‘Everything starts as somebody’s daydream’ Larry Niven famously expressed.
‘How can daydreaming possibly lead to success’ do I hear you mutter? You may even feel uncomfortable just reading about it, that’s good! One sure route to realising potential and achieving success is by mastering the skill of getting comfortable with discomfort. Daydreaming is often dismissed as whimsy - sometimes even idleness, certainly when we were at school, but many will assert that our daydreams are our subconscious mind communicating.
What about if you began to take these daydreams seriously? What if you recognised them as manifestations of untapped potential, or goals that you’d hidden or metaphorically buried because they seemed impossible, either now or in the future?
Daydreams can be quite instructive; showing us the way towards the things that we are seeking; the fuller pipeline, the new connections, sales leads, the promotion. Serving as powerful indicators of what might be possible for you.
We tend to inhibit our daydreams with discouraging conditionals such as ‘if only’, which of course tend to keep us stuck. Yes, our daydreams are sometimes very different to our lives as we currently live them, and may even feel rather uncomfortable when we dare to consider them seriously, but that’s exactly why it is important to notice and recognise them. Clocking these signals from your subconscious will help you practice thinking more expansively about what you want to achieve. It will also allow you to focus much more clearly on the here and now, and be rid of your past experience and that nay-saying inner voice that won’t be helping.
Some of the most highly successful Sales and Business Development Directors that I work with have lofty daydreams, but rather than dismissing them, they welcome these visions as a sign- post or foundation to what, where, or who they have in their sights next!
Consciously breaking out of your comfort zone into the world of possibilities, by creating the new habit of doing something new and different everyday, may well give you discomfort. But it makes the brain work harder, creates new neural pathways and new neuronal cells, and once repeated strengthens the new skills or mindset. Once we recognize our discomfort as a welcome signal, it alerts us that the brain needs new information, and we will develop that habit of feeling more comfortable with discomfort.
- Is there a recurring thought or desire in your daydreams? How can you explore it further?
- Does someone feature in your daydreams that you don’t know? How could you get to know them? Who could introduce you? Could you introduce yourself?
- What have you told yourself is impossible that might be possible?
- What passions are ignited when you daydream? What does that tell you? Are you fuelling them?
- Is there anything about your daydream that makes you feel uncomfortable, but perhaps a little excited too?
- What can you do right now, today, to get closer to achieving your targets?
Reaching your potential is about being in a constant state of discomfort. The only reason that we feel uncomfortable is because it is new – nothing more, nothing less. When we daydream and see glimpses of what might be possible through discipline, action and embracing the new, it is a very exciting place to be! Enjoy and remember; everything was impossible until someone made it possible. That someone might just be you!
By Kate Tojeiro, Executive Coach, facilitator to senior executives and author of new book: The Art of Possible, new habits, neuroscience and the power of deliberate action. She is also the founder of leadership development firm, X fusion and has built an impressive list of FTSE 100 and Fortune 100 clients over the last 15 years. She has formed a reputation for developing some of the world’s most successful leaders, as well as the next generation of rising stars. She is a regular fixture on BBC radio and a voice in the media. She is also the author of The Art of Possible, new habits, neuroscience and the power of deliberate action.