Whenever someone wants to create change in their life, whether it be to their body, their home, their relationships, their career, their income, or all of the above, they first have to be able to develop a positive concept of “what is possible”. It is from that place of positive possibilities that they can determine what the next steps will be, for otherwise they would not know where to start.
What is Possible?
The answer to that question depends entirely on who you ask! What’s interesting about ‘what is possible?’ is that the answer is not a one-size-fits-all solution as some health, interior design, relationship, career, and/or financial experts would claim. It is really a range of answers, a realm if you will, from the easiest to more difficult, from the very small to the grandest of grand to that which has never been considered…and the answer is constantly changing as the universe evolves!
Every person’s realm of possibility is the unique intersection between what they have heard others accomplishing and what they can currently imagine is possible in their minds. Why is this so important? People act on what they believe is possible for them. If they don’t believe they can do better, they rarely try. Plus, each person is going to have a realm of possibility that is slightly different from others, pre-set by what they learned was possible in their youth, and based on life experiences. Someone growing up poor being told ‘you can’t have what you want’ has a much different pre-set realm of possibility than one who grew up wealthy being told ‘you can have anything you desire, and you deserve the best that life has to offer’. Furthermore, if as an adult you’ve received additional feedback about ‘what is possible for you’, that also goes into the realm of possibilities. Are you getting a picture of how complicated this can be? Can you see that how you were raised may be slightly less important that the kinds of personalities support you as an adult? Can you see how co-creation is more difficult between parties who have opposing realms of possibility?
Many people, if they haven’t heard of others doing something will conclude that it simply cannot be done (which is rarely true) and will not even try. If they are surrounded by people who do not support their desires to be better and do better, they might give up. However, if they have the support of those around them and a creative sense or internal vision of the possibility, they will make an effort…some even feel compelled to try. This is how inventors come up with stuff the rest of us say, “Brilliant idea…why didn’t I think of that?” Engineers who find break-through solutions have done so from an expanded viewpoint of what’s possible. Inventors are willing to open their minds to a greater realm of ‘what is possible?’. Scientists who make great breakthroughs, artists who create new mediums, all of the people who go beyond the barrier of ‘what is possible’ have the same thing in common: A willingness to challenge preconceived ideas and allow themselves to imagine a better way.
Extreme Makeovers: Who Holds the Vision for Improvement?
Unless you have permanently unplugged your TV, or never owned one, you have likely seen one of the many makeover shows on TV. There have been makeover shows on virtually every theme possible: losing weight, improving wardrobes, decorating or renovating new rooms and/or entire homes, improving physical features or looks…you name it. I often wonder: What happens to the ‘made over’ after the cameras are gone? How does someone, who has a low opinion of themselves, move forward when others have shown them the possibilities to do and be better?
Recently, I saw a makeover show on Food Network where an award-winning chef and interior designer came into a run-down restaurant to help the owner improve their business by making over the entire restaurant. New menu and new restaurant decor. The restaurant had been successful once, but started going downhill and never recovered. Anyone walking into the restaurant could see (and smell, according to the chef, and probably taste) why the restaurant was suffering…anyone, except the owner and his family. They were used to the sights and smells, and had developed a mind-set that it was too hard to change. They no longer saw the possibilities for improvement. They needed outside help to change.
It was also very clear to see that the award-winning experts had a much grander vision of what was possible than the failing restaurant owner. The owner was so stuck in the negativity surrounding the failing of his business that he had a hard time accepting the suggestions of the chef and interior designer. He had not been able (or willing) to see their vision and was highly critical of their efforts until the restaurant makeover was complete. Once he actually stepped into the new vision for his restaurant, and sat down to taste the new menu items, then he was able to grasp what was possible. As a result, he’s kept up with the improvements, and the restaurant is now much more successful than ever before.
That episode of Restaurant Makeover illustrates why so many people stay stuck when they are spirally downward, unable to correct the problems and change course. On one level, they do want improvements, to change their course, shift their experience—but they are so mired in the “what is” that they are unable to envision something greater, something better, something beyond. They absolutely need someone who can see more options, who isn’t mired in “what is”, and can create the space for greater possibility where none existed before. And they must be able to listen without judgement to suggestions that are offered. For many people, that is really hard to do! But, it’s not impossible.
Making Big Changes
So, what do you do when you know big changes need to happen, but you aren’t quite sure change is possible? Here are some suggestions that have worked for me:
Step 1: Decide It starts with deciding that you are ready and want to make big changes. Whatever change you are envisioning will require stepping outside of your comfort zone, and believing something greater is possible. It absolutely cannot be done unless you are committed to the process.
Step 2: Seek help Can you do this on your own? Most people cannot make big changes without the assistance of someone else. We need someone who isn’t emotionally involved in our life to show us other possibilities. Seek an advisor, mentor, coach or counselor who will hold you accountable and help you shift out of your pre-set preconceptions about what is possible for you. Most people choose a coach or counselor because they are readily available, ready to start immediately, and already experienced in helping others.
Step 3: Raise your vibration Allow your subconscious to connect the dots for you. Meanwhile, go do some fun things…go for a walk in the sunshine, play with your pets, visit friends, spend time with loved-ones, meditator, journal, watch an uplifting movie, or whatever you identify as fun for you. Use this time to life yourself vibrationally, and refresh yourself mentally and emotionally. You’ll need to repeat this step many times between the other steps to keep your mind relaxed. A stressed mind will not be helpful.
Step 4: Research Find out what the most successful people in the related industry are doing. If you want to lose weight, find out what the experts suggest for diet, exercise, and supporting therapies. These days, the web is a great place to begin searching. Refrain from pre-judging what you read about or deciding that you don’t have the money or resources to do what others have done. Just concentrate on finding out what others have done as it might spur other ideas.
Step 5: Brainstorm Then, it’s time to ask your imagination to provide solutions: Brainstorm ideas, and withhold judgment of any single idea until later. Just let the ideas flow forth. Write down whatever ideas come to you. The more you try this technique, the more ideas will flow. You can even ask the person assisting you to brainstorm with you, if they are willing. Ask first. Most mentors and coaches will do this, but I am not sure about all counselors as different kinds of therapies have different approaches.
Step 6: Take a break before reviewing Remember to rest your mind regularly during this process, and allow yourself to have fun doing things that feel good. Once you feel you have completed your research and brainstorming, set the information aside, and again, go do some fun things. Let your mind relax, while the subconscious works out some solutions. When you are relaxed and feeling good, review your compiled list of ideas. Notice which ideas feel good, even if you are unsure about how to do it, or fear you don’t have the resources/time/money/whatever to go that route. The ones that feel good are the best options for you. This is where a coach or counselor can really help you believe in yourself. Also, notice what new ideas come to mind that might be better options for you. For instance, if you’ve always wanted to learn to dance, consider taking lessons as a way to learn AND get aerobic exercise.
Step 7: Pay attention for right action Right action is the action that is, deep in your heart, right for you. Once your subconscious mind begins to work on these ideas of what’s possible, and you’ve reviewed your research and braingstorming, you may begin noticing opportunities. New information may be sent to you. New ideas will pop into your awareness. Hybrid ideas—a combination of what has been and done what really appeals to you—may bubble up. Be willing to consider ideas that may have seemed out of reach. Pay attention to everything that shows up or comes to mind, and how you feel about each idea.
Follow and take action on everything that feels good to you! The way you feel is guidance for what is best for you…your right action. When you feel sure about a certain action, take it. When you feel unsure or doubtful, move on. A good advisor, mentor, coach or counselor will support you in stepping out of your comfort zone and into the right choices for you.
Had the restaurant owner, in the makeover mentioned above, made a decision early on to improve his business, and sought out professionals while he could affor them, he may have never needed the makeover. His thinking would have been clearer and less driven by the stress of impending failure. He would likely have visualized regularly and contemplated ‘making the impossibles possible’, until his mind began to direct his attention toward workable solutions. However, most people are like the restaurant owner and tend not to take action until they are in a dire situation. Too bad. So much more can be done if you begin these steps early and don’t sabotage yourself by waiting until it is ‘too late’.
Is there something in your life that you are now committed to changing? Let me know when you decide.
© 2004-2009 Nancy Barry-Jansson and AffirmingSpirit.com. All rights reserved worldwide.
About the Author
Nancy Barry-Jansson is an AffirmingSpirit Teacher | Mentor | Coach, as well as an illustrator and the creator of AffirmingSpirit™ Affirmation Cards, sold online through AffirmingSpirit.com. A 30+ year student of metaphysical teachings, Ms. Barry-Jansson specializes in working with professional creative women in their 30s-40s who are ready to bring a spiritual focus to their life, improve health/financial/relationship issues, and discover their true power. AffirmingSpirit offers free and low-cost products, as well as individual coaching. You may contact Ms Barry-Jansson here.