The most powerful secret of consistent goal achievers, people who exceed all expectations, the top 2% in whatever field they’re in, is in the mastery of one simple question!
“If you knew you could not fail, how big would you allow yourself to dream?”
Be honest! Ask yourself how much your current thinking might change if you KNEW you could not fail! If you could eliminate all restrictions and constraints on your success, how much additional confidence might you have? Your answer to this question is critical to your future. Many entrepreneurs and business people have an innate lack of confidence. They sometime over analyze opportunities to a point of making bad decisions. I ask this question to each and every client that I work with in my business coaching practice and I never cease to be amazed at some of the answers I get. Even when I remind the client that it’s just an exercise and we’re just playing the “what if” game, many will balk. When I emphatically make the point that all constraints would be removed, that success would be guaranteed if they just moved forward, I still get looks of fear and anxiety and low confidence.
This question works at a number of levels. On one hand it is a test of your faith, faith in yourself; faith in your business; faith in your idea. Just how passionate are you? How willing are you to have a vision and stand by it and pursue it no matter what the obstacles might be. On another level the question can be a benchmark for someone who is considering pursuing a business or product idea. I guarantee you that based on your answer; you can measure your chances for success or failure! Which brings us to the reality that this question can expose as inherent fear of failure. Regina Dugan directs the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), where their entire business plan and its success or failure is based on asking “The Question”. Dugan summarizes the process by saying, “I’m not encouraging failure. I am discouraging the fear of failure.” “ Fear of failure constrains us and amazing things STOP happening.” She goes on to say, “Remove the fear of failure and impossible things suddenly become possible. The fear of failure constrains us and it keeps us from attempting great things!”
In research conducted by a major university, a large sample group of entrepreneurs were studied in the effort to find out what the key contributing factors were to being a successful entrepreneur and business person. The results were remarkable. Age did not matter; Income did not matter; title did not matter; gender, heritage, ethnicity, education and experience were not significant contributing factors. In fact there was only one primary similarity that they all shared… just one. The trait that they all shared was simply the willingness to (at some point) step out in faith! This means that every one of these people had decided that enough research and planning had been done. Enough worry and investigation and training had been completed. That whether they were completely ready or not, it was time to launch, to step out and begin their journey. To dive in and go through the process of failing, learning, adjusting and then do it again.
They had indeed asked and answered the question, ““If you knew you could not fail, how big would you allow yourself to dream?” In doing so, they allowed themselves to dream and imagine the possibilities, and in that process learning that more was possible than they ever would have imagined prior to asking the question.
Think about how different our world might be if not a single person was willing to allow their selves to dream. In 1895 Lord Kelvin proclaimed that “heavier than air flying machines were impossible!” In 1904, Ferdinand Foch, a revered French Army General said “Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value!” Yet in a relatively short span of time, on October 14, 1947, Chuck Yeager flew faster than the speed of sound! The act of thinking and allowing dreams to happen has consistently changed mankind!
Force yourself this week to accomplish this one action item. Ask yourself the question. Don’t analyze or pre-judge on whether your answers are possible or even probable. That’s not the purpose of this exercise. How big can you ALLOW yourself to dream? That’s the question. Have some fun! Who knows, you may surprise yourself and change the world….your world at least!
If you need some assistance with “the question” let me know. That’s what I’m here for.