It’s a well-known and overused fact that at the core of everything we do or don’t do, is where our beliefs are based. Beliefs manage our expectations, help us develop a worldview of what is and isn’t possible, and then assign all activities to ‘possible.’
Through understanding what is possible, we stop ourselves from jumping off the side of buildings in order to get to the bottom quicker, or trying to fly; it’s ingrained in our subconscious that we can do things that are possible, and cannot do things that aren’t.
Simple. Until you consider, that you may be wrong.
This, of course, is another self-help cliché: that if you can believe in something, and drag it into the realm of possibility, then you can make it happen – but how do you do it?
The answer may lie not in the thing you want to achieve, but in changing your subconscious beliefs as to the nature of possibility versus impossibility.
Let’s look at impossible as a mental rule, something that is created by common sense and seemingly provable fact, and that you accept to be true, and worthy of adherence.
The thing is, that those rules and provable facts stack up on top of one another, based on more and more evidence.
You are almost hit by a car, and learn that you should look both ways before crossing the street. Falling into a swimming pool, you discover you cannot breathe underwater and learn to stay closer to the edge. After drinking too much alcohol, you swear off vodka for life. These are lessons learned, and enable you to avoid painful circumstances.
Then, you fall off a skateboard and learn that your balance is terrible. Failing miserably at art class, you discover that you are talentless when it comes to drawing. Both of these are just as provable to your subconscious as road safety, your lack of gills and vodka being evil. Perhaps you don’t pay as much attention to your lack of skateboarding ability as you used to, but it’s still a rule, forged by your subconscious and adhered to by you on a day-to-day basis.
You won’t try to ride a skateboard because you can’t. If anyone asks you, you will say you can’t draw.
The goal then becomes to teach your subconscious that certain things that it considers impossible are in fact possible. Rather than attempting to change a significant belief, such as a fear of public speaking, through outright confrontation, start smaller.
Using the skateboard example, make your way to a local park, and demonstrate to your brain that you can, in fact, ride a board. Or, if you’ve never been able to do long division, jump on YouTube and learn how – show your brain that it’s not impossible.
The difference will be immediate, and remarkable. When your brain comes to understand that it may be wrong, it opens itself up to other possibilities and the destruction of current impossibilities. You find yourself wondering, “can I do that?” where previously there would have been an instant assumption of impossibility.
Crucially, don’t try to find something that you aren’t very good at, or have some problems with – that’s not an impossibility, and will do nothing to reprogram the existing belief in your brain.
Confront that small yet powerful belief, forged unfairly, and probably many years ago, which you’ve chosen to lock away rather than face head on. Of course, the reason for locking it away, is usually that it doesn’t seem to matter anymore, but it’s been waiting for its time to shine, and now is that moment.
Because from the eradication of a small impossibility, will spread new ideas, and a newfound sense of confidence as your rules, beliefs, and behaviours change, and the impossible becomes possible.
Featured photo credit: Austin Neill via unsplash.com