“Unwilling or Unable”: Soapbox Ahead

I stumbled across a website recently for a business mentor in New York City.  Let me first say that I’m sure this woman is doing good work. Her ideas have helped a few friends, and her credentials indicate that she is considered a trusted source by many successful people. I don’t doubt her results.

I stayed tuned in for a few weeks while I watched her launch a program–seems like that’s the time when coaches really start to give away the good information. (Tip.) Finally, the day came when I got the message that we’ve all seen before: This Program is for You If…

I was more interested, though, in the part that read, “This Program is Not for You If…”  

Honestly, I expected the normal stuff. This program won’t work for you if you’re not really willing to commit. This program won’t work for you if you’re a constant complainer. This program won’t work for you if you think I’m going to perform a miracle for you. Blah, blah, blah.

What I didn’t expect though, was this:

This program is not for you if you are unwilling or unable to participate in physical activity.

(Jesus, take the wheel.)

Okay, I can give you “unwilling.”
I’m having a hard time with “unable.”

I admit a bias here. I totally admit that I took this in a way it may or may not have been intended. I fully own that I’m touchy about what I read as “I don’t want to work with you if you have a physical issue.”

Because I do.
My left foot is paralyzed since birth and fused in walking position. Some people notice and some people don’t, but it doesn’t change my “unable” ranking in this woman’s program. There are just some things I’m not put here to do.

My inability to run a marathon, however, does NOT make me incapable of implementing a successful business. It also does NOT keep me from being an awesome client (not that she’ll ever find out).

And you know what? This applies to you, too.  Whatever your ‘thing’ is, you have an important message, and you can contribute very successfully.  In fact, I hope you will. I believe we’re all put here with a specific set of circumstances for our own unique purpose. 


I stayed way up on my soapbox about this woman’s policy for weeks.  The truth is, I can argue both sides of the coin.

On one side, shouldn’t we be allowed to work with whomever we want however we want? If I don’t want to look out at a crowd of people who don’t exercise or are unable to, then that’s my choice. It’s my life and my work.  I can set my business up however I want. “Ideal clients,” right?

On the other side, how arrogant and offensive to claim a position of leadership in this day and age while refusing to look at a complete picture of humanity. On that very fact alone, I have to question to your entire foundation. I absolutely do ask exactly who you think you are.

See? Two sides of the same coin.

The Takeaway

After thinking about this way too much, I’ve determined that for me, the takeaway here is that whether we write it on the internet in our policy or not, maybe we all have times when we choose to only see what we want to see.

How many times have we formed impressions about someone based on one small thing only to find out they were totally different than we thought? How many times have we chosen not to extend the benefit of a doubt? And with that, how many times have we not wanted to see ourselves for who we are?


I’m certain that change happens inside us, and I believe conversation facilitates understanding.

I invite you to the conversation.

I challenge you to give someone the benefit of your doubt this week, even if it is yourself.

Don’t take the easy way out.

Dare to find someone’s unlikely story. 

Demand more of yourself.
Do let me know how it goes.
To Your Adventure,


P.S. I was already in the planning stages of my very first L.E.A.P. Into Your Life program before this came up. L.E.A.P. is for all of us wanting to make sure we’re living our purpose. I’ll be telling you more about it in the coming weeks. For now, let me just say that people of ALL abilities will be welcome.

P.P.S.  Okay, fine…I’m still a little on the soapbox. It’s a process, gang. It’s a process. 😉

5 thoughts on ““Unwilling or Unable”: Soapbox Ahead

  1. Oh, Belinda! You always make me smile! I love your spirit and tenacity, not to mention I totally enjoy your soapboxes. You go girl!

  2. ::giggle::

    Oh the beauty of the written word. Who would have known even just 20 years ago that we would be reading as much as we do now. But with all this writing and reading, so much can be misconstrued. But hey, miscontrued-ism (is that a word???) can be the catalyst for another amazing writing! I do love your challenge, giving someone the benefit of the doubt, including ourselves. Thanks for that profound thought. Great post!

  3. This really made me think about how often & habitually we pair the words “willing and able” (and their “un’s”). Thank you for highlighting in your own loving and powerful and unique voice the importance of thinking through what we say so our true intentions are conveyed!

  4. Thank you for stepping up and saying something about this, Belinda. I was horrified and shocked when I read what that “mentor” wrote. Then at the end of your rant, you called us (me) to stand up, THINK about our actions this week, and give someone the benefit of my doubt. I’m holding a clinic this week and was just about to email a student back saying she wasn’t really cut out for the clinic because her circumstances were different than the rest of the group and I thought she would hold the group back. But NOW I’m going to email her and invite her to join us because you’re right – you never know what others have to offer and how including someone might change their life.

    Thank you SO much for posting this link on Facebook, I’m glad I saw it before writing that student back. You’re a catalyst of positive change! Keep sharing your soapbox messages… because they’re serving a great purpose!

  5. Skye, yay! Thanks for taking the challenge. I’m hoping the student brings a cool dynamic to the group. 🙂 Here’s to finding the unique story.


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