Blog | Entrepreneurship

Doing the Impossible

An exercise in self-sabotage helps you clear the path to entrepreneurship

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“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.”
— Charles R. Swindoll

In the continued spirit of January being the perfect time for creating new habits and fresh perspectives, I have a new challenge for you: Stop sabotaging yourself with your own thoughts and actions! All too often, we place limitations on ourselves that prevent us from living out our dreams. Whether your dream is financial freedom, jumping out of an airplane, losing weight, or expanding your social circle, we sometimes get in our own way—and often, without even realizing it.

Here are a few ways we do that:

  1. Comfort zone. Our critical inner voice likes to keep us in a nice, safe box. Our brains view this as self-preservation, because it wants to protect us from feeling vulnerable, making a mistake, being judged or being disappointed. That critical inner voice may say “you aren’t worthy” or “that’s too much work,” or “what’s another slice of pizza gonna matter at this point?” You’re may be so programmed to listen to that voice that you’ve even started to believe it.
  2. Negative self-image. Whether this is leftover from a tough childhood, a painful divorce, a harsh boss or self-inflicted, your inner critic is so familiar to you that you don’t even stop to challenge it. We get stuck in patterns and then base our whole lives around those parameters because that’s what we are used to. The defenses we put up to protect us only limit our lives and our potential.
  3. Fear. In almost everything you do in life, you either act out of fear (ego) or love. Fear is the energy that causes us to shut down, hide and silently suffer. Love is the energy that pushes, heals and allows us to open up. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of rejection and fear of judgment often holds us back. But if you don't fight through that very same fear then you’ll never know what you are capable of.

The Self-Sabotage Test

Now, do any of these classic self-sabotage situations sound familiar? If so, I’d like for you to humor me and take a few moments to do this quick exercise in creativity and overcoming assumptions:

Step 1: Divide a piece of paper into three columns.

Step 2: In the first column, brainstorm a list of all the things you’d do, if only they were possible.

Step 3: Then in the second column, next to each “want” write the obstacle that makes it “impossible.”

Step 4: Then in the third column, brainstorm a list of ways to get around these obstacles. As you’re doing this, remember: You don’t have to limit your solutions to things you can do personally—think of ways to leverage the abilities of others!

Step 5: Now, look at your list. What did you come up with? Do some of these situations now seem less “impossible?”

I’m here to tell you that we are more resilient than we think. Don’t let your own fear, negative self-criticism or comfort zone keep you down. Sure, you may try something new and fail. But I firmly believe we will never regret the things we’ve done, only the things we never tried.

And now that you’re more aware of this phenomenon, keep your ears open to instances when other people say things like, “If only I could…”, or “That’s impossible…”, or “I can’t because…”. When you hear these sorts of comments, ask yourself, “What could solve this person’s problems? How could a business be built around solving this problem for people?”

You may discover a great business idea or opportunity that you can leverage into wealth. At the very least, it will get your mind in the habit of thinking like an entrepreneur.

Original publish date: January 25, 2018

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