Transforming “I CAN’T” to “I CAN”—Is it Really Possible?


For years, the word “can’t” had been engraved into my psyche. As a matter of fact, my childhood and most of my adulthood was spent trapped in an ongoing cycle of poor thinking that led me to believe, in very little time, that I really couldn’t achieve anything in my life.

I was born with an eye disorder called cone dystrophy. However, due to the amount of stigma and a lack of acceptance about my disorder—I found myself sinking into this idea of feeling “limited.” Growing up, teachers and peers kept telling me that (1) I wasn’t going to achieve anything in life, (2) I wasn’t smart enough, and (3) college wasn’t for me.

Things I Learned about Life:

    1. I learned that well-being is my number one priority. Easy on the chocolate, heavy on the asparagus.
    2. I learned that I have the power to let my mind believe what I tell myself, so why not convince my mind how wonderful I am? Meditation helps with this.
    3. I learned that worry never solves my problems. Not much sense staying up all night worrying about whether I should have blueberry pancakes or strawberry waffles.
    4. I learned that friends come and go, the same way pounds accumulate during Thanksgiving and Christmas and then disappear with my New Years’ resolutions.
    5. I learned to surround myself with positive people, especially my four-legged friends.
    6. I learned that things will always get better, so never give up. Even those middle school years shall pass.
    7. I learned to be grateful for the little things in life: my two four-legged children, Lucky and Happy, watching Snoopy on TV with me.
    8. I learned to make time for the people I love. God will need them back someday.
    9. I learned to never let fear hold me back. Just get on that bus, even if I do get lost. Someone will help.
    10. It’s okay to cry. Even if it’s for the smallest things—I still cry when I watch the Notebook.
    11. I learned that asking for help doesn’t mean I am weak. I look forward to my therapy sessions.
    12. I learned that being different isn’t a bad thing. My Cone Dystrophy makes me a better listener.
    13. I learned to smile often, laugh daily, and make time to have fun.
    14. I learned that life is too short. My bucket list includes (but not limited to) Miami, Vegas, Paris, Australia, London—get me a travel agent.
    15. I learned that being “different” isn’t as bad as I thought. I have now learned to embrace my differences and surround myself with those people who appreciate me for who I am.
    16. I learned the importance of quality versus quantity in friendships.
    17. I learned who my real friends are. Those who love and accept me just the way I am.
    18. I learned that there is no need to let anyone talk down at me.
    19. I learned to transform can’t into I can because no one should ever tell me that I am not good enough.
    20. And lastly, I learned to be an advocate for myself and for others in similar situations.

Today, I obtained an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, and currently aiming for a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling.

Soto answer the question I posed in this blog: yes! It is possible to transform a can’t to can.  With practice, positive surroundings, and a positive attitude—one can and will achieve great things.


Nothing is impossible. The word itself says “I’m possible!” — Audrey Hepburn

~Mariagrazia Buttitta


Copyright © 2015 Embracing Your Differences, All rights reserved. 

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