What’s Really Impossible
I want to take a moment & acknowledge a very special relationship – my marriage.
I’ve been married for 2 ½ years and today, in San Antonio, Texas, my husband and I are getting divorced.
Both my husband and I will be there – we used one lawyer; and we’ll both tear up, sign the paperwork, and then I’ll take him out to La Fonda, our favorite neighborhood restaurant down the street.
Here’s how the conversation went:
Him: “If we do this, you’re taking me out for drinks afterwards.”
Me: “Ok. I can do that. But if we start drinking, there’s no way I’m driving back to Austin that night. Can I stay in the guest room?”
I know that’s not really a common conversation for divorce in the Western world, and some people may think it’s insensitive to talk about divorce publicly – even among my generation.
But I’m highlighting my personal events today for two reasons:
- To acknowledge a time in both our lives that is supremely significant, and
- To have you notice the context and the automatic mental barriers in your way any time you try to create something new.
The Concerns that Constrain You
Any time you’re interested in something new for yourself – a new program in your business, a new brand for yourself, or a new strategy for your success – what’s already there in the background and the context for your thoughts is what is “normal”, predictable, and usual.
On the flip side, we’re very aware of what’s possible and what’s impossible.
I find these barriers every time I work with a small business owner on her ideal customer, for example, when she’s shocked to find out that her ideal customer actually includes people she wants to work with.
“You mean I don’t have to work with clients that leave me emotionally drained, even if they pay?!” OR “I can limit my client base to local customers, so I have the opportunity to meet them in person (‘cause I’d really love that)?!”
The barriers in your business are all the things you think you should be doing or actions you couldn’t possibly take.
Some of the barriers you’re aware of, but the most important ones you aren’t aware of.
Sometimes, the context in which we live and the “rules of the game” are so strong, we don’t even think it’s possible for business or life to go any other way – it just is the way it is.
There’s nothing wrong with having these barriers; we all have them.
But, imagine with me for a minute, that what’s predictable – like working with anyone who wants to pay you, as common as it is, is actually a reaction to a concern or worry you have and not anything that exists in reality.
Razing Ground & Surpassing Impossibility
It was a tough time for my husband and me when I first started talking about divorce. I’ll leave the personal details out of the post.
The hardest part for me was the thought that this person, the man I vowed to love, honor, and cherish for life never ending, would not be in my life. I imagined a future of discord, awkwardness, and feeling incomplete in that relationship.
I let myself cry, and sleep, and read books for weeks in the middle of our most difficult time.
At just the right moment, I saw my ultimate barrier & concern: I thought that once we divorced I could no longer love, honor, and cherish him. I thought that divorcing itself was not an act of love and was somehow disrespecting the vows we made.
Once I noticed that mental barrier and saw how predictable and pervasive that barrier was (and how it limited what I thought I could do in life) I destroyed it, I threw it away, and, I stopped listening to every source that spoke about divorce and love in that predictable way.
You don’t have to notice and destroy all your barriers, but to really create what you want to have to start on razed ground – at zero.
Only when I had destroyed everything I thought I knew about life, love, and marriage, could I start to talk to my husband about a life of loving, honoring, and cherishing each other and being unmarried.
We have an entire new future of staying connected that wasn’t possible in the context of a “normal” divorce.
I’m going to challenge you with today’s post – you’re going to have to do a little work and I promise you the results will kick your butt.
Noticing the barriers and the context you live and work in is the most powerful thing you can do for your current and future success, so take 5 minutes to do this exercise.
1) Take a moment right now and identify 5-10 ideas you believe to be true about your business.
To start, take a look at the context you operate in, any rules you abide by, and any phrases using these words: should be, have to, need to, can’t, must, and don’t believe. Also, any statement including “that’s impossible!” counts, too.
Here are a few of my beliefs & constraints in my business:
- I have to create new content each week
- My new content has to be free
- My website must be professionally coded before I can charge premium prices
- It must be clear what I do for people
- I shouldn’t share too much about my personal life
- My posts should be inspirational
- My services need to be quick to be profitable and powerful
- I don’t think “woo woo” advice is as beneficial to helping your business as practical advice (Sign up for updates – I’ll come clean in next week’s blog post.)
- I don’t believe being exhausted has any value
- I should create some digital products so I have regular income.
2) Cross out the ones that currently work for you.
For example, I actually want to create digital products and like writing new blog posts each week. I also believe FUN is as critical to your success as work.
3) Take the ideas left on your list and ask yourself – if this statement wasn’t true, what could I do instead?
Fill in the blank: If I could throw away all the rules, I would want to do ______.
If your answers to Question #3 and what you really want are different from anything you wrote in Question #1, consider those “rules” to be a barrier or limiting belief you live in.
4) Now that you’ve noticed your barriers, create what you really want.
You don’t have to do anything when you notice your barriers, but try to play with them a little.
Indulge in the thought that if life didn’t have to be this way it could be that way.
Since this is a tough topic, share with me how you’ve discovered your barriers and limiting beliefs.
Have you ever found that a thought holding you back wasn’t real? What did you do when you discovered that?
Have you ever accomplished something others (or even you) thought was impossible?
Leave a comment below and let me know.
Thanks for the discussion each week. I’m enjoying your comments!