One common factor with many of the jobs, roles, tasks I’ve been given in my career is that they seemed at the beginning to be impossible.  Maybe you understand the feeling.  In almost every scenario, I was given a task I had never done before with a team who knew less than I did, to be completed in a time frame that was anywhere from urgent to we needed it five months ago.  Those moments can seem daunting.  Maybe you are there right now.  Maybe you are starting a new business, planning an event for the first time, selling a product you don’t understand, running for office, or even launching a church.  And you are standing with the task in front of you and the loud speaker is screaming in your brain, “You can’t do this! You are unprepared! It is too much! This is impossible!”  Good news.  As the quote goes, it always seems impossible until it is done.  I’ve been there.  And here are a few things that might help you on your journey. 

First, own the task.  If this is your task, own it.  If it is not your task, then give it away today, in writing to someone else.  Notice, I didn’t say whether this should be your task.  Maybe it should belong to someone else.  That doesn’t matter.  Who owns it, fair or not?  If the answer is you, then embrace your ownership today.  Stop griping, stop trying to hand it off, and own it.  The calvary isn’t coming.  Dig in and get ready.  

Then, say this to yourself out loud.  “Experts are made not born.”  Say it again.  There is nothing inherently superior about an expert in your new field.  There is nothing special about the guy who has his business built, his church launched, or his program created.  They may be experts, but their expertise was created, not given to them at birth.  And that means you can be an expert too.  You have in you what is necessary to achieve this task.  It is simply a matter of effort, energy, planning, learning, and doing.  Know this. Say this. Believe this.  

Now that your mindset is set, we can get to work.  

1. Assess the situation

Destiny, I just told you the situation.  It is impossible!  I get that.  Solidarity sister.  Just hear me out.  When we are frightened of what lies before us we can become oblivious to what is actually around us. You need to assess the situation so you understand what really faces you, who is really with you, and whether what you are afraid of is out there or in here.  Hint: fear usually comes from the inside - conquer it there and you can face just about anything. 

2. Define the goal

Another way to say this is, define the win.  What is it you are actually trying to do? I’m not asking the outcome you are trying to achieve.  What is it you are trying to do? Example: you have no real control over whether the book is a best seller or the candidate wins.  You do have control over whether you write a well thought out, well edited, well marketed book.  You do have control over whether the campaign is run with efficiency and excellence.  Define the goal.  If you are trying to build a better airplane - then write it down on the wall in big letters and stare at it every day.  If you want to launch a life-giving church, then write it down.  If you want to create a blog with your best content, then write it down.  Define the goal with specificity and write it down.  You will need to remember later what you were trying to do in the first place. 

3. Gather the team

Everything worth doing takes a team.  If you can hire, then hire wisely and with clear expectations.  If you can’t hire, see if there are others who believe in your dream and will jump into the early stage with you.  Even if it seems that it is only you, gather the team of experts and mentors via google and youtube and podcasts that is available to you.  Don’t go this alone.  Before you take the first step and draw the first conclusion.  Gather your team, listen to them, and stay focused on the goal. 

4. Take the first step

This is the hardest part.  This is where the rubber meets the road, where the commitment comes in, where you start to feel the burn.  So, don’t wait until you have everything in perfect order.  Take the first step.  Maybe it is announcing your intent to start a blog to your three best friends.  Maybe it is booking the studio for your album six months in advance.  Maybe it is buying that domain or registering that trademark.  Take a step.  And make the commitment to keep moving forward.  

5. Draw the path

You know where you are, where you want to go, and who is going with you so far.  So, begin drawing the path.  If it is becoming debt free, this is your payoff schedule.  If you are launching a church, this is your week by week prep list in advance of launch.  If you are producing a new product, it is your punch list of development and compliance.  Draw the path. 

6. Trust the process

Believe me, you will have to redraw the path a few times as you learn more about the terrain, your team may change, you may take two steps forward and three back, and even your end goal may be adjusted but the process is crucial to the outcome.  The process is what will create clarity.  So keep going.  Keep reminding yourself of the goal.  Keep taking steps.  Stick with the team.  Don’t get distracted.  Keep to the path.  There is a process to progress.  So, don’t try to take a cheap shortcut.  What the process will do in you is just as important as what it will do through you.  

7. Stay humble

So, you start to have some success.  Don’t count your chickens before they hatch, throw a party before you hear the outcome, or spend money you haven’t made yet.  Yes, I believe you can do the impossible, but humility means that I don’t start thinking of myself as a genius because I have had some success.  Stay humble because it will keep your perspective clear.  Stay humble because it will allow you to react to situations not people.  Stay humble because it is the best way to go through life and makes achieving the impossible so much more possible.  I’ve seen people near the end of an impossible situation and totally fail because they lost humility and lost perspective and made a crucial error in judgment.  Stay humble. 

What are your tips to tackling impossible situations? When have you seen impossible turn possible? 

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