Who Gets to Define What’s Possible?

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In the tenth grade, my English teacher assigned us a paper on what career we wanted to pursue and what college we wanted to go to. She asked us to write down what we wanted our yearly income to be. 

A paper on the projector screen showed the amount of money we could write down, and the highest salary was $100,000. 

That’s what I wanted to aim for and write down. Before I could, though, my teacher said, “Don’t write down $100,000. Be realistic.”

I internally scoffed, appalled by her words. Who was she to tell us how to dream? More accurately, who was she was to ask us to limit our dreams? 

At that point in my life, I was learning about entrepreneurship, and successful people were teaching me to dream and aim big

What I found out this day, though—and what would be proven to me in my last high school years—was that most people had the same thinking as my English teacher.

Most people don’t believe you can make $100,000 a year unless you go to college to become a lawyer, psychologist, doctor, or anything of that high level. And don’t even think about making that much without going to college. 

But who are they to tell us what’s realistic and what is not? Who is anyone to tell us that we’re dreaming too big or that our goals are unachievable? 

I don’t care if the person telling you to be realistic is your favorite teacher or professor, your mentor, or even your parents because they have no right to tell you you can’t go after something they think is impossible. 

Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.

Dr. Mae Jemison, astronaut and physician

Who gets to define what's possible?


The only person who gets to define what’s possible is you. You decide to believe whether or not your “impossible” dream is possible. 

You are the one to who either deems herself limitless or puts imaginary obstacles in her way. It’s your life, so it’s all on you.

So, know this: You’re allowed to not only have huge goals but also go after them with everything you got. 

Society may be telling you it’s not smart to do so, but not even all of society can tell you that. 

And remember, what you believe is possible, will be. What you believe is impossible, will be.

Now, some people will give you discourage you not because they’re an asshole, but because they care for you, and they want to keep you safe. 

As good as their intentions may be, you can’t listen to them either. Don’t yell and tell them they’re holding you back, of course. Thank them, and then tell them you’re going to do it anyway, and that you’d love their support.

Now and then, someone’s discouragement will to your head, but that’s okay. You’re human, and no matter how much you believe in yourself, you’re going to have doubts. 

Catch those doubts and fears, and crush them like nothing but mere ants.

Don’t be afraid. You can do this.

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Let me know in the comments:

What’s your impossible dream? Are you going after it, or are you limiting yourself?  

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