STRONGER TOGETHER: ‘What if’ we start to challenge that inner voice

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Last updated: 20/09/2021

By Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services' Managing Director

"STRONGER TOGETHER" is a weekly column where Tanya explores key issues. This weeks sees Tanya discussing what is possible if you remove the barriers.

Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services Managing Director
Tanya OShea IMPACT Community Services Managing Director

If the past 12 months have taught us anything it’s that the IMPACT team is not short of ideas. Without any action though, an idea is just an idea. This is where IMPACT’s culture of innovation shines.

It all started with a very simple but powerful question: What If?

What if we had infinite funding? What if we could get every person a job? What if there were no boundaries or limits to what we could do?

As a government funded service provider, we have boundaries that we must adhere to, yet we do not allow that to limit our inspiration and vision to improve the lives of people in our community.

Our people are encouraged to respect these boundaries, yet we also expect them to be curious, think outside the box, test new ideas, learn from them and take these learnings into the development of solutions that generate jobs and create positive opportunities for our clients.

Yet, as people, we sometimes create boundaries that we impose on ourselves. Limiting beliefs that have usually been practiced since childhood and result in self-imposed boundaries that restrict our opportunities and our ability to explore what is possible.

These limiting beliefs can also make us question who we are and what we are capable of.

When we take notice of these beliefs instead of asking ‘What if’, we tend to shine a light on our inner voice. That voice might be filled with self-doubt and judgement, telling us that we can’t, we shouldn’t, we are not good enough and it is not possible.

That voice can lead to unhelpful thinking and negative self-talk that shapes our mindset - our unique way of thinking that allows us to make sense of the world.

When we ask ‘What if’ we start to challenge that inner voice. We start to shift our mindset. Our mind becomes curious, questioning what else is possible.

We start to challenge our thought habits that affect how we think, what we feel and what we do.

So, what else is possible for you? What action can you take right now to start exploring those possibilities using a ‘What if’ mindset?

To get started, identify what limiting belief is holding you back.

To help you do this, choose one of these statements and fill in the gaps:

‘If only I had…………….I could do……………’


‘I would like to…………….but………………..’

You can also use these questions to ask yourself:

  • ‘How does this situation serve me?’
  • ‘What can I do right now that my future self will thank me for?’
  • ‘What action can I take right now to move forward?’
  • ‘Is there something that I haven’t learnt yet that would change everything? If so, what is it and how can I make it happen?’

By asking our team What If? people felt more empowered than ever to share their ideas – no matter how big or small.  Removing the boundaries and encouraging them to open their minds to new possibilities inspired them to take action.

Now it is your turn.

What is your ‘what if’ and how do you make it possible?

Please note: This website may contain references to, or feature images, videos, and voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have passed away.

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