How to Conquer Intimidating Goals


“Oh that would be too hard for me — I could never learn to do that.”

We’ve all heard these words… you may even have said them yourself. Tackling new skills can feel intimidating. But we only feel intimidated because we overestimate the task and underestimate our own abilities. We aren’t confident enough in our natural abilities. Take learning to drive for example.

Today, millions of very mentally un-gifted people got into automobiles and drove them. And most of them had no accident today. So how hard can it be?

Or maybe you’re thinking of writing a book. Millions of people every year write books. Millions more  save money start businesses find jobs lose weight get into shape discover someone to love get married find a way to attend school start new careers And many other things you may have been thinking are too hard, too complicated, too far beyond you.

The truth is, they’re not beyond you at all.


What have you been holding yourself back from doing? No, you don’t have to list EVERYTHING you’re putting off. Just take the top one.

Whatever it is, write it down on a piece of paper.

Now think of somebody who isn’t particulary smart, but who is now doing the very thing you want to do.

Been putting off learning to drive? Look at all the idiots on the road who somehow manage to get from here to there without wrecking the countryside.

What about marriage? True, most people botch it completely, but many millions actually do get it right and live in happiness.

Or maybe you’re putting off starting your own business. Same thing — you’ve met people barely clever enough to get in out of the rain, but they have businesses. And they haven’t gone bankrupt — at least not yet.

Chances are, the one thing you’re lacking is not intelligence, nor ability, nor talent. Training is no real stumbling block, either, since people regularly go get the same training you’re wanting.

No, you’re probably only lacking permission. You’re waiting around for somebody to validate you, then pick you up and prove to you that you can do it.

It ain’t gonna happen that way. The good news is, it doesn’t HAVE to happen that way.
All it takes is just deciding you’ll do it. Then just begin.

Several years ago someone told me a great two-step formula for success in any field.

Step one is start; step two is don’t stop.
So we come to…


Make a beginning, no matter how awkward, then just keep moving forward in the direction you want to go.

Honestly, it’s just about that simple.

While great intelligence can make things simpler, it can also make things much more difficult if you never learn to use it FOR yourself instead of against.

Please notice that beginnings are almost always awkward. That’s okay. Give yourself permission to be a beginner when you begin. And if you feel a compulsion to be perfect, then just be a perfect beginner.

But do keep moving… forward.


Don’t argue – Ask questions


As the saying goes “It takes two to tango.” Well, it also takes two to argue. It is impossible to have an argument with someone if they don’t participate. If your goal is to reach a solution and create a win/win outcome, arguing isn’t the route to take. Instead the best way to reach a collaborative conclusion is to ask questions.

We are taught to ask questions in coaching so the other person can hear in their own words the solutions. In fact it is said that coaches do not ask questions so they can hear the answer, but so the client can hear the answer. Questions allow the person to take ownership and responsibility for the solution. Although there are times, when coaching a client, that I already know the answer. It is more powerful to allow my client to come to it on their own in their own words. The same works in an argument. If all you want to do is argue, questioning isn’t likely to be helpful. If you want to co-create a solution questioning can assist in creating a solution that will be agreeable to both parties.

As an adjunct faculty member at a local University, I find that it is useless to argue or try to reason with students when talking with them about their grades. The student always begins the conversation believing I am wrong and they are right . . . the foundation to arguments. By asking simple questions such as “What do you think your grade should be?” or “If you were the professor how would you grade the paper?” the student begins to see the problem from a different perspective. Most of the time the conversation ends with the student accepting the grade or at least understanding why they earned it. Questioning allows them to work through the problem and think about it in a different way.

I find this process helpful anytime there is conflict. I found the process of asking questions to be extremely valuable when making a custom order at my local hardware store. I had followed the directions in the electrical department that advised me to take my custom order to the cashier and they would place the order, bill me and arrange for shipping. When I did that, the cashier was completely confused and called Gloria the head cashier over. Gloria proceeded to tell me that I was wrong and I would have to go to another department to place the order. I showed Gloria the instructions, but it was clear she wasn’t interested. Instead of arguing with her, I started asking questions. I started with the most important one, “Gloria, how are we going to resolve this?” I stayed calm and focused on the goal to get the order placed. Gloria wasn’t happy about helping me. However, in the end I got what I wanted without arguing about it. Questions helped Gloria and I stay focused without arguing.

Unless you just want to have a good argument, avoid defending your position and focus on asking questions. Questions take the heat out of the situation and allow both parties to view the problem from a different perspective. Even if you know the answer, the other person will be more open to the solution if they are allowed to discover it on her or his own.