Always continue the climb. It is possible for you to do whatever you choose, if you first get to know who you are and are willing to work with a power that is greater than ourselves to do it.
~Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Do you have big dreams or goals? Do they feel unobtainable or impossible?
Take heart, dear friend, because in the end, nothing is impossible.
Seven years ago, I took a position at the bottom of a prominent fast food chain. In just two short months, I managed to work my way up to manager, and I was given my own store – a store that had been on the brink of being shut down.
I quickly worked to turn things around. Sales, performance, food quality and safety improved drastically. I was making a salary that supported my entire family. To anyone on the outside, it looked as though I’d achieved success.
But I was miserable.
Long, brutal hours meant I spent very little time with my family. By the time they woke up in the morning, I was already at the store.
I rarely made it home before late evening. More times than not, there would be an emergency at the store and I’d head off to handle it, usually returning after they’d gone to bed.
The walls came crashing down after I learned that I was pregnant with our fourth child. I’d missed out on so much with my other children, and I couldn’t bear the thought missing out on all those little things again.
I wanted to actually spend time being a mom.
Without so much as a rudimentary plan, I put in my resignation. Over the next year, I spent time at home with my four children and I loved every minute of it. But I still had this desire to do something amazing; I just couldn’t put my finger on what it might be.
A few months later, I heard about freelance writing. I was intrigued, but the opportunity didn’t really register.
I’d given up my dreams of being a writer long ago and hadn’t written anything in years. Besides, there was no way I could manage a household, care for four children and successfully start my own business from scratch….or could I?
I did my research and eventually found a company that would pay me a small fee for my work. In addition to that nominal fee, I received feedback and suggestions on how I could improve. Slowly but surely, my writing improved, and before I knew it, I found myself telling people, “I’m a writer!”
It wasn’t any easy road, nor was the journey short. Though I could pretty much decide when and how much I wanted to work, there were odd hours. In fact, my husband pretty much took over the care of our children for a while so I could become established.
Today, I find myself turning down clients because I just don’t have the room for any more. I make an income comparable to what I would make working part-time at my local convenience store, but I work fewer hours to accomplish that income.
And my writing has improved so much that I’ve decided to pursue yet another passion: fictional writing.
Nothing is Impossible
Take a moment to look at the world around you and notice all the “impossible” things.
Airplanes, which weigh thousands of pounds, fly through the air, transporting people and cargo across the country in just a matter of hours.
Through cell phones and computers, we connect with people we’ve never even met in real life, sending them messages in a matter of mere seconds.
People once believed these things were impossible, and yet they are a part of our everyday lives. Someone took that impossibility and made it possible. You can too.
Making the Impossible Possible
How can you make your impossible goals a reality? I believe it all starts with making the impossible possible.
1. Determine what obstacles make your goal feel so impossible.
By identifying these hurdles, you can put them into perspective and make a plan for overcoming them.
Years of not writing made my goals of becoming a writer seem impossible. Instead of allowing this to stand in the way of my dreams, I sought out a company that would allow me to write, but that would also provide feedback so I could improve.
2. Break it down.
Rather than focusing on the large, long-term goal, break it down into smaller, more manageable goals. Celebrate each milestone because these are a step in the right direction.
3. Failure is only feedback.
Embrace your mistakes and view them as learning experiences rather than failures. Rather than allow myself to become disheartened by negative reviews, I used them as a tool for growth.
I reminded myself that, like most things, writing is a constant learning experience.
4. Keep checking in.
Is your goal something that you can measure? When will you know when you’ve accomplished what you’ve set out to do?
For me, it was earning an income comparable to what I would have made at a regular job.
When the Impossible STILL Feels Impossible
I am a HUGE Dr. Seuss fan, and one of my favorite books is Oh, the Places You’ll Go. Though there are many interpretations, this beloved children’s book reminds us that nothing is impossible, and indeed, you can accomplish anything.
However, there will be “bang-ups and hang-ups” along the way. The following points may help you effectively deal with them:
If you’re not checking off any of your short-term goals, it may be time to reassess. Maybe your goals weren’t set up in a realistic manner, or maybe you’ve learned that those smaller goals aren’t going to get you to where you need to be.
You may also find that your long-term goal has changed.
Whatever the case, use this reassessment time to reflect and consider what’s working for you and what isn’t.
Sometimes our goals change; we grow, change our point of view or we realize that our original goal was just the start of a bigger plan.
For me, becoming a copywriter reminded me that I had once wanted to write fictional novels. That desire has led me to revise my long-term plan.
While I still work as a copywriter, I hope to eventually phase out that part of my profession by replacing it with more time writing fiction.
Seek Out Resources
When trying to accomplish big dreams, the saying “No man is an island” couldn’t be more true. Sometimes we need the help of others to make our goals a reality.
For example, my goal of becoming a novelist has required me to stop outside of my comfort zone. I’ve sought out fellow authors, editors, book cover artists, bloggers and more.
For you, resources may include help with certain aspects of your goal, or it may simply mean finding a support system that can cheer you on when things start to feel impossible.
Remember to be gentle with yourself. Ask for help when you find yourself in a rut. Welcome mistakes and learning opportunities, and don’t be afraid to reassess or revise your goals.
If I can accomplish my goals, so can you. It doesn’t matter if they’re different, or if you need to take different steps to get there. The point is that in life, nothing is impossible unless you allow it to be.
Image by Vincent Boiteau.