What does “impossible” mean to you?

I [subscribe/friend] a lot of [feeds/people] on [Twitter/Facebook] which have nothing to do with the world of photography. Some of them are daily quotes and inspirational feeds which, to be honest, I pass right over most days. Not because I don’t find value in it, but because like most people I’m too busy putting out fires to stop and breathe.

Here are a few of them I’ve come across recently…

“It is never too late to become what you might have become”  – George Eliot

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did”  -Mark Twain

“The Word Impossible is not in my dictionary.” –Napoleon Bonaparte

Good stuff. Inspirational for sure. And it got me thinking…

What really separates those who jump in feet-first from the ones that sit on the sidelines waiting for their opportunity to welcome them into the game?

Now I know there are many studies that have researched this very thing. And I know so much of it really boils down to perseverance. The mental toughness that pushes you through no matter what the obstacle.

But it also has to do with PERSPECTIVE. And perspective has to do with recognizing what’s important to you, what you’re willing to sacrifice to get there, and what you want to do once you do get there.

But this perspective-thing has another side. And it is about how we take in the world around us. How we view others who are successful. And how much we care about what others think of what we are doing (especially those people who really don’t have a role whatsoever in our success).

I’ve always admired those people that seem to have it all figured out. Those people that appear to have everything so easy. The ones that have a great deal of success along with the admiration and respect of others. The person that seems to have no self-doubt, no worries about failure and an endless stream of unwavering confidence that propels them into bigger and greater things.

And the reality? Very few of us see what happens to anyone behind the scenes. We don’t see the sacrifice, the self-doubt, the failures. We see whatever that person CHOOSES for us to see. And with social networking, that is even more the case. And it’s natural, right? Most people choose to share their successes far more often than their failures. It’s human nature.

But knowing that can help us frame our own “impossible”. Does it feel that way because someone else does it with ease? Is it that we are afraid to put ourselves out there because we might fail? Are we worried that there are so many others that are “better”, so we can’t possibly compete? Whatever the reason, recognize where that feeling of “impossible” is coming from. And that awareness can give us the fuel to push through the uncertainty, the fear of failure, the fear of unapproval. Everyone faces the same human emotions…. no one is exempt. But you have the power to reframe it.

Are we going to make mistakes? Of course. And like I tell my kids… the only way to grow and learn is through mistakes (good advice by the way).

What does impossible mean to you? Because if you’re defining it through fear, then impossible will always win.

Don’t let it.

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