We often think long and hard about what we want to achieve. Sometimes we think so hard that we think ourselves right out of action.
But those who succeed as leaders, whose stories we sit and devour, live by a very simple set of rules. They recognize that nothing gets accomplished when we live in the abstract. Instead, they push themselves to live out the reality of I can.
The power of those two words is so strong, in life and work. When we allow ourselves to trust in our own ideas, to follow through and act on them, we can achieve anything.
Here are five ways you can embrace the power of I can.
1. I can believe in me.
Most of us have the motivation to win, but to keep pushing through requires the mindset and drive to achieve along the way. You have to believe in yourself first. The dream and vision you’ve created for yourself is up to you to plan and achieve.
Are your skills, values and vision aligned? Are you engaged in your purpose and truly passionate about what you are doing to achieve that purpose? Get clear on your why, then commit to your purpose 100 percent.
2. I can do anything.
Dreams tend to get lost in endless iterations of planning rather than doing. People somehow forget they have to take action. Instead they become frozen in their never-ending “Oh, but…” list.
Thomas Edison said, “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.”
Quite simply, do something. Any action toward your dream has to create a ripple of change; the more you take action, the wider the ripples.
3. I can stay in the zone.
A plan is critical to achieving your dreams, but to keep going in the right direction—that takes focus.
We all have to fight the desire to chase the shiny objects that pop up in our periphery. Staying in the zone takes determination, resilience, a hunger and a belief that what you are doing, whether in a corporate organization or your own enterprise, means something.
We can’t take our finger off the pulse, make knee-jerk reactions and respond to what others are doing. Instead, we need to stay focused on our own end goal. It’s about doing the work, taking the right action and making the right decision to move toward your goals. The more you stay in the zone, focused on your vision of what you want to achieve, the bigger that pebble you are throwing becomes; the more impact you have, the wider reaching the ripples; and eventually a whole wave of activity starts to happen.
4. I can own it.
Take ownership of your plan, your direction and your journey. You are in charge of your own destiny.
Paulo Coelho says, “Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.”
Of course there are challenges along the way; things will not always go as planned and failures will be experienced. But what matters is how you face these challenges. Do you face them head on, learn from them and move forward, or do you get knocked down and stay there always thinking, Coulda, shoulda, woulda?
Whether things go according to your plan or not, hold yourself accountable and own the highs and the lows, the results and the failures. Own the opportunity to continuously learn and grow. Own your success.
5. I can embrace the collective.
Togetherness can, and does, create the momentum of change. Be willing to connect with others who are aligned and supportive of your dreams—those who are willing to collectively ideate to make the magic happen. Appreciate what others have to give and understand your role, and what you can contribute. Surround yourself with the right people, because nothing propagates development of great plans like a great team.
Don’t be afraid to be brilliant. It’s up to you to make the impossible possible. It’s up to you to visualize the future you want. It’s up to you to decide to take action.
Related: 6 Ways to Act on Your Ambition
Sydney-based Janine Garner is an internationally-acclaimed entrepreneur and Fortune 500 mentor, keynote speaker and author. She is a partner at Thought Leaders Global, which helps clever people to become commercially smart, and the founder and CEO of the LBDGroup, a networking community that connects like-minded women together to help them achieve extraordinary growth. Janine is passionate about bringing brilliant people together to achieve remarkable results through collaboration, connection and influential leadership.
She is the winner of an International Stevie Award, a Top 10 finalist in the DARE Magazine Daredevil Awards and was listed in 2013 as one of Australia’s “Most Inspiring Women” by Madison Magazine. Janine is also the founder of Australia’s first gift giving circle, the First Seeds Fund, committed to supporting women and children at the grassroots of Australia with a focus on education and employment.
She is the author of From Me To We: Why Commercial Collaboration Will Future Proof Business, Leaders and Personal Success (Wiley 2015) and It’s Who You Know: How a Network of 12 Key People Can Fast-Track Your Success (Wiley 2017).