They will tell you that you can’t get it done…


All your life you are told the things you cannot do.  All your life they will say you aren’t good enough or strong enough; they will say you’re the wrong height or the wrong weight or the wrong type to play this or achieve this.  They will tell you no, a thousand times no, until all the no’s become meaningless. All your life they will tell you no quite firmly and very quickly.

And you will tell them yes…”

                                                                                                                 ~ NIKE

I read it.  And my immediate reaction was “cheesy.”

I read it again.  I’ve heard this.  Been there.  No. No. No.

The whispers…

“You can’t get a full athletic scholarship.  You started playing too late.  You are too slow.  Short on fundamentals.”

“Prep school kids are simply better prepared (you attended a public school).”

“You didn’t attend a leading undergraduate school.  It will be difficult to get accepted into a top graduate school.”

“We’re not sure that your work experience and background are adequate to handle the rigors of our firm.”

Go ahead.

Tell me I can’t get it done.

Make my day…


  1. You go Clint…um…David…!!! My hunch is there isn’t much you can’t do..


  2. There’s a poem pinned up on the wall next to my desk – “It Couldn’t Be Done” by Edgar A. Guest. The title is misleading on its own, but if you read all three verses of the poem, you’ll see it is a glass-half-full response to a ridiculous, glass-half-empty statement. If you’ve not read the poem, you can find it at the link I’ve pasted below.


  3. “Tell me I can’t get it done.
    Make my day”…
    !!!…Thanks David. So motivating. Felt like I just had a small bungee jump…


  4. gregblencoe says:


    I’ve come to believe that overcoming comments like this from others (or our own internal voice) is a price that has to be paid for success. People who succeed simply make a choice to overcome these “obstacles” (in quotes since they are basically perceived obstacles). If you listen to this chatter and don’t act as a result, then you are not ready or willing to do what it takes to achieve the goal.

    Another thought is that often the people saying these things are just projecting their own beliefs about themselves onto you.


  5. I’ve also heard the comment…”there are too many people already doing what you are attempting to do”. In other words, you shouldn’t bother trying to do what you love b/c the world is already saturated with wannabe actor, dancers, musicians, cake decoraters etc….so settle for something less.


  6. Awesome … I feel the same way and I welcome naysayers because they just give me the extra motivation to go forward. You go …


  7. Those who say it can’t be done should get out of the way of those doing it. ~Chinese proverb


  8. David, when I read this I could not think of anything but how much power and influence parents have over their children when it comes to telling them what they can do and what they cannot. If we would just encourage them, in whatever it is that they are trying to accomplish,what a better life they will have. I am so happy that I learned this lesson before I had my kids.

    Thanks for the great post, everyone should at able to try and judge for themselves.

    Enjoy the evening!


    • Tina, in full disclosure, I’m an offender. Try to spare my kids from my mistakes and it comes across heavy handed. I agree with you. Dave


    • I like this approach so much! There’s equal pressure and set up for failure when parents say, “You can do anything if you set your mind to it.” We can’t do *anything.* Circumstances, skill, timing all get in the way. But we should feel supported in *trying* everything. Not to try, not to taste everything, is the real crime.


  9. intuitiveone says:

    when someone tells me no I just say watch me!


  10. Reblogged this on coaching dreams and commented:
    O.K.!… NIKE uses the world’s top psychologists and advertisers to make us buy more of their products. However, I find this paragraph inspired and the following comment by David Kanigan, brilliant.


  11. I have always been the type of person who perceived being told I could not do something the same way a fighting bull perceives a red flag! Make my day, for real!



  1. […] nest paragraph is inspired and the following comments of David Kanigan brilliant. Re-blogged from All your life you are told the things you cannot do.  All your life they will say you aren’t […]


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