How often do you start a sentence about an idea with "I can't", or "I am not ready to..."? You are in a conversation about your work or your business, or whatever. A thought pops up, and suddenly you find yourself uttering those words.
The problem with these words is that they often leak out before we had time to consider them. Could we do it? I can't begin to tell you how many times perfectly wonderful opportunities landed in my lap, and my first reaction was to push it right off. Oh, no. Not here. Not now. I can't. I don't want to do that. No. It isn't right for me.
But, fortunately, I have reconsidered my initial response in some of those cases, and found myself thinking maybe I spoke too quickly. Maybe, I could. Maybe, I should. Maybe I would be a fool not to. When you do that enough times, you start to slow down that knee jerk response of immediate dismissal. You start to realize that often times what is happening is that you are protecting the status quo, rather than listening to your heart. You are making a decision based on emotion and fear rather than any good rationale. Nowadays, I am more likely to say, "I'll have to think about that," if I am faced with an idea that seems out of the question.
If you find yourself in this "I can't" mode, stop for a minute and play with the idea of "What if....." What if you said yes? What possibilities might open up to you? Maybe no was the right answer. But make sure what you are turning down or rejecting is really not a good idea. Or allow yourself to at least begin the journey, with the knowledge that you can return to more familiar ground at any time. Just because you put your foot in the water, it doesn't mean you are committing to a mile swim.
Susan Lumoto is doing some wonderful exploration with polymer clay right now and sharing it in her blog. Exploring textures and forms. Not sure exactly where it is going, but knowing that she needs to just say yes to the exploration, and she doesn't need to know where or why just yet. Her daughter made a suggestion about making the forms into jewelry, and rather than rejecting the suggestion, and saying, "No, I hadn't planned for this to be jewelry," she went ahead and listened. She played around with the suggestion, and a gorgeous bracelet emerged. I hope she continues to play with the the vessels...they are very cool! But clearly, Susan is onto a wonderful new path, full of new discoveries.
She is just one example of someone who has opened themselves to the possibilities. There are many, many more. Try to pay attention when you find yourself presented with an opportunity that "doesn't make sense for you." Give yourself permission to rethink your initial response. Maybe the next time some wonderful opportunity lands in your lap you will embrace it rather than shoo it away! Or at least give yourself time to think about it more fully. It is scary sometimes to realize how often the very things we want and need are presented to us, and we push it away. Fortunately, those chances have a way of coming around again, and again, in new forms. Eventually, if we are lucky, we begin to open ourselves up to the possibilities.
Maybe 2008 can be the Year of Possibilities.