“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I’m possible.” -Audrey Hepburn
Possibility. I just love this word. It’s rich and juicy – full of potential. It touches the unknown, too, so feels a bit mysterious, which brings with it a touch of intrigue. Doesn’t that all sound like fun? Let’s dive in and play with Possibility.
It’s quite tempting to get stuck in what we see around us – what we know to be true. And also to see limitations. Society likes to show us where there are limits – whether these are monetary, age-based, location-based, reason/reality-based etc. There are lots of reasons for this. For some, it feels safer to know the limits – ‘easier’ to work within the lines and boxes. Also, some people like to keep their dreams small – to not see too many possibilities – for fear they will be disappointed.
When I lived in Finland, a dear friend of mine was an expert of this mindset. I remember one time she had applied for a job she really wanted, and she was telling me all the reasons why she wouldn’t get it. I was re-directing her (even before I was a coach, I was a coach) and inviting her to see all the reasons why she was actually perfect for the job. She replied, “Yes, but if I don’t expect to get it, then I won’t be disappointed if I don’t.” I laughed heartily as this sounded preposterous to my optimistic ears.
This limited thinking, while it might feel safer, really short-changes our experience. It presupposes that we can only be happy if we get the outcome we want. While that might feel true, I know that experiencing things like possibility, in itself, can make us happy if we allow it to. Think about the word. Feel the word. It’s open and expansive. It’s full of newness and creativity – both seen and unseen. How can you not want to experience THAT? If you stay ‘safe’ in the limited thinking, you might not feel as disappointed if things don’t go as you wanted, but you don’t get to experience the amazing feelings of possibility either. What a waste – no matter what the outcome is.
Possibility is also just such an excellent reminder of limitless-ness. When my clients have become stuck in limitations – perhaps deciding how something will turn out, what next step to take or why someone reacted a certain way etc – I often invite them to come up with some other possibilities. Usually they have no problem with this once I ask. This opens up options and new perspectives – it widens the lens exponentially. And I always remind them that these are just the possibilities we see. How about all those others that haven’t revealed themselves yet?
Possibility is a magical place if we allow it to be. Some might say it’s not realistic to dream into possibilities and that may be true. But we’re not talking about being realistic, we’re talking about Possibility – THE place to dream, to stretch the limits either in small or big ways. And the place to relish in the feeling of this beautiful, rich word and concept. From HERE, you get to decide which action to take (or not) or which mindset to adopt.
Whether you know Possibility well right now or not, this week you’re invited to deepen your relationship a bit. This could be simply by exploring the word and the space around it, to think about things that have become possible in your life that you would’ve never dreamed possible, or to listen for ‘impossible possibilities’ – things that most would’ve thought impossible that proved possible. Or you can begin by thinking about a situation where you feel stuck or undecided. Then start listing all the possibilities – don’t hold back.
No matter how you play with Possibility this week, notice what it feels like to delve into it. Notice what’s possible when you allow yourself to play with Possibility.
This post was adapted from one originally published in 2016.