You know that really big goal that you want to accomplish? The one you can’t stop thinking about – that dream you wholeheartedly want and sometimes even wonder how you can possibly achieve it? There is a powerful question that helped me lay the groundwork to accomplish some of my biggest goals – and I’ve seen it do the same for others. The first time I heard it, it resonated so deeply with me because I knew there were habits and thinking patterns I would need to change in order to get to my vision. The question is this:
Who would you have to become in order to accomplish your biggest goal?
What holds us back most is usually us. Getting out of your own way means being willing to make changes, face fear and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Research shows we typically have either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset in the face of challenges. A fixed mindset believes your talents and intelligence are set. A growth mindset believes that where you are today is just the beginning, and you have far more capacity for growth and learning than you realize.
I was talking to one of our children recently about a challenging class. She’s really bright and she’s gotten a few not-so great grades in a class. She said to me sadly, “I’m just not good at this subject.” It hurt my heart and I could feel her pain – the frustration of having had success in the past, and then suddenly realizing that at this new level, success is harder to come by.
Have you ever been there? Have you ever concluded, “I’m just not good at that”? The problem with that line of thinking is that sometimes there are challenges that require you to stretch in areas that feel uncomfortable in order to achieve the goal you desire. It’s not enough to conclude you can’t do it.
So I said to her, “You might feel like you’re not good at it, but you may just have to put forth more effort than you have in the past. You’re getting older, and expectations are getting higher. It might not come as easily, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. You might just have to change your approach and your mindset about it.” In other words, she’s going to have to become the kind of student who puts forth more effort when things get more difficult. And you know what? In a short time, the extra effort has already begun to pay off for her in big ways. Her confidence is up – and so is her grade.
For all of us, when we come up against a challenge, we must sometimes accept that there are things that worked in the past that won’t work at the next level. What got you to this point, won’t get you to that point. Who will you have to become in order to accomplish the goal that you really want to accomplish? And are you willing to do that? That’s really the ultimate question. What’s the shift that you have to make? What would you have to put in place in order to do that? What would you have to change in your environment? Who might you have to change in your environment? Those are all choices you get to make, and if you make them and you’re consistent with them, you will become the kind of person who can accomplish the goal that you really want. This is the internal work. It can be hard, but it’s worth it, and you can do it.