Are you seeing closed signs or are you open to possibilities and creating the success and experience you want…in your business or any other part of your life for that matter. Are you making choices or are you following the crowd, believing what “they” say you can’t do? Are you ready to Go For Extraordinary!TM
“In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.” – Cassiu Longinus
I live a block from the beach. A few times a year they close the road along the beach for special events, a 5k run, etc. This was one of those days. I had somewhere I wanted to be. There is only one way out of my street… through the closed road. I got ready and walked outside, and this is where it got amusing…
On my way to my car one of my neighbors, who could obviously tell I was planning on going somewhere by my outfit, nicely informed me that the road was closed. She told me that I would not be able to drive out. I smiled and said, “Really?” with a thoughtful head shake. And kept walking. I got in my car and started to drive. Again, another kind neighbor stopped me and told me that I couldn’t go because the road was closed. She then went on in detail to tell me how her husband had tried earlier and they hadn’t let him through. My response, “Oh…hmmm?” kind of thoughtfully.
What I was thinking was, “How interesting that they let that stop them.” It made me think about how different we are, the choices we make in moments like this. How some of us see “road closed” signs as things to stop us. Where others, like me, as merely an opportunity. It also was a clear allegory of how our beliefs and perceived limitations impact our experiences, our work, our life, how far we go and what we do. They believed it wasn’t possible… and for them, it wasn’t. They made their belief true. And I made my beliefs true too.
“When the defining moment comes, either you define the moment, or the moment defines you.” – Tin Cup
Our beliefs and perceived limitations create our lives. Beliefs about what’s possible for our selves, our business, or any other area of our life… before I go into more detail about that and you and your business, let me go on with the story.
What were my options that day as I pulled up to the “Road Closed” attendant? Stop and think of a couple choices before you read on… What would you have done?
What did I do? I drove up to the attendant at the “Road Closed” sign. My window was open and I had a smile on my face. As the person walked up I asked, “Is there any way I can get through? I just need to go a block to get on a through street.”
The attendant leaned over as if we were conspiring, and said with a big grin, “If you wait just a minute, there’s a space between runners and we’ll sneak you through.” She and I shared a look, a laugh, and in a moment, I was on my way. (And I think the whole experience left us both feeling good. I know it did for me and in my rear view mirror, I saw her smiling.)
That day, I created my path.
We have these choices every day in our businesses, our lives, our experiences, our health, our relationships. You name it. Sometimes we are aware of that moment of choice, sometimes not. It’s all based on our beliefs in what’s possible.
Often we decide what’s possible by what’s going on around us. We think that what we experienced in the past, or by looking at our present, or looking around us (in our industry, our business, our friends businesses, and what people tell us) is the only thing possible versus deciding what we want to build. The result is recreating the status quo.
“The absence of courage in our society, is not cowardice. The absence of courage is conformity” – Rollo May
It’s like when we used to crawl. That was what we knew, that was what we did, and that’s what the other babies did. We could have believed that there wasn’t anything else, no other way to get around because “that’s what everyone was doing”. Luckily, there were others walking, we believed maybe we could too… and guess what? We did. We had to take risks. We had to do what we’d never done before and what we weren’t sure we could. We fell on our butts. We got back up and fell again and again. Then we learned to walk.
The funny thing is, we have a life history of going beyond our perceived limitations, beyond our beliefs about what’s possible in so many ways. And, what I often do as a coach is help people see and believe that the way business is, is not the way it has to be. To see that there is a bigger, better way… more values, more empowering, greater success and fulfillment. And, that they can do it.
“We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.” Max DePree
Are there things about your business that you’re doing because that’s what everyone does? It’s “normal”, the status quo, it’s what’s expected in your industry. Are there limits you’ve set on your self, your success, your business, etc. because that’s what others have said is possible, that’s what they accept, or because that’s what you’ve always done?
“Burnout doesn’t occur because we’re solving problems; it occurs because we’ve been trying to solve the same problems over and over.” Susan Scott, “Fierce Conversations”
No matter where you are today, you have the opportunity to create your own path, to go where you want to go… to Go For Extraordinary!TM It starts with the little choices each day…
Is the road really closed or is that just a sign post? And is it just a sign to keep the timid out?
What do you really want to do with your business? Who do you want to be? Think outside the box, what really is possible for you and through your business? And… What will you do next time you see a “Road Closed” sign, or hear it in your head?