Several years ago I had a student who wanted to go to college. She had met with many failures throughout her life and that "bad" baggage was constantly with her. I really felt she could be successful in college, but to break past bad habits and ideas was a task that took months. I started small by recognizing positive behaviors. For a person who dealt with negatives, this was a huge shift in how she looked at things. If she would start to get into the "I can't" mode, I would question her of why she felt the way she did. It was interesting to see the change over several months. I would praise her on the accomplishments she achieved and would not allow her to dwell on the things that didn't go well. The idea that "bad" things happen to everyone and how we deal with it makes the difference in who we will become seemed like a novel idea to her. To make a long story short, she did go to college and was successful in her studies. However, as I mentioned before, this was not accomplished by one or two discussions. This did take months.