In the spring of 1954, Roger Bannister became the first athlete to run a mile in under 4 minutes. Three minutes and 59.4 seconds to be exact. Before he did this, breaking a four-minute mile had been considered impossible – completely beyond the physical limits of the human body.
Was he successful because he possessed superhuman ability? No, he was successful because he was a believer. Roger Bannister chose to set out the widely accepted belief that it was not possible. He saw himself running a mile in under four minutes. He rehearsed the race in his mind's eye until he truly believed that he could do it. He believed that he really could break the four-minute mile. The rest is history!
And Roger's belief set off an even more interesting dynamic. Within seven months of setting the new record, thirty-seven others followed him. Within the following three years, another 300 athletes ran the mile in under 4 minutes.
What was thought impossible was now in the realm of completely achievable. But what happened to those other runners who ran before Roger? Did their lack of belief limit them and cause them to pass-up on an incredible opportunity? More important, are you letting a limited belief of what you can do and accomplish, stop you from reaching your goals and dreams?
Think about the times at work you've been told it's simply not possible. Have you heard, or said, things like this before?
o It's not possible to complete this marketing review by Friday.
o We will never be able to cut administrative expenses by 15%.
o Bob in Finance is crazy if he thinks he can find us the capital we need to buy a new facility.
When you believe you can not do something, you are right – and you will not. When you believe it is possible, you allow yourself to be open to the opportunities and circumstances that might make it a reality. You also influence everyone around you – your belief and positive attitude set off an infectious chain of accomplishment.
In his diary Roger Bannister wrote:
"I tried to establish this 'now or never' attitude because I knew that unless I was successful in attaining this attitude, I would perhaps lose my chance by letting myself fall prey to the mental reaction so common to athletes – that is, that there would always be a next time of deciding, sometimes, that this is not the day. "
To be successful you need to decide that today is the day. Today you will believe in your ability, you will take on a can-do attitude, and you will set in motion the actions you need to accomplish your dreams.
Here are some tips for breaking through your own lawyers barriers:
o Accept and acknowledge the beliefs that are holding you back
o Rewrite those beliefs with positive affirmations of your success
o Remove the words "can not" and "impossible" and all their synonyms from your vocabulary
o Look yourself in the mirror everyday and say, "I can do it and I will do it."
o Get out everyday and prove yourself right
Whether you believe that you can or you believe that you can not, you're always right! Choose to believe in your abilities and ignore all the naysayers. Your four-minute mile is looming, it is completely up to you whether you break your personal best or you merely walk in the slow lane and let others pass you by.