You have a dream, a vision, something that you want to achieve. It is so close, so real that you can almost touch it.
Then, before you can fully comprehend what has happened, it’s further away than it ever was before. It’s now out of sight and feels like it could be unreachable.
We hear examples all the time of a fight that suddenly becomes impossible. Perhaps, the most common of these is the example of ‘the wall’.
Runners and especially marathon runners are said to hit ‘the wall’, when they can no longer continue, mentally or physically. They have simply run out of energy and determination. What seemed possible, has suddenly become impossible.
All the more frustrating for these endurance athletes is that they tend to experience this about mile twenty. They have done the majority of the work, they only have six miles to go. The finish line is almost in sight.
When you hit ‘the wall’ you are presented with two choices:
You can push on and break through.
You can give up.
You don’t have to look very far to see a form of inspirational reference to ‘nothing is impossible’.
‘Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!’ – Audrey Hepburn
‘I won’t predict anything historic. But nothing is impossible.’ – Michael Phelps
‘Nothing is impossible. Some things are just less likely than others.’ – Jonathan Winters
However, inspiration can only take you so far, before you need something tangible. Something to tell you just how and why you should fight the impossible fight.
The first step towards overcoming your own impossible fight is understanding what has caused the metaphorical ‘wall’ to appear.
What Makes An Obstacle Impossible
Ever pondered whether anything truly impossible? That is a big question.
Theoretically, nothing is truly impossible. Realistically, it can certainly feel like some things are.
The concept of impossible lies predominantly in the mind. Whats going on around you can fuel the idea, but nevertheless, it’s all down to perception.
What you think and believe to be true, very much manifests itself into reality. If you believe that something is impossible, then you almost make it impossible for yourself.
Is your goal difficult?
Is your goal challenging?
Is your goal tiring?
Is your goal freeing?
The way that you perceive your goal is how you’re going to approach it.
If you approach a goal with the perception that it’s difficult and tiring, then it will very quickly feel impossible.
If you approach a goal with the perception that it’s challenging and freeing, then it will feel very possible.
So, what causes the perception of an obstacle or a goal to go from positive to negative?
Understanding Your Negative Mindset
Many things can cause a positive mindset to shift into a negative one.
You may have had a tiring day at work. Perhaps you’re stressed over something that’s out of your control. Maybe you didn’t get enough sleep the night before.
Once the first signs of negativity appear, it’s very difficult to arrest that slide and get rid of them. Gradually, they’ll start to infiltrate your thoughts, and affect unrelated parts of your life.
Having a negative mindset towards your goal could just be collateral damage from something else going on.
Or, there may have been a negative connotation surrounding what you want to achieve.
Maybe work is starting to pile up and you can’t stay on top of your goals. Perhaps things simply aren’t falling into place as you expected them to.
You can very quickly lose the positivity surrounding what you wanted to achieve when these feelings of negativity arise.
The reality is, our minds can often become biased to the negative. Much more so than to positive.
The Biased Nature Of The Mind
For all of us, events and experiences become a story in our minds. Almost like a story we read in a book or magazine.
These events and experiences can contain beautiful positive moments and some negative ones.
What shines through when it comes to remembering and replaying the event in our mind though, is very often the negative moments.
This distorts our whole perception of the event. What could have been 95% positive and 5% negative, feels like the reverse.
If you’re facing something that feels impossible, and have already ‘failed’ once, this is often what you will think of.
This then heightens the feelings of an ‘impossible’ task. Your mind will start to think impossible negative thoughts, not possible positive thoughts.
Is It a Success Or A Failure?
If you’ve put a goal in the ‘impossible’ category, then it’s essential that you go back and consider any ‘failures’. Failure is a harsh term, and very often, it’s wrongly attached to something.
What happened during that moment of failure? Did you indeed fail, or did you stop being resilient?
You can almost always find success in the event of ‘failure’. If you learnt something, then that’s one notch on the success bar.
Far too often we allow one event to mean that we stop fighting what suddenly feels like the impossible fight.
If you’re still learning, then you’re always succeeding. Nothing could be impossible if it’s presenting learning opportunities.
Maybe to change the outcome, you needed to be more resilient. Perhaps you ran out of courage at the finish line.
The time to give up the impossible fight is when you no longer want to achieve it.
If you still have some courage left, and a touch of resilience, then its time to jump back in the game.
How to Tackle ‘Impossible’ Obstacles
Ready to change your perception of impossible goals? It might not be the easiest path, but if you want something, then you can achieve it.
Taking down the impossible means changing your perception. Taking a hard look at those goals and saying:
‘You’re possible. I will achieve you!’
Start by banishing those negatives and switch the percentages around.
To conquer your goals, go on a mental diet. Think 95% positive and only 5% negative. Or just go one step further and fully commit and go 100% positive!
Start Thinking About the Positives
Take a good look at the negative thoughts that are stopping you from progressing.
Are they helpful, meaningful, or accurate?
Do they in any way help you to succeed in achieving your goal?
If the answer is no, then banish them from your mind.
Eliminate all the negative thoughts that impact your perception of impossible and think about the positives.
Going back to the concept of success and failure, think of those things that you have succeeded at. Embrace why you’re trying to make a change and think about what that change will mean for you.Think challenging and freeing, not difficult and tiring. Click To Tweet
Focus on Your Self-Confidence
When you have trust in your own abilities and can follow your judgement, then you can achieve anything. Because of this, self-confidence is one of the most important tools for facing impossible challenges.
Self-confidence can pick you up when you hit a rocky path. It can tell you what you can do. It can tell you where you need to improve.
Focusing on your self-confidence will help you to realise when to push and when to follow a new direction.
Build your self-confidence by listing your abilities and reinforcing what it is that you excel at. It could be creativity or determination, intelligence or compassion.
List them and remember them.
If you feel confident of your choices, then even if you make a mistake, you can learn from it.
Start Encouraging Yourself
Facing the impossible fight is exhausting. If it were easy, you wouldn’t have dubbed your own personal challenge as ‘impossible’.
There is nobody that can better encourage you to conquer it than yourself. Never forget to give yourself an encouragement boost at the easiest and hardest times.
Critiquing your work is essential for development. As the old saying goes ‘you are your toughest critic’.
Take a moment to make sure that the critique is positive.
‘I did this wrong.’
And start saying:
‘I did this right.’
Encourage yourself through the fight, don’t put yourself down and count yourself out too early.
Make Your Goals Achievable
Even the seemingly most impossible of obstacles can be broken down into smaller possible obstacles.
Let’s say your impossible fight is writing a book, then write the first chapter.
Also if your impossible fight is starting a new career, then take the first action to revamp your CV and look at job opportunities.
Imagine if your impossible fight is changing your whole life, then make the first change right now.
Achieving one small goal will give you a positive perspective. It will enable you to look at the bigger picture and say:
‘I did this, now I’m going to do this.’
With one success under your belt, the next might not come easier, but it will indeed be one step closer. For those impossible fights that are slipping further and further away, be proactive and reel them back in.
Ditch Your Comfort Zone
The reality is, what seems impossible, only looks that way because it’s outside of your comfort zone. An impossible fight filled with impossible obstacles is going to require you to leap out of your comfort zone.
Want to start a business but don’t know the first thing about starting a business? It may look impossible, but once you jump in and stay resilient, you’ll start learning.
Most of the best innovations in the world have started with a single question:
It’s very easy to stay wrapped up in what you know, it’s a safe place to be. If you test your limits though, you start to see what’s really possible.
You don’t need to start out at the deep end, you can start with something small. It doesn’t even have to be related to your goal.
If you can leave your comfort zone, for one thing, you can do it again and again. Over time, exploring the unknown will start to lose some of the negative feelings of worry, concern, and fear.
Keep Track Of Your Achievements
Every achievement is a success, don’t fall into the trap of forgetting them. Many people dwell on the negative but leave the positive forgotten.
Write down your achievements, check them off your list, and remember the feeling of succeeding. When it comes time for a test of resilience down the path, it pays to know that you can achieve.
Even if your success doesn’t feel like an achievement, embrace the positive side of it. Think about the input, not the output.
You may have worked for hours with determination, creativity, and confidence.
The end result not as you imagined?
It doesn’t matter.
You were determined, creative, and confident.
That does matter.
Record it as an achievement, use those traits, and try again.
There’s only so long the impossible can stay impossible in the face of resilience.
Think About Your Personal Situation
It’s very easy to dwell on what other people are doing.
For some, achieving comes so quickly. Nothing is impossible. It all falls readily onto their plate.
If you stay focused on what other people are doing, then you will never be able to focus on what you are doing.
Your own impossible fight is personal. The obstacles may look the same as somebody else’s, but they couldn’t be more different.Progress happens at different rates for different people. Click To Tweet
Everything you achieve improves you in some way.
With each new experience you encounter, you become a better person. Both those experiences that feel bad and those that feel good.
Expend all that valuable energy on overcoming your unique problems, not worrying about some else’s.
Be Courageous and Conquer Your Impossible Fight
The impossible fight will never get any easier the longer it’s left. Putting it off, sweeping it under the carpet, and occasionally glancing that way will never see you conquering it.
The time to conquer the impossible fight it is now.Be confident in yourself, be resilient, stay positive, and overcome the impossible obstacles. Click To Tweet
Impossibility sits in the mind only.
When your perception changes and you realise that impossible is just possible in disguise, you know it’s time to succeed.
Mistakes will likely occur, and you may feel ready to give up. You need to decide whether you’re the person who pushes through ‘the wall’, or the person that turns and runs.
Just remember: Everything is possible.