My friend, the brilliant Mark Hunter, once told me that our clients hire us to make their dreams come true, and then they diligently set about trying to convince us that what they want is impossible.
He was right.
And before you think I’m all up on my high horse here, I’d like to remind you that I, too, am a client of a coach, and I can attest to the veracity of his commentary because I totally do this, too.
The embarrassing truth is that while I merrily see other people’s dreams coming true, I tend to be a bit more reserved when it comes to my own possibilities. Thankfully, when it comes to my own bullshit, my coach is not the least bit swayed by my sad-sack, Eponine-from-Les-Miserables-“not-for-me, not-for-me” routine.
So look, you want something? Cool. It seems really hard? Okay.
“No, but Bay,” you try to sound convincing, “like, I just don’t know how to do it. I don’t even know where to start.”
Okay. Got it. It’s impossible.
I mean, we’ve sent people to the moon, and we fly around the planet in metal tubes with wings, and Ghandi led the British out of India, peacefully, and margarine is considered an edible foodstuff, but THIS THING you want to do? It’s absolutely impossible.
Cool story, bro.
I’ve got one question for you: Now what?
Is this thing impossible for real (you want to sprout organic wings and fly like Peter Pan?), or is it more of a this-is-difficult-and-I-don’t-know-where-to-start kind of situation?
Is it impossible, or does it FEEL impossible? It’s important to make the distinction.
If it’s genuinely impossible, then I don’t know about you, but I probably would want to take it off my bucket list. However, if you have a shortage of obstacles in your life, or if you just like to suffer and whine about things, by all means keep on wanting it with your wasted heart.
If, on the other hand, it just FEELS impossible, then let’s get to work. We just need to get even more clear on what exactly it is you want, and then we can break it down until the first tiny step is right in front of you.
You know what’s extra cool? You don’t even need to believe it’s possible. That’s right, my dear Doubting Thomas; you can keep all your skepticism and doubt and crappy “it’s-impossible” stories and still make movement here.
I mean, it might be a damn sight easier and helluva lot more fun to put that bag of rocks down and try believing in yourself, which is far more motivating in my experience, but the believing part is completely optional if you’re willing to take action regardless.
If you want to do impossible things, you need to decide if you really want them to be impossible, or if you’re willing to risk it, toss your cap over the wall and go after whatever it is you want.
Either choice is fine. But it’s worth taking a look at how you’re relating to your dreams and being honest with yourself as to whether you actually want the end result—not to mention the journey—or if you just want something to complain about, or daydream about wistfully.
After all, as Nelson Mandela said (and he knew a thing or two about impossible dreams), “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
And Walt Disney, a famous dreamer and maker, may have been onto something when he said, “It’s kind of fun doing the impossible.”
I bet there’s something in your life that you once believed was impossible to achieve. How did you make it happen?
And, what’s something you want that currently feels impossible to you? What are you getting, or getting out of, by keeping it in the Impossible Things category? And what if it were to become reality? What story about you, or the world, would you need to give up, if you were to get everything you wanted?