“Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they’re yours,” I said rather pompously to a friend the other day. I was quoting Richard Bach, a hippy writer whose books I read as a kid.
“Argue against them, and they know you’re bullshitting,” my friend retorted. I thought that was worth considering.
Or as Barbara Sher wisely says, “Don’t stand in the middle of a superhighway and create your own reality.”
It is essential, as a sane, functional human being, to be in touch with reality. We don’t argue against gravity, we don’t stand in the middle of a busy street, and we generally avoid rage quitting our jobs without any plans for the future. This is called being a responsible adult. But reality being what it is doesn’t mean you have to just sit there and take it.
- A black person will never be president of the USA because our history is too fraught with racial problems.
- A woman can’t be an astronaut because she wouldn’t be able to meet the physical training standards.
- Humans will never fly because if God wanted us to fly we’d have wings.
- The internet won’t catch on because only geeks understand it.
- I’ll never be able to do what I love because I won’t make any money.
All of these statements are bullshit. If we believe them, they become self-fulfilling prophecies. If we reject them outright, maybe people think we’re wearing rose-colored glasses at first. But we can let go of the assumptions.
Instead of predicting what will or won’t happen in the future, pick a goal and work on it. Instead of telling yourself that your dreams are impossible, ask yourself, “What if there were a way?” What would that look like? How would it feel?
When you’re ready to start making things happen, talk about it. Tweet about it. Post it on Facebook. Make a Pinterest board for it. Let your wishes be known. This isn’t some magical visualization technique I’m giving you, it’s practical advice. If you start talking about big ideas, soon people will know you as “That chick with all the big ideas,” and when the right people hear about it, they will want to be part of what you’re up to.
And finally, don’t beat yourself up if things don’t go your way immediately. I must have tried hundreds of hair-brained schemes before I figured out how to do what I love in a sustainable way. We are in a constant process of evolution, and it takes practice and patience to move in the direction you want. We may never really “get there,” but we have the option to enjoy the journey.