How does impossible become possible?
Do you ever feel it’s going to be impossible to do everything on your plate?
Like you, I’ve got a lot going on. Full-time job, ageing parents, two sons in early adulthood. I’m trying to run and to horse ride a few times a week plus – dog, chickens, budgies, garden.
Add in my side project of showing people how to shine by growing their real voice and it’s a lot.
Your life is probably just as full.
I’d been managing to keep it all going until just recently when I felt overwhelmed. Which could have been ok if I’d just taken a short break to recharge.
But I started to tell myself that it was impossible to do everything.
It’s a dangerous story because it’s very believable.
The stories we tell ourselves become our reality.
Fortunately, in the same week, I was lucky enough to hear the Joint Australian of the Year Craig Challen speak at our school assembly.
It gave me a new story to tell and a new way to write it.
Craig is an experienced cave diver who helped rescue 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Thailand last year. He’s still amazed they all made it out alive. Apparently, when he and the other cave divers arrived at the cave and saw the situation for themselves they said, This can’t be done – it’s impossible.
But then they did it.
They did it because once they were at the cave, it became personal. They were part of the story and they wanted a happy ending no matter how impossible that seemed.
How did they do it?
First, they visualised absolutely everything that could go wrong and then worked out how they’d deal with it.
Their story went from ‘That’s impossible’ to ‘What if’.
With that, they broke it into the steps that took them all the way to ‘Possible’.
‘What if’ changes things
It rewrites the story we are telling ourselves.
We stop focusing on what we don’t think we can do, and begin focusing on what steps would be needed to do it. We bring ourselves into the present moment and adopt an active story, where we can act instead of being acted upon by forces outside our control.
By changing our story, we change our actions and start addressing what can be done.
What if – I sat and wrote just an outline of an article instead of stressing that I don’t have time to finish one, and not doing anything?
What if – I used the ten minutes I’ve got now to map out the chapter headings for the book I’m planning to write (when I ‘get time’)?
What if – I kept a list of all the things I am achieving instead of focusing on what I’ve left undone?
Does it sound too easy?
Maybe but it worked for the cave divers – and Craig Challen says he still can’t believe the way that story turned out.
Maybe believing isn’t needed – just action.
So now when I’m telling myself the ‘Impossible’ story, I try to remember the cave rescue and then I focus on the small steps that I need to take right now.
As Wayne Dyer wrote in ‘Change your thoughts, change your life’,
There’s no such thing as difficulty when you live in the present moment, doing only what you can right now.
What if – you changed the story you told yourself, and the impossible became a series of steps?
Here’s to taking action even though we think the end goal is impossible.
Here’s to not waiting to believe.
Here’s to making the ‘Impossible’ your kind of possible.