I have?"
"I never had a chance of a proper education; we were dirt-poor
and we all had to go to work instead of school."
"It's not what you know, it's who you know."
"It's easy to make money when you've got money."
"Property is mainly owned by the upper classes."
"It's impossible to get a job around here, there just aren't any."
The secondary pay-off is that CHANGING your I-CAN'T beliefs into I-CAN beliefs takes EFFORT and COURAGE. Your subconscious mind is HAPPY with your set of I-CAN'T beliefs because it feels nice and cosy. Just like with Positive Self Image belief, your sub-conscious will RESIST any attempts by yourself to change it's I-CAN World View.
The PAY-OFF for the man is that he avoids some difficult work and does not have to master a whole new set of skills. Every time the baby cries, all he has to do is call for Mum.
He avoids smelly nappies and mopping up vomit because he's "All fingers and thumbs when it comes to doing that sort of thing."
He doesn't have to get up in the night when the baby cries because: "Babies need their Mothers when they are crying, men are too rough."
His additional pay-off is that he doesn't have to radically change his I-Can't World View. This is the part of his World View jigsaw which says:
"Men are not suited to looking after babies, that's women's work. Women are naturals at it, men are too rough, careless and intolerant. Any man who looks after a baby must be a bit of a sissy; you wouldn't catch me wheeling a pram down the road, what would my mates think? Men just don't have the necessary skills or knowledge to make a good job of it; anyway, even if they did the women would soon be up in arms, it's about the only thing they can do."
To change his I-Can't belief into an I-Can belief, he has to change this whole section of his World View, and there are some pretty major pieces of the jigsaw puzzle contained here.
But this I-Can't belief closes off a whole area of life experience to the man. Yes, it is very difficult looking after a baby, but it also brings a huge set of rewards which are unique in human experience; ask any mother.
I found out how enriching, (and exhausting), this could be after the birth of our twins. I held some of the I-Can't beliefs mentioned above, but there was no room for the luxury of them with twins around! I had to do my fair share otherwise we would never have coped. I soon shook off those old attitudes and I'M VERY GLAD THAT I DID. Yes it was totally exhausting working all day, then going home to a second job. Being woken ten or twenty times a night was the hardest thing I think I have ever coped with, but there is no doubt that I am a better person for it, and I hope, closer to my children.