You are crazy if you think that is going to work!
What are you thinking, that is never going to happen.
We have all heard these types of responses at one time or another. Whether you shared a big dream with a family member or expressed an innovative idea at work, there are always those who will hold up a hand and say, no, you can’t do that. It just can’t work.
Deflated, many of us just accept others’ truths and abandoned the idea or the dream and forever be limited by someone else’s fears. Getting discouraged isn’t uncommon. Most people don’t realize they are trying to snuff out your dreams, they see it as their way of saving you pain and time. But ultimately, their good intentions may be clouded with their own feelings of inadequacy that holds them back from bigger and better opportunities.
Fighting off discouragement is difficult but consider these alternative strategies before you resign yourself to letting of an audacious dream or idea dissolve.
- Be patient and take the long view. Nothing is achieved without some setbacks.
- Failure isn’t the end, it’s a part of the education you need to achieve the goal.
- Make your vision tangible, write it down and share it with others no matter what they say.
- Put your ego on pause. Be open to criticism and feedback without it crushing you. Take in the positive and constructive information and discard the rest.
- Realize that your path is unique. Don’t measure yourself by other’s experiences.
- Get started, focus on the actions not the rewards.
- Consider changing your definition of success. Where there is growth there is success.
- Consider changing the people you hang out with. Your circle of influence should be filled with supporters not detractors. Find a band of cheerleaders to help you stay on course.
- Get a mentor or coach. Find an objective voice to give you objective feedback that is constructive and candid but has not hidden agendas.
- Find a way to help others to help you move forward. Giving of yourself will bring you many rewards.
Often those that derail or discourage you are actually scared of what you could accomplish. If you achieve your goals and dreams it might mean you are leaving them behind. Brad Sugars’ founder and CEO of ActionCOACH say “What people think about you is none of your business”. Relying on others to define you squanders your potential. Those limits and restrictions are based on others bias not your actual abilities or your potential.
But sometimes detractors are right. You are not able to reach a goal or achieve a specific dream based on your current knowledge and education. Who you are today, is not the person you need to be to achieve a big outcome. You need to learn, grow and develop skills to achieve your goals. Remember if success were easy, everyone would be doing it. You must acquire knowledge, get education, gain experience before you can accomplish big things and live your dreams. So, remember that those that can’t see who you will become will not be able to see the dreams and goals you will achieve. They are limited by what they know and don’t have all the information, education and skills either. They base the failure to launch based on their own shortcomings.
Relying on others to chart your success path is also a crutch. It’s your choice to stay stuck. You have to flip the script and start practicing affirmations and visualization to see yourself accomplishing your dreams. Walt Disney said, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible”. Time to get on the ride and believe in yourself and your abilities.
Use negative or limiting feedback to fuel you fire. There is nothing more satisfying that proving an adversary wrong. Find motivation in others’ disbelief. True visionaries are rarely stopped for long. Obstacles and challenges seem to unleash a hidden power and a desire to overcome. Consider some of the world’s most challenged innovators, Steve Hawkins and Helen Keller for example. Both faced severe physical impairments and limitations and still changed the world. Why can’t you change your little corner of the sky?
Brad Sugars’ ActionCOACH organization uses a simple progression to articulate the path to achieving success. Follow this path to achieve even the loftiest goals.
DREAM – GOAL – LEARN – PLAN – ACT
To start the process, Dream Big!
- Idealization: Complete these pages making sure you describe your most ideal life. Shoot for the stars and at the very least you’ll hit the moon.
- Visualization: Invest 10 minutes each morning and 10 in the evening-with your eyes closed-visualizing everything you have written about, dream about and thought about as if it’s already real. Buy a large pile of magazines, several poster boards, scissors and glue, cut out words, pictures events, places and things that form your dreams and create a large collage of your dreams, or what we call a Dream Chart.
- Verbalization: Make a list of 21 “I AM” statements about your future self. Describe traits you want to build on to become the person you want to be in order to do the things you want to do, to have and experience all you dream of. State these “I AM” statements out loud every single day (at least twice) with as much passion, volume and desire as you possibly can.
- Materialization: Choose every day to tell yourself that all you dream of will be yours and when you believe it you will see it.
Start thinking about who you want to be and how you want people to remember you and most importantly, what is important to you. Focus on these areas.
- Spiritual: meditation, church etc.
- Emotional: which top ten to feel daily, I just am
- Friendship: who, how many, what level Family: what do you want to them to feel, how do you want the relationships to be
- New Identities: who do you choose to be
- Roles: what are your roles, daily, weekly, monthly
- Values: and rules
Then set achievable, attainable, measurable, goals. Use the S.M.A.R.T. rules. Be specific. Make the goal measurable. Ensure they are attainable. Make them realistic and relevant and finally set a time frame for completion. Attaining your dreams will be about accomplishing specific goals one at a time, not eating the entire elephant in one sitting.
Now seek out the learning and education you need to achieve the goal. Read books, journals, trade publications. Take a class or seminar. Attend a webinar, aimed at adding to your knowledge fount. Load up on knowledge to get you to a place where you are equipped to begin planning out a strategy with action items you can enumerate.
Once you have added to your education bucket you can map out a plan of action for each phase of your goal. This will take time and might be the most complex part of the journey in reaching the apex of your dreams. Consider it a mountain trek. Ask yourself some hard questions. What resources will you need? What equipment do you need to secure? Who will serve as a guide? Who are the critical members of the party? How long between milestones is acceptable? How much rest time will you need? What are the anticipated setbacks? What adjustments will you need to make to overcome the hurdles in your way? What does success look like when you reach the summit? All of these and more will require planning and perhaps more education. But remember you don’t need to reach the top in one day. The journey towards a seemingly impossible goal is as important as achieving it.
Your plan is ready. You are prepared. It’s time to act. Mark Twain said, “the secret of getting ahead is getting started”. So, go to it. “Put one foot in front of the other and soon you’ll be walkin’ cross the floor” are lyrics to live by. Without action there is no doing. As Yoda said, “Do, there is no try.”
So, what is they are the ones that are wrong? What if you simply moved forward and achieve your impossible dreams? Some may call you crazy still. Some will disagree and try to rail at your plans. Stay on course and remember they don’t know the you, you will or have become. Grow into your big dreams and watch them bear fruit.
Check out Brad Sugars’ latest Facebook Video to hear about this topic: