How can we break through the limitations we’ve set for ourselves? That’s what Michael Port, author of The Think Big Manifesto, wants to know. “Sometimes we assign the role of ‘Big Thinker’ to some people, but we don’t necessarily see ourselves in that role,” he says. Often, that’s because of “voices of judgment” – either negative peers and colleagues telling you why something will never work, or (even more damaging) your own internalized voice, telling you the same thing.
But in order to truly thrive, he says, we have to let go of our self-imposed limitations – I can’t talk to that person; she’ll never hire me; that idea is too risky – and give things a try. Here are four of his best strategies to get going and expand your horizons now.
Get Comfortable with Discomfort. Port tries to practice what he preaches. When he was recently asked to give a speech to an audience of 3000 in Australia, he could have delivered a standard keynote address. Instead, he decided to hark back to his days as a professional actor and use the talk as an opportunity to develop an entirely new type of speech – a one-man show with music, film clips, and more. “I’m trying to do something I’ve never seen anyone do in a keynote before, ever, and if I pull it off, it’ll be brilliant, and if not, I’ll bomb, and there’s not a lot in between,” he says. “The best performers are the ones who take the biggest risks, and the performer who raises the stakes high enough is the one who is generally most compelling.”
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