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Off the Couch | Finding Your Impossible

02 August 2018

When it comes to impossible, I’ve learnt that the real limit is definitely not where your mind tells you it is. There is always significant margin on the other side of this ‘safe’ limit which is where the magic starts to happen. I consider myself extremely lucky to be able to help audiences to Push Past Impossible – not anyone else’s impossible, but rather their own.

So where is that line between your mind’s end point and the real end point?

The space between those two lines is where you start to get a concept of how much more you are capable of. It’s not a comfortable space, it’s the definition of being outside your comfort zone – but that’s where you’re going to learn something.

Ice swimming, for me, has been a tool to learn these things. I think one reason people enjoy my story as a speaker is that I’m able to show them – first hand – that more is possible despite the odds. I’m an ordinary person, speaking to ordinary people. Together we draw parallels to daily life and slowly I witness eyes start to open wider and wider.

All the little impossibles that have shaped each and every one of us, are subconsciously there to govern the way we think and act. They keep us from achieving our full potential. Once you start challenging that, you take your first step on a journey of personal discovery. Do something that you think is impossible or unlikely to succeed – just something small – and you might even achieve it. And so it begins…

“We’re all shaped and guided by ‘little impossibles’. Those things you’ve been telling yourself are not for you, are too much of a risk, things you might want to do but don’t because they’re hard, or too much effort or simply quite terrifying. I want to encourage you to think about what yours could be and then challenge them.”

How does someone identify their impossibles?

I think people know what their impossibles are, deep down… The first step is to identify those moments where there’s a choice to make: you can follow this path because you know you can deliver a nice steady performance, learn nothing and achieve a reasonable goal. But at the same time there’s another potential path: a way to do something differently, or better. Why didn’t you choose that? Because it was a risk, and you thought you could fail. Once you start challenging things on a small level, you can keep growing.

A big question to ask yourself is: Are you setting goals you know you can achieve, or ones you’re not sure you can achieve?

How do you fit this kind of thinking and planning into real life?

One of the things I strive for is a little more structure in my life, because I know it’s not impossible! So I don’t sit down and think about pushing past impossible in a structured way. It’s just a different way of thinking and a different way of looking at barriers – in business, in family, in swimming. I do think it’s important to put yourself out there with people who are doing things you admire. You align with someone and they inspire you, and all of a sudden things that seemed impossible seem more possible.

Should you focus on one at a time, or a group of impossibles?

I’m not into radical change, because I don’t want to preach something I don’t do. I think change can be really effective if it’s just little steps.

I didn’t sit down and think: what do I think is impossible? It was just one step at a time: if you can do Robben Island, what about the English Channel? And on it goes. My next challenge is that people are suggesting I write a book. It seems impossible… is it really?

Where do you get the energy from?

It’s important to surround yourself with the right people to give you energy and motivation. If I train with someone not committed and not at the same level as me, I get complacent. It’s easy to say, “I’ve done enough.” You need to be strong yourself and draw on the strength of others. Becoming friends with people who do things in a different way has been so helpful – even if it’s not my personality, it’s shown me how not to take no for an answer, or shy away from things that seem too hard to do. Teamwork, make a plan, have a goal… That’s the essential trio.

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  • Hello to “The New Normal” I can now present my keynote from my dining room 🏻 I am digital conference ready🏻#pushpastimpossibleHello to “The New Normal” I can now present my keynote from my dining room 🏻 I am digital conference ready🏻#pushpastimpossible
  • "The time for different is now." When @tmpublishers reached out with a request for me to contribute to a new release: "THE BOOK EVERY BUSINESS OWNER MUST READ" I jumped at the opportunity to feature among some of SAs most brilliant business thinkers.Thanks to the glorious rain and cold weather in Cape Town, I am halfway through this book and literally inhaling the knowledge and insights on every page. As the title says, it is certainly the book every business owner should read right now, although I feel it's highly relevant for ANYONE in current circumstances of overwhelm and uncertainty.To quote from the @BonangMohale chapter, an expression passed down from his Grandmother that I simply LOVE: "Behold the turtle - it only makes progress when it's neck is stuck out!" Copies are still available on Loot - link in bio#TimeForDifferent #PushPastImpossible #RecommendedReading #BookRecommendation"The time for different is now." When @tmpublishers reached out with a request for me to contribute to a new release: "THE BOOK EVERY BUSINESS OWNER MUST READ" I jumped at the opportunity to feature among some of SAs most brilliant business thinkers.Thanks to the glorious rain and cold weather in Cape Town, I am halfway through this book and literally inhaling the knowledge and insights on every page. As the title says, it is certainly the book every business owner should read right now, although I feel it's highly relevant for ANYONE in current circumstances of overwhelm and uncertainty.To quote from the @BonangMohale chapter, an expression passed down from his Grandmother that I simply LOVE: "Behold the turtle – it only makes progress when it's neck is stuck out!" Copies are still available on Loot – link in bio#TimeForDifferent #PushPastImpossible #RecommendedReading #BookRecommendation
  • Yesterday I became the record holder for the most Robben Island Crossings ever completed, a goal I have been working towards for many years 🏻 Being my first RI swim since lockdown restrictions, and very little training, my support crew reckon I broke two records that day, the second record being my “slowest” crossing to date  Not entirely correct but very close! It was tough, but it’s done. Dedicated to the late Theo Yach, who held the record previously and set the bar so high 🏻Yesterday I became the record holder for the most Robben Island Crossings ever completed, a goal I have been working towards for many years 🏻 Being my first RI swim since lockdown restrictions, and very little training, my support crew reckon I broke two records that day, the second record being my “slowest” crossing to date Not entirely correct but very close! It was tough, but it’s done. Dedicated to the late Theo Yach, who held the record previously and set the bar so high 🏻
  • Epic day on the mountain, away from the computer and filling the soul!Epic day on the mountain, away from the computer and filling the soul!
  • "Sometimes in the waves of change, we find our true direction" ~ UnknownI wish I knew who uttered this quote, because it couldn't be more relevant to all of us right now, and especially on World Ocean's Day. I have written a blog about the strength I have observed in this very unusual "extreme challenge"Let me know your thoughts... link in bio#WorldOceansDay #PushPastImpossible #COVID19"Sometimes in the waves of change, we find our true direction" ~ UnknownI wish I knew who uttered this quote, because it couldn't be more relevant to all of us right now, and especially on World Ocean's Day. I have written a blog about the strength I have observed in this very unusual "extreme challenge"Let me know your thoughts… link in bio#WorldOceansDay #PushPastImpossible #COVID19
  • I've been following the fascinating journey of Yoshi, a loggerhead turtle rehabilitated and released by the 2OAquarium on the 16th Dec 2017. Since her release, she has covered over 40 000 kms and has been to some continents I am still trying to visit myself! (You can read more about Yoshi on the 2Oaquarium blog on their website)  Last year I had the privilege of swimming in the Ocean Exhibit with some of the wildlife being rehabilitated at the @2oceansaquarium facility-what a sight it was to see these beautiful creatures up close and personal. Definitely a tick off my bucket list! 🏼 #2oceansaquarium #twooceansaquarium #aquarium #southafrica  #turtle  #yoshi #yoshitheturtle #yoshisjourney #farewellyoshi #amazing #goodnewsI've been following the fascinating journey of Yoshi, a loggerhead turtle rehabilitated and released by the 2OAquarium on the 16th Dec 2017. Since her release, she has covered over 40 000 kms and has been to some continents I am still trying to visit myself! (You can read more about Yoshi on the 2Oaquarium blog on their website) Last year I had the privilege of swimming in the Ocean Exhibit with some of the wildlife being rehabilitated at the @2oceansaquarium facility-what a sight it was to see these beautiful creatures up close and personal. Definitely a tick off my bucket list! 🏼 #2oceansaquarium #twooceansaquarium #aquarium #southafrica #turtle #yoshi #yoshitheturtle #yoshisjourney #farewellyoshi #amazing #goodnews
  • Breadline Africa (@breadlineafrica ) provides infrastructure to under privileged communities in South Africa (and abroad), and is currently working hard to bring food to these communities during the lockdown.I first heard about Breadline through my friend, Arafat Gatabazi (@arafatswim ) he dedicates his time, and all of his swimming challenges, to raising money for them as he believes in the work that they do.With so many incredible people digging deep and doing amazing work over this scary unknown time, I find it very difficult to figure out where my support will be most effective, however, at Breadline, I know it will go straight to the communities most in need. Please consider donating, they need our help.Investec Bank LimitedAccount No.: 10012399069Branch Code: 580105SWIFT Code: IVESZAJJXXX https://lnkd.in/gSDMGzg Or visit their site https://lnkd.in/gyh9Kzf for Paypal and SnapscanImage by @hannnahbeth #lockdownsa #breadlineBreadline Africa (@breadlineafrica ) provides infrastructure to under privileged communities in South Africa (and abroad), and is currently working hard to bring food to these communities during the lockdown.I first heard about Breadline through my friend, Arafat Gatabazi (@arafatswim ) he dedicates his time, and all of his swimming challenges, to raising money for them as he believes in the work that they do.With so many incredible people digging deep and doing amazing work over this scary unknown time, I find it very difficult to figure out where my support will be most effective, however, at Breadline, I know it will go straight to the communities most in need. Please consider donating, they need our help.Investec Bank LimitedAccount No.: 10012399069Branch Code: 580105SWIFT Code: IVESZAJJXXX https://lnkd.in/gSDMGzg Or visit their site https://lnkd.in/gyh9Kzf for Paypal and SnapscanImage by @hannnahbeth #lockdownsa #breadline
  • #TBT A year ago I sat in an audience in Langa Township with a relative handful of others. Ed Sheeran was giving an exclusive workshop in association with Bridges For Music, and sharing his journey, anecdotes, a wealth of advice and direction to many budding superstars in the room (and me). Because it feels more relevant now than it ever did, to find alternative ways of getting noticed as a performer, I am revisiting that blog post today and sharing the lessons learnt. “Getting noticed out there is very hard. But if you believe in yourself, in your product and in my case, a strong belief in the power of my messages, one needs to be brave, look for non-traditional ‘stages’ and out of the ordinary, new ways to show the world what you’ve got.” Link in Bio or www.ryanstramrood.com/blog@teddysphotos #edsheeran #capetown #throwback #throwbackthursday @bridgesformusic #pushpastimpossible#TBT A year ago I sat in an audience in Langa Township with a relative handful of others. Ed Sheeran was giving an exclusive workshop in association with Bridges For Music, and sharing his journey, anecdotes, a wealth of advice and direction to many budding superstars in the room (and me). Because it feels more relevant now than it ever did, to find alternative ways of getting noticed as a performer, I am revisiting that blog post today and sharing the lessons learnt. “Getting noticed out there is very hard. But if you believe in yourself, in your product and in my case, a strong belief in the power of my messages, one needs to be brave, look for non-traditional ‘stages’ and out of the ordinary, new ways to show the world what you’ve got.” Link in Bio or www.ryanstramrood.com/blog@teddysphotos #edsheeran #capetown #throwback #throwbackthursday @bridgesformusic #pushpastimpossible
  • A baby sea Turtle was found on the roof by Marius Scholtz while installing a maritime radio antenna in St Francis. Marius contacted the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation’s turtle rescue team, who gave him great advice on how to keep the turtle safe and comfortable until transport was arranged for further care. What a lucky little sea turtle. This resulted in another endangered turtle rescued. Well done Two Oceans Aquarium Family it's so heartwarming to see the incredible work that you do for our oceans. 🌎#2oceansaquarium #twooceansaquarium #aquarium #animals #capetown #southafrica #cityofcapetown #capetownvibes #meetsouthafrica #capetownbound #thisisafrica #amazing #wow #turtle #loggerhead #rescue #animalrescue #lockdown #turtlerescue #projectturtle #bayworld #rooftoprescue #hero 📸- @oliviafraserphotography @jtresfon @2oceansaquariumA baby sea Turtle was found on the roof by Marius Scholtz while installing a maritime radio antenna in St Francis. Marius contacted the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation’s turtle rescue team, who gave him great advice on how to keep the turtle safe and comfortable until transport was arranged for further care. What a lucky little sea turtle. This resulted in another endangered turtle rescued. Well done Two Oceans Aquarium Family it's so heartwarming to see the incredible work that you do for our oceans. 🌎#2oceansaquarium #twooceansaquarium #aquarium #animals #capetown #southafrica #cityofcapetown #capetownvibes #meetsouthafrica #capetownbound #thisisafrica #amazing #wow #turtle #loggerhead #rescue #animalrescue #lockdown #turtlerescue #projectturtle #bayworld #rooftoprescue #hero 📸- @oliviafraserphotography @jtresfon @2oceansaquarium
  • Devil’s Peak Lite beer only consists of 88 Calories, the lowest 4% Alc beer out there!If you would like to WIN some cool prizes (Read: "Beer") then follow the steps below:----1. Show DP the best way to burn 88 calories at home. 2. Post a short video of you burning 88 calories3. Nominate 2 or more of your friends to burn 88 calories as well.4. Tag @DevilsPeakbeer, Use #Nominate88, #DPLite so that they can find your entry.Devil’s Peak Lite beer only consists of 88 Calories, the lowest 4% Alc beer out there!If you would like to WIN some cool prizes (Read: "Beer") then follow the steps below:—-1. Show DP the best way to burn 88 calories at home. 2. Post a short video of you burning 88 calories3. Nominate 2 or more of your friends to burn 88 calories as well.4. Tag @DevilsPeakbeer, Use #Nominate88, #DPLite so that they can find your entry.