Surprise Yourself

Challenge your chosen truths

Many of the road blocks we face are constructed in our minds. Not all blocker, of course, but more than you’d think. Sometimes the phrase “I can’t do it” is simply untrue.

This excercise aims to increase your ability to identify and challenge your chosen truths. Is it really true, that you can’t do it? Perhaps not. Let’s find out!

Next time you feel incapable or stuck, try this exercise.

Begin like this:

  1. Describe briefly what you want/ need/ should do.
  2. Allow the thoughts of doubt and uncertainty some space in your mind. But not too long- you’re not going to get stuck here.
  3. Give yourself the permission to pretend. You’re sure that you can’t do this, but IF you could do it anyway, how would you do it? If you just play with the idea that this thing was possible, what would be your first step? What would you like to try, if anything and everything was possible?
  4. Be observant if you get stuck in road blocks or negative thoughts again. Remind yourself that your ideas at this stage don’t have to be doable or realistic – you’re just playing around.
  5. Write your ideas and thoughts down somewhere – no matter how silly, far-fetched or absurd they seem.
  6. You have now succeeded in thinking lots of new thoughts and had a brainstorming session with yourself. Well done!
  7. Can you see any ideas in your notes that you can act upon? Maybe some small part can be managed, or maybe a big thought can be further broken down into smaller steps? Is there someone who can advise, coach or help you make this a reality?
  8. Decide in a first step to take, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. Don’t worry about what it will lead to or dead ends further down the road – just take the first step.
  9. Notice now that you have begun your journey in bringing about this change or action. Well done again!

Where your journey ends, what you learn on the way, what you do or don’t achieve is not of importance right now. In this moment, the important thing is that you have gotten past your mental road blocks and that you have challenged your old and habitual thought patterns.


If you want further inspiration on new ways of thinking, I recommend Sir Ken Robinsons Ted Talk, Bring on the Learning Revolution.