If the furthest distance you’ve ever run before is 10 kilometers, then you can think that you could run a marathon, but you won’t know you can do it until you’ve actually run that distance. Once you have though, it’s no issue to complete a half-marathon.
If you’ve only ever done this type of job before, then you can think that you’re ready for the next one up, but you won’t know you can do it until you’ve actually taken the job and done it. Once you have though, it’s likely you’ll be even more comfortable in your old job or another one at that level.
And if the only sales account you’ve been responsible for is one where you already have the business and your job is to maintain it, then you can think that you could go and win competitor business, but you won’t know you can do it until you’ve actually converted a competitor account. Once you’ve done it though, you’ll be comfortable approaching another competitor account in the future .
It follows that in anything new, whenever there’s a stretch or a challenge, that we don’t really know we can do it until it’s done.
But here’s the thing.
What we do is a consequence of what we think. If we believe it’s possible, then the chances are we’ll go and find ways to make it a reality.
Once we do, then what was once our goal is now our new reality – we now know it’s possible – and so everything below the line becomes activity we now know is within out capabilities.
And the cycle continues.
The key here is being clear as to the difference between thinking and knowing. For whilst knowing gives us confidence and certainty, it’s the thinking which stretches our perspective of what is possible.