Years ago, I had an idea for one of my coaching clients. It was a fundamental change to her business model that I knew would grow her business exponentially and provide her with more personal margin. But, almost immediately, she started retreating from the idea. Why? Because she couldn’t see how it could be possible.
Her response was not unusual. She was voicing a mindset that’s common among entrepreneurs. But to achieve anything significant, you have to start with what you want to accomplish and suspend any discussion of how you will do it. That comes later. First, you must get clear on what. Here are five steps for developing a crystal-clear vision without talking yourself out of it before you start.
1. Set aside the how
This needs to be a deliberate, conscious decision. Say to yourself, Look, I know I’ll eventually have to figure out how I’m going to achieve this. But for the next hour, I’m going to get clear on what I want. This takes discipline. You’ll be tempted to slip back into figuring out how you’ll pull it off. In fact, the bigger the vision, the greater the temptation. This is normal, especially if the vision scares you.
2. Stand in the future
Human beings are adept at being mentally detached from where they are. So let's use this to our advantage. Locate yourself at a point in time in the future. It can be a year, three years, or any future time you choose. The important thing is to choose a specific date, then mentally transport yourself to it.
3. Record what you see
Nothing creates clarity faster than forcing yourself to write it down. Do this in two stages. First, just do a brain dump. This is the creative stage. The goal is to get the vision out of your head. Second, go back and fine-tune. This is the editing stage. Now is the time to rearrange what you have and clean up the grammar.
4. Use the present tense
You might be tempted to write your vision in the future tense. After all, your vision is about the future. Don’t do it. Instead, write in the present tense. That way, it will seem more real. It will also help convince your brain that the vision is going to happen—it’s already a reality.
5. Let it simmer
In one sense, the vision is never done. Until you achieve it, you will be tweaking it. That’s because as you move toward it, you’ll gain even more clarity. At this stage, it’s also helpful to share the vision with your team or with people you trust. But be careful here. You don’t want to invite naysayers into the conversation. You want people who can offer honest feedback and help you get even greater clarity.
To create a brighter, better future for yourself and the people you lead, you have to start with the vision—a clear, compelling view of the future. You can’t afford to let yourself get bogged down in how until you are clear about what. This is where every important improvement starts: in your mind.
Last modified on October 10th, 2022 at 9:29 am
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