"You become what you think about all day long." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Belief is a powerful concept, and it shapes our perception of the world and our own capabilities. Everything we believe starts as a thought, and this thought shapes our goals and achievements. If you can shape your beliefs, you can achieve anything, and by telling yourself you CAN do something, you can make it happen. Limiting yourself psychologically will only lead to limiting yourself in the real world.
It is amazing the hold our beliefs hold over us.
Let me tell you a story that I believe is one of the most extraordinary examples of the power of belief and how it is able to shape what we can do.
If you haven’t heard of the four-minute mile, it is an incredible story about doing the impossible.
The four-minute mile the ability to run a mile in under four minutes, and until 1954 it was thought to be impossible. For years, people tried to run a mile in less than four minutes, and no one was ever able to do it. Experts believed that if it were to be done, it would have to be under very specific circumstances, where the conditions were just right. It needed to be the right temperature outside, the track had to be just right, and there had to be a lot of people cheering on the person. People spent years, even decades, trying to figure out a way for a person to be able to run a full mine in less than four minutes.
It was thought to be impossible until one person everything changed by changing everyone’s perception of what could be.
One day, in 1954, a 25-year-old man named Roger Bannister ran a mile in 3:59.4 minutes, becoming the first person on record to run a mile in under four minutes. Not only did he accomplish this amazing feat, but he did so in conditions that were less than perfect, a feat no one thought was possible.
For the first time, running a mile in under four minutes was no longer impossible, and people began to believe that they, too, could do the same. Since that day, over 1,400 people have been able to beat the four-minute mile with people breaking one record after another. Today, the fastest time a mile has been run is 3:43.13.
The reason it took so long for someone to run a mile in under four minutes is that it was believed it couldn’t be done. As soon as this thought changed, and people knew it could be done, hundreds of people began to accomplish the same feat.
And, they didn’t just accomplish the same achievement; they surpassed it! Over and over again.
What if you could do the same? What if you could surpass what you once thought was impossible? Change your belief, and you can change what you are able to accomplish.
Overcoming My Own Personal Beliefs
Changing your beliefs can change your entire life. I spent most of my life in the shadow of my father, and I grew up believing that I would never be able to be anything without him.
I had this belief because it is what he used to tell me growing up. Starting at a really young age, he would tell me that I was nothing without him and that I would never be anything without him. So, for years this is what I believed, and it held me back.
Today, I don’t blame him. He had his own issues going on, and he was reacting to his own triggers, but I had to learn how to change the beliefs that he instilled in me. I had to learn that I could make it on my own and that I could be successful.
Once I started believing in myself and believing that I could make something of myself, I began to change my life. I was able to overcome my own phycological limits and surpass what I thought was possible.
I believe we all have this capability.
Bad things have happened to all of us, some worse than others, and this pain from our past instills these limiting beliefs into us. When you come across these limiting beliefs, think back to where you learned it. Take a step back and reflect on where your beliefs come from and whether or not they are pushing you forward or holding you back.
If a belief is holding you back, and it is not serving you, let it go. Let go of the beliefs that are holding you back from achieving the goals you’ve always wanted. Stop telling yourself something is impossible and instead tell yourself that it is possible. Change the way you talk about things. Speak positively instead of negatively. Don’t let yourself say you can’t. Always say you can.
If you tell yourself that you can’t do something, you won’t ever achieve it.
When you catch yourself thinking that something is impossible, stop, and immediately tell yourself that it can be done. Tell yourself you can reach your goals, whatever they are. When you change how you speak about things, you change how you think about things. When you change how you think about things, you begin to change your beliefs.
Tell yourself you can run that metaphorical four-minute mile. Then, let yourself do it.