Saying no can become a habit; before you know it, you’ve automatically rejected a suggestion out of hand and are now coming up with justifications for doing so. Lateral thinking guru Edward de Bono realised this stumbling block, and suggested swopping the word ‘no’for ‘po’, reminding ourselves that an idea is worth considering before making a final decision.
Are you addicted to the N-word? How about setting yourself a challenge. For the next week – or longer – whenever you dream about doing something out of your comfort zone, whether it’s taking up a team sport or running your own Street Dance Fitness classes, don’t dismiss it as fantasy. Try thinking ‘what if?’ instead.
Supersize your dream
You may have been told to scale down your ambitions in the past, to aim for something more ‘realistic’. Not this week! For this exercise you need to raise your expectations. Don’t aim to join a team, aim to be the captain; don’t plan to start a Street Dance Fitness class, plan to start the best Street Fit Dance class.
When you take the brakes off your aspirations, you release the power of hope and this, according to University professor and ‘hope scientist’ Shane J Lopez, is responsible for more than 10 per cent of productivity in any workplace.
So you’ve decided, for example, to start the best Street Dance Fitness business in the area. What next?
Prepare for the Bumps
You may already be thinking to yourself, ‘that’s just wishful thinking – nothing runs smoothly.’ True, so after harnessing the excitement of having a big dream you need to plan for major hiccups. What if no-one responds to your adverts? What if your chosen Street Dance Fitness Course venue proves to be unavailable or unsuitable? What if your day job becomes more involved and you need to devote more hours to it? You should begin to realise that no obstacle is insurmountable if you plan for it, and that planning takes away a lot of the fear that stops you from acting. A ship’s captain uses all of the knowledge and navigational aids available to get an accurate view of potential hazards – he or she doesn’t stay back at the harbour worrying that there may be hidden rocks.
Get some ‘intrusive support’
If you’ve been used to turning things down all your life, you may need reminding to break the habit. Enlist the help of a friend to provide that service. Lopez calls it ‘intrusive support’ and is another key to what he calls ‘strategising hope.’
So for one week (at least) try a novel approach: replace ‘no’ with ‘what if?’, dare to dream big, add in some contingency planning and ask for some peer support. Make a change, start your new life, book one of Street Fit Dance Fitness Instructor Course now Here’s to your success!