What if we were all a little more audacious in our ambitions? Imagine what would be achieved.
Audacious, really? Swimming the English Channel, madness to me! Changing the structure of an organisation to support its core business in the face of many self serving agendas? Audacity? Becoming the CEO of a large organisation in need of change? Having the family life that you have always wanted, changing careers mid stream to follow your passion, running the City to Surf when a year ago running 10 mins was unthinkable – all outrageous… Beyond audacious!
It’s interesting that we each know what a stretch is for us, however often others want to judge that. We judge others efforts through our own filters. The thought of swimming 43 kilometers, in the cold ocean wouldn’t even come into my realm of possibility but the person who’s dream it is has been swimming all his life. While very challenging on a number of fronts, they know its possible, they can feel it! It’s audacious because its grand, few people achieve it and it requires great organisation and huge commitment and they have passion for, that real fire in the belly.
I don’t think we see enough everyday people, you and I, being audacious.
“It seems to me that people have vast potential. Most people can do extraordinary things if they have the confidence or take the risks. Yet most people don’t. They sit in front of the telly and treat life as if it goes on forever.”
Firstly, we need to get out of own way. We let our fears and doubts harpoon our audacious thoughts, keeping us away from our potential. “I couldn’t do that” “others will think I’m an idiot/ arrogant/ getting too big…” “who do I think I am?” We limit our dreaming when we go straight to the “how” and can’t work it out immediately, we focus on the details that make it seem to difficult, killing the dream before it’s had a chance to fully form. We might even replay old stories of a failure, or what we were told as a child.
Then if our dream has survived our own sabotage, we open it up to others. Some of our dear others will be supportive, seeking ways they can encourage us and help us achieve our dream. Then there are the “others”. We could say they become the external manifestation of our own little doubts. “Oh are you sure that just isn’t a bit too much?” “Sounds a bit risky, don’t you think?” “Are you sure that’s possible?” “Where will you get the money?” And on and on it can go.
These questions can be well intended – these ‘others’ not wanting you to be at risk AND these concerns are often projections of their own fears, the acknowledgement that they wouldn’t be so audacious, so big!
Now I’m not discounting the role of an objective person helping you work out the possibility of your dream (and potentially mitigating a very unrealistic goal) through helpful questions like “Tell me a little more about what you’re hoping to achieve?” “What steps can you take to sure up this dream?” Or “what input do you need to determine if it’s achievable?”, I’m talking about the naysayers.
Some of us rally against the naysayer and for others the seeds of doubt in the questions are little darts bursting our bubble of audacity.
Then there is our good Aussie culture, sadly known for the “tall poppy syndrome” not always so supportive of people stepping outside the mediocre seeking to achieve great things, move into their potential. And isn’t this a shame?
Audacious dreams take a lot. They need imagination, courage, perseverance and effort. Often they need time, resources and always dedication. What important characteristics to be practicing! And of course, when our dreams have been achieved we have grown, our potential stretched. I know for me, when I have achieved something a little bit audacious, I even feel taller, my self belief stronger and I know I can achieve more!
So audacious dreaming, lets make the way for much more! Lets encourage each other in our dreams, careful not to project our own fears or doubts on to someone else’s dream. How can we recognise a dream in the making and support and encourage the person being audacious?
Collectively lets all take a big deep breathe and look for our own audacious dream. What exciting, terrifying dream can we pursue that will grow our self belief, and stretch us into our potential? Sidestep the doubts and stretch – our world and your own world will be a better place for it!
Some ideas to get started, you might want to play with these questions in a journal, mind map them, draw, doodle, contemplate quietly, go for a reflective walk; take an approach that you know will be most helpful to you!
- If you knew you would be enormously successful what would you go and do?
- If you could bring all of yourself into a pursuit, be all you could be, what would you be achieving?
- Is there something you have always wanted to do but have found too many excuses have gotten in the way?
- Imagine you were 80 (unless of course you are 80), thinking back over your life, writing to yourself, what have you have achieved, what you are proud of? Write about what you are grateful for and what fears you may have conquered along the way. Include any key events, key decisions and what has helped you keep on your true path. Are there any audacious dreams that fall out of this imagining?
I would love to hear about your audacious dreams!