How is that even possible?
That question often rings so loud that I’m not able to hear anything else. Like a call and response, what follows is often “well, it’s not!” I came to expect this dialogue to pop up when I decided to try something brave or do something outside of my ordinary. Those words rode the school bus with me when I was in junior high school and decided to become a cheerleader. It whispered when I decided to apply for graduate school in Minnesota. Now, it creeps into my gym bag when I schedule two back-to-back classes. And most recently it yelled (loud enough for the people in the back) when I decided to become a psychologist who practices doing something other than therapy.
I used to hear this dialogue and accept it in an ‘I think therefore I am’ type vibe. Thankfully, I have proven this dialogue wrong enough that at this point in my life, I have come to truly believe that nothing is impossible. And because I don’t like to hoard my life lessons, I have decided to share these four points that can help you achieve your impossible!
1. Check Your Thoughts.
There is an old Negro Spiritual that captures the essence of this first point. Like to hear it? Here it goes! “Check yo’self before you wreck yo’self”! Yes, Ice Cube circa 1992! This quote could not be any truer when it comes to breaking through the noise in your mind to achieve the impossible. We hear constant messages, aptly named thoughts, about our abilities. These messages are often not true and are based on our limited understanding of the world based on our own experiences or the experiences of others with who we identify (Side Bar: This is why we say ‘Representation Matters’.). If you catch this dialogue happening for you, ask yourself this question, “What evidence do I have that this is impossible?” If your only answer is, because I’ve never done it, or no one I know has, challenge this thought with the statement, “Wow! I’ll be the first to __________ *fill in the blank*.
2. Show Up For Yourself.
Sounds simple, but it is not! Getting back on the saddle after you have been tossed around by rejection or failure can be one of the most difficult parts of this process. But showing up time and time again is integral in achieving your impossible. Remember, showing up does not always lead to achievement. Sometimes it leads to learning how to do it better next time. And a better next time can get you closer to your goal. Keep showing up, you wouldn’t want to miss your breakthrough now, would you?
3. Flex a Little, Maybe A Lot.
One of the hardest parts of this process for me was to realize that my initial vision may not be what I get in the end. So I had to flex my vision to fit my situation which is often better than trying to fit an old version of my dream in my nice and shiny new reality. Update your dreams frequently because times are ever-changing and your dreams should change with them.
4. Trust Yourself Over and Over Again.
The last part of this success equation is to trust yourself, again and again. And then, again and again! Think about all of the success you have had up until this point and put that stream of thought on replay. The mantra I use when I begin to doubt myself is, "I have done hard things. I can do hard things." And like a parent who never forgets, I remind myself of all of those times I have accomplished the things I once thought were impossible.
Now, memories of the impossible made possible flood into my mind such as when I became the captain of that cheerleading squad or when I was accepted into the University of Minnesota, twice. Impossibilities are crushed every week when I finish multiple exercise classes, and the biggest impossibility is being silenced right now as you read this blog by this psychologist!