You Can’t Do That!


That’s impossible.
You are crazy if you think that is going to work!
What are you thinking, that is never going to happen.

We have all heard these types of responses at one time or another. Whether you shared a big dream with a family member or expressed an innovative idea at work, there are always those who will hold up a hand and say, no, you can’t do that. It just can’t work.

Deflated, many of us just accept others’ truths and abandoned the idea or the dream and forever be limited by someone else’s fears. Getting discouraged isn’t uncommon. Most people don’t realize they are trying to snuff out your dreams, they see it as their way of saving you pain and time. But ultimately, their good intentions may be clouded with their own feelings of inadequacy that holds them back from bigger and better opportunities.

Fighting off discouragement is difficult but consider these alternative strategies before you resign yourself to letting of an audacious dream or idea dissolve.

  • Be patient and take the long view. Nothing is achieved without some setbacks.
  • Failure isn’t the end, it’s a part of the education you need to achieve the goal.
  • Make your vision tangible, write it down and share it with others no matter what they say.
  • Put your ego on pause. Be open to criticism and feedback without it crushing you. Take in the positive and constructive information and discard the rest.
  • Realize that your path is unique. Don’t measure yourself by other’s experiences.
  • Get started, focus on the actions not the rewards.
  • Consider changing your definition of success. Where there is growth there is success.
  • Consider changing the people you hang out with. Your circle of influence should be filled with supporters not detractors. Find a band of cheerleaders to help you stay on course.
  • Get a mentor or coach. Find an objective voice to give you objective feedback that is constructive and candid but has not hidden agendas.
  • Find a way to help others to help you move forward. Giving of yourself will bring you many rewards.

Often those that derail or discourage you are actually scared of what you could accomplish. If you achieve your goals and dreams it might mean you are leaving them behind. Brad Sugars’ founder and CEO of ActionCOACH say “What people think about you is none of your business”. Relying on others to define you squanders your potential. Those limits and restrictions are based on others bias not your actual abilities or your potential.

But sometimes detractors are right. You are not able to reach a goal or achieve a specific dream based on your current knowledge and education. Who you are today, is not the person you need to be to achieve a big outcome. You need to learn, grow and develop skills to achieve your goals. Remember if success were easy, everyone would be doing it. You must acquire knowledge, get education, gain experience before you can accomplish big things and live your dreams. So, remember that those that can’t see who you will become will not be able to see the dreams and goals you will achieve. They are limited by what they know and don’t have all the information, education and skills either. They base the failure to launch based on their own shortcomings.

Relying on others to chart your success path is also a crutch. It’s your choice to stay stuck. You have to flip the script and start practicing affirmations and visualization to see yourself accomplishing your dreams. Walt Disney said, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible”. Time to get on the ride and believe in yourself and your abilities.

Use negative or limiting feedback to fuel your fire. There is nothing more satisfying than proving an adversary wrong. Find motivation in others’ disbelief. True visionaries are rarely stopped for long. Obstacles and challenges seem to unleash a hidden power and a desire to overcome. Consider some of the world’s most challenged innovators, Steve Hawkins and Helen Keller for example. Both faced severe physical impairments and limitations and still changed the world. Why can’t you change your little corner of the sky?

ActionCOACH uses a simple progression to articulate the path to achieving success. Follow this path to achieve even the loftiest goals.

To start the process, Dream Big!

Contact your Pinnacle ActionCOACH to get started today. 

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