Trust Me, It’s Possible

May 24, 2013

Your big idea.  In the beginning it feels impossible.  On one hand, you know that can’t be true.  Very few ideas are actually impossible.  But on the other hand it doesn’t really seem possible either.  It seems so unclear.  So far away.  So hard.  So foreign.  It can paralyze you.

I’ve been there.  It’s a horrible feeling.  You don’t know how to proceed.  Should I ditch the idea?  Should I pursue it?  How long should I give myself?

Having gone through this ringer many times in my life (so far), I always come to the same conclusion after torturing myself for a while.  It was much more possible than it seemed in the beginning.

Impossibility was an illusion brought on by fear, a misstep, a failed attempt, a bad day, a bad week, lack of sleep, a crappy interaction, inexperience.  When you push through these things, you see things for what they are.  Highly possible.

Here are a few suggestions for pushing through impossible to possible:

  • Describe the future clearly, as best you can right now – Write up where you want to be 1 year from today.  Keep it simple.  One sheet of paper maximum.  Be very specific.  What will you have actually achieved?  What will you be doing?  How will you be feeling?  Specificity makes things seem more possible.  Try to do this in less than an hour.  I’ve found the more time you spend on this exercise the less powerful it is.  It becomes too over-engineered.
  • Move faster – When you don’t know what you’re doing, the tendency can be to slow down to figure it all out before you move forward.  The problem is you need to move forward to figure it out.  When your instincts tell you to slow down, speed up instead.  Stagnation breeds thoughts of impossibility.
  • Spend more time with people who are up to big things – People who are up to big things necessarily default to seeing things as possible.  They have to in order to execute their ideas.  Figure out how to hang around them more.  Listen to their ideas.  Share your intended future.  Help each other.