Your beliefs dictate what you can or cannot achieve. A secret to achieving greatness is understanding and challenging the beliefs that are holding you back.
POP QUIZ: The world changed on May 6th, 1954. How?
On May 6th, 1954 at Iffley Road track in Oxford, England, a young student named Roger Bannister ran a sub-4-minute mile; and it changed the world.
Prior to this momentous event, physicians the world over had maintained that the human frame was incapable of running a mile in less than 4 minutes. Scientists, doctors, neurologists, professors, athletes and so on believed, understood, and agreed with absolute assuredness that is was impossible to do so: not improbable, but genuinely impossible. This was an unquestioned, and unambiguous biological, and neurological FACT. It was believed with 100% complete assuredness that since the dawn of time, man had never, nor would ever, achieve this immense feat. A mile, in less than 4 minutes was just plain impossible.
Yet on May 6th, 1954, Bannister did it – in 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds!
To add to the enormity of the event, Bannister was not a professional athlete. He was a student and this was back in the day when all one did as a student was study. He didn’t have a team of professional training coaches refining the separate elements of his running style. He had no team of nutritionists looking after his diet. He had no global brands sponsoring his ‘second-skin, designed in a wind-tunnel’ running gear. He didn’t have a specialist in the gym designing his weight-lifting regimes, or medics measuring his glucose and red-cell levels on an hourly basis.
So, how did he do it? And, perhaps more importantly, how was it with millions and millions of years of human evolution that not one single human being in history had ever ran a mile in less than 4 minutes, until Roger Bannister achieved it, did the next person beat Bannister’s new record only a mere 45 days later? …and within months, dozens of others had also smashed this new 4-minute threshold? What on earth had suddenly changed?
Belief. Conviction. Attitude.
Bannister, and all other runners the world over, knew well enough how to run and they practiced a lot, and tried to eat well, and get lots of sleep etc.; yet the sub-4-minute mile record remained intact – forever. However, runners the world over also believed that it was impossible to cross that mythical time barrier… that was, until someone did it and then all bets were off. Nowadays high school kids run sub-four minute miles.
And guess what? The world is simply littered with such stories. They said it was IMPOSSIBLE for a human to conquer Mount Everest without portable oxygen tanks. And it was… until Reinhold Messner did it in 1978. And now if you climb Everest with supplementary oxygen, you’re considered a little bit of a sissy! A 13-year old boy has even done it.
They said that ‘heavier than air’ powered flight was IMPOSSIBLE.
And it was… until Orville and Wilbur decided that it wasn’t.
It was IMPOSSIBLE to split the atom – until Enrico Fermi decided that actually it wasn’t.
IMPOSSIBLE for the blind to read. Louis Braille didn’t get that memo.
Simply IMPOSSIBLE to walk to the North Pole (…or maybe not); to break the sound barrier (oops); to see through solid objects (errr); to cure polio (done); to talk to people in other countries (yep); to build a bridge that spanned 100ft (tick); to fertilize a human egg outside the body (smashed it); to dig a tunnel under the ocean (check); to see into an atom, to…(insert your own personal myth).
My submission to you is this: Bannister knew how to run, Messner knew how to climb, and the Wright brothers knew that birds could fly, and that they were heavier than air, so why not? These few heroes all decided to believe that the impossible was actually doable. They had unshaking vision of success, and they all had the belief, the determination, the conviction that they were going to do it in spite of what everyone else believed. They all had a uniquely winning attitude.
“Impossible” is not a fact, it’s just someone’s belief.
Remember, every single thing we humans believe is learned. One of the best things about us is that we have the ability to change our beliefs – it is gifted to us all at birth. It’s the process of neural-plasticity. What is believed is learned, and what is learned can be unlearned and supplanted by different (better) beliefs.
Self-limiting beliefs are the things that hold us back the most. Thomas Edison had this unshakable belief: at every ‘failure’ (and he had over 10,000 of them – think about that for a moment, 10,000) he confidently proclaimed that he had just discovered another particular method not to make a successful light bulb.
We can only perform in our roles consistent with how we see ourselves. Our success is limited only by the strength of the belief we have in our ability to succeed. As soon as we define what we want, and match it with the absolute conviction that it is possible, and then marry it to the belief that we are capable of amazing success, we will be.
Committing daily to writing a Beliefs Journal is the key to unlock, understand, and reshape your self-limiting beliefs and take back control of your life and your success. Ask yourself what beliefs are holding you back, as well as what new beliefs you need to adopt in order to be more successful. Write them down. Then, learn these new beliefs (just as you learned the self-destructive ones). Journal every day to help figure out what beliefs you need to change in order to exact a change in your approach to your business and your life. Take 10 minutes every morning, and 10 minutes every evening to work on you first – your business, your colleagues, your family and friends will thank you.
Fix yourself first. It fixes everything else.
My Daily Beliefs Journal – See it. Believe it. Achieve it.
When you start your journaling, consider the following prompts to get your thoughts together.
I am grateful for being alive, and:
Five things I am attracting into my life:
Two things I 100% commit to accomplish today personally:
Three things I 100% commit to accomplish today professionally:
Five new mindset affirmations:
Three things I will attract into my life:
The one big future goal I am focusing on:
My ‘Why’ – why I want all of this:
Antonio Garrido teaches executives how to get to the truth by asking better questions. His new book is Asking Questions the Sandler Way (CLICK HERE to get your copy). Click here to get more information.
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