What would be the most impossible dream to create in 90 days?
It was a question I asked myself as I carefully opened the Amazon cardboard cover and stared directly at Michael Neill’s latest book ‘Create the impossible in 90 days.’ The weight of this potential project already consuming me.
It promised a practical alternative to traditional approaches to goal-setting, productivity, creativity and project management. Yet the only thing I could focus on was the word ‘impossible.’
Nothing I like more than to prove someone wrong, and I decided there and then (within a millisecond of receiving the book) that my impossible project would come into fruition. Whatever it took.
I think I was missing the point of the book altogether.
I felt challenged by the question.
What could be the most impossible to create in 90 days?
After all, I had already appeared on Tv and Radio shows internationally, appeared on a multitude of Podcasts, Magazines, authored a couple of Books, Coached great clients and was an International Speaker. For the first time in my life, I felt that I was exactly where I needed to be professionally.
There was however one area I had dismissed for many years, in favour of building up my professional self.
In fact, I had ignored it for so long, that I was already known as a successful, independent, (divorced) woman; my identity so tied up with this status, as I claimed it proudly.
For years, I had mistakenly believed this came from a place of strength, except it had no connection to strength, but a debilitating fear to enter the minefield of dating and creating relationships.
Crazy though it sounds, creating a new relationship seemed more impossible than any professional success I could ever imagine.
So with Michaels book firmly in my hand, treating it as if it was a bible of sorts, I decided to give myself 90 days in which to create a relationship and find ‘the one’. This would be my chosen project.
As I relished the prospect of this challenge, I began to prepare myself like a marathon runner standing on the touchline, focusing only on the end result. Hyped up like a soldier about to charge into battle.
Imagine the energy.
Goal orientated, super focused and ruthless enough to move anyone or anything who stood in my way. This is when I (forced myself ) to enter the temple of doom; or rather, the world of online dating.
True to character, before choosing the app I would use as my dating companion, I asked Google first for recommendations on the top 10 online dating apps. I just couldn’t get away from the business energy.
Then came the painstaking process of completing my online dating profile.
Choosing which pictures to add took an overwhelming amount of time, but I proudly uploaded them, receiving a message from the app straight after, suggesting they could airbrush the pictures for an extra fee (I felt somewhat insulted by this).
Now I would sit back and wait for the available men who would overwhelm my profile.
That first ping of my online dating app declaring there was an interested party waiting to meet me, was music to my ears. Knowing I had a message was everything I had needed and more; I convinced myself this was a sign.
Just as I had been ready to meet someone, the universe had brought that person to my door. I would be done before the time frame of 90 days was up. I was way ahead of my target.
Messages were exchanged with excitement as I awaited this divorced Entrepreneur who seemed perfect, his messages were on point. He seemed sensitive, kind and I convinced myself that the race I had merely commenced, would be complete.
I would be the first reader of Michaels book to turn the ‘impossible’ into ‘possible’ in merely a fortnight.
When the date appeared a few days later dressed in beach shorts, t-shirt and trainers (on a cold winter night) standing half my height and proceeded (with painstaking detail) to catalogue his list of illnesses, kids troubles and ex-wives woes, I understood with absolute certainty that this journey would be fraught with more downs than anything I had undergone so far.
Publishing a book and speaking in front of hundreds of people was a doddle compared to the emotions that dating would bring up.
Downcast and disappointed, I ventured home to restart again. I wanted to get the process over and done with, just like I would have done with my ‘to-do list.’ Efficiently and in line with my goals.
Except dating and relationships are anything but this, I had forgotten how messy the process could be.
I thirstily read each chapter of Michael’s book daily for support and guidance, as well as prompts and questions to reflect on; as I did so over the weeks that followed, I began to realise that the 90 days was making me feel as if I had to come up with the goods before my time was up.
I was rushing anxiously and my self worth began to get inextricably linked up with the result.
As I became aware of this, I started to notice a shift of energy as my pace started to slow down, in doing so, I realised the extent of my scarcity mindset. My theory had always been that there was a scarcity of available men; and somehow within that scarcity, you had to find your ‘soul mate’. (like finding a needle in a haystack).
Yet the truth is that there is an abundance of men out there. In fact, I watched in shock how many millions there are. Navigating on dating app’s the second you ruthlessly swipe left and obliterate someone’s profile into oblivion, another mans profile pops up straight away.
Like swiping right or left on a menu of food take out options.
This was my lightbulb moment. There is an abundance of everything I want and more, and this was tremendously expansive. We tend to grab what we’re given as one takes the last item at the Harrods winter sale. As if it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, never to be repeated, so seize it tight and don’t let go.
But we forget that Harrods has a sale each year. There is more stock where that came from and when living with the blinkers of ‘scarcity’ fixed between my eyes, dating feels limited. This insight slowed me down automatically.
I also realised that what was missing was fun. I was so focused on a result; that I was trudging through mud (more like quicksand) with each date.
Fun, laughter and banter was absent.
Dating was a very serious endeavour.
In fact, the impossible goal I was going for was very serious.
This is when my dating shifted from dating for an ‘outcome’ to dating for ‘growth.’
After every date, I started asking myself; what is this man coming to teach me?
This shifted the trajectory as I saw each man I dated as giving me the tools to heal another part of me that was being triggered. Each date showing me the energy I was connecting from.
I started to attract a better level of date, more respectful, professional, smarter and a better prospect.
Remember that you attract who you are.
As the weeks progressed, I saw myself trip up again and again through a variety of hurdles. The only difference was that I was aware, but I didn’t stop tripping. Strangely enough, the tripping began to become okay and I surrendered to it; frankly, I began to embrace it.
I had always heard people say that it’s not the ending but the journey which matters. I heard this a million times and had posted quotes on Instagram about it myself, but it never meant anything to me.
The ‘impossible goal’ I was going for, began to wake me up to this in the hugest of ways.
I started to understand Michaels book more intimately, as it’s true purpose came to life for me.
Each daily prompt in his book challenged me further and pushed comfort zones I didn’t even know I possessed.
Within 30 days, I had forgotten what my original goal was and I stopped caring about the outcome. In fact, I began to prolong the journey as I was having so much fun opening up to all these different facets of myself.
It was as if I was meeting a new ‘me’ in each encounter and enjoyed discovering all these interesting parts of me which had been hidden, I was even more multi-faceted than I thought, and airing this out felt amazing.
My goal had been to find ‘the one’ in 90 days, crazy I know.
Yet, meeting ‘the one’ became replaced by finding ‘the one’ within me. The little girl within was replaced by a powerhouse of a woman who could flaunt her feminity unashamedly and yet not lose herself.
One morning, I entered my living room and noticed we had a large flying spider clinging onto the glass door that leads into the garden. It must have begun to cling at the door when the first rays of light came through.
As I opened the glass door to set it free, it continued to cling onto the glass not understanding that the door had moved a few inches to allow for its freedom.
The flying spider was so focused on clinging onto the light, that it was unable to see that greater freedom was possible.
It reminded me of how we cling onto a goal as the light and our reason for being. Without understanding that at times, this is just a path of light to illuminate our way, but that greater freedom can exist if we use this as a route to finding other sources of nourishment and light.
That flying spider and I had so much in common.
The journey of 90 days is almost over and I didn’t create the impossible goal but created so much more than this. It redefined my view of success or failure and the freedom of no longer needing to live my life defined by these labels as a measure of my worth.
It meant spending intimate time with myself, Michael’s book and a selection of men who taught me so much about myself.
My sincere thanks to these men for being imperfectly unsuitable for me. In fact, just as imperfect as I am.
And my thanks to Michael, for creating this incredible book.
Check out Michael’s book ‘Creating the Impossible’
If you liked this article, you can read more chapters like these in my latest book ‘Look Inside: Stop Seeking Start Living’ available now on Amazon.
If you want to connect with me to share insights from this article, send an e-mail to [email protected]