When we set out to achieve a goal in our life, be it starting a business from scratch, expanding your existing business, develop your craft, or simply take an idea from our head and make it a tangible reality, in the beginning of the process, the end vision tends to live in the dark. It’s something we have not yet experienced, felt, or seen with our senses and therefore becomes difficult to believe that it could become real. Not to mention the limiting beliefs that tend to raise their voices when we set out to achieve something outside of our comfort zones.
When studying goal setting alongside echolocation, a physiological process for locating distant or invisible objects (such as prey) by means of sound waves reflected back to the emitter (such as a bat) by the objects (www.britannica.com). I begun to see the similarities in how bats and dolphins use sound to navigate the dark and what we can learn to better navigate the unknown terrain of going after a new and sometimes scary dream or goal.
Echolocation is when an animal sends out a high pitched sound into the dark to help them navigate, orientate, avoid obstacles, procure food and engage in social interactions.
The short burst of sound is sent out at a high frequency and the emitter awaits to receive an echo return. Based on what the sound waves encounter, the species is able to interpret the differences in the the pitch of the echo send out compared to what was returned and they are able to ‘see’ the picture of what lays ahead. With each pitch that is sent & received their vision becomes more focused which allows them to navigate their surroundings, hunt for food and determine their direction.
In the instance of hunting prey, a bat will send out a sound wave and within a spilt second will receive an echo back which helps them to know the distance, size, density and sometimes even species of an insect which they intend to catch. As they get closer to their desired object the echos returns in shorter amount of time and becomes more similar to the initial signal they sent out. On approaching their prey, the sound vibrations begin to more closely match, once they have arrived at their destination/meal they are in complete resonance.
Like the bat hunting in the dark, going after a new goal that you have not yet ‘seen’, can feel like stumbling around in the dark trying to determine where exactly to start. But our eyes are not the only tool we have available for us to see and navigate the world. We too can use our voice and hearing to orientate the unknown, avoid obstacles and achieve a desired destination.
If you’ve been on this platform for a while, you’ll know that one of my favourite sayings is ‘just start’. I’ll never stop giving those two words as my #1 tip for creatives looking to start and scale their businesses, here’s why. Right now you might have an idea in your head, it currently exists only in your head and has not yet been materialised or become visible. The moment you say it out loud, you tell someone, sign up for a coaching session or write it out on paper it begins to become more visible. Not because we can see it with our eyes as yet but because we’ve sent out our very first burst of sound which is going to return and echo, filled with vital information.
Most people are too scared to start, to send their first signal out of fear of what they may hear back. But the echo no matter how full or empty it may seem is exactly the place to start. The trick is to really listen. To absorb the information that is coming back to you and from there, determine your next best steps. When we sit on the sidelines only swirling our ideas in our head out of fear of rejection, setbacks or criticism we rob ourselves of the richness of the vital information held in the echo that we will need in order to make our dream a reality.
When you ‘just start’ and tell someone about your idea, be it a friend, colleague or business coach we receive feedback. Your job is to soak it up, all of it. Use it to help you navigate your path forward, avoid obstacles that may set you back, get clear on your direction and determine the necessary speed at which you must travel in order to reach your destination. Even if the echo seem to be quiet and contain little feedback, that too is information that you may require to pivot, improve or redirect your idea. The closer you get to your goals the quicker your feedback will arrive in the form of success, opportunities and momentum, keep following the feedback and when the frequencies are perfectly align, you have arrived at your wildest dreams. The once invisible becomes visible.
What are you waiting for? Just Start!
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