I’m going to do something different.
I’m going to get ahead of the curve.
I’m going to put myself out there on a limb and be comfortable and energized in the process.
Believing that I can do something that may seem impossible is my first step to actually achieving it. For the past few months, I’ve been comparing the voice inside my head to the voices in the heads of those around me. I’ve heard many similarities, but also some interesting differences.
The voice inside my head was reminding me of limitations, math problems, and words and phrases like “I’ll never”, “I can’t”, “I need”, and “at least”.
I heard similar phrases coming from colleagues who were, like me, in career “crossover” mode:
“No company will ever hire me. I’m too experienced, therefore too expensive.”
“People think I’m too old to have new and innovative ideas.”
“I need to make x dollars or my house will be on the market in 6 months.”
“If this doesn’t work, I’m going to lose everything.”
We’ve been talking to ourselves from a perspective of limitation and scarcity—disguised as truth and logic.
On the other hand, my mentors were saying things like:
“I am successful.”
“I have everything I require.”
“I don’t worry because I am supplied with everything I need, when I need it.”
“I’m doing what I’m meant to do.”
And the truth was, they were successful. They were well supplied, and they did have everything they required. For what?
This was the first difference I noted: my mentors were focused on contributions. Yes, they needed a medium of exchange to be able to present those contributions to the world, but they were not fixated on how the “inflows” arrived. And in fact, those inflows arrived in all kinds of unexpected ways.
The second difference I saw was that my mentors thought, felt, and acted from an expansive viewpoint. They thought in terms of possibilities (upon which they quickly acted) and they never used limiting phrases. They expected to win, in a matter-of-fact kind of way.
Finally, I noticed they were focused in present time. They didn’t speculate about future outcomes or ruminate about past errors. These were positive, confident, happy people who simply moved forward each day with enthusiasm. They weren’t Spocks, they just saw adversity for what it was—a temporary opportunity to see things differently, learn, and perhaps change.
I know for some of us, being optimistic can be difficult—especially when faced with a significant challenge like unexpectedly (or expectedly) losing a job. We cling to being responsible, logical, calculating, and prepared for the worst. This attitude also helps us deal with others who depend upon us and who, like us, are fearful of unknown outcomes. We don’t want surprises. Opportunities don’t just fall into our laps anyway—we have to work for them!
Thinking back, I recall that opportunities actually do fall into our laps. The action we take on impact is what counts. We have to be present enough to notice an opportunity and then we have to be brave enough to seize it.
There is an art to cultivating this ability. The art of the impossible is really the art of believing that the impossible is attainable by our little ‘ole selves, and that we can win at it. It’s the art of being open—of removing limiting thoughts and rules and fantasies of what success has to look like. If we don’t believe it, who will?
Yes, there is work. There is action required. There are strategies to choose, along with their means of execution. But first, there is an impossibility that we must believe into a possibility. In fact, there are many. Look out for them, and allow them to drop in.