Welcome To The Winning Mind Set Tip of the Week
Tapping into Our Vast Potential
Our beliefs are one of the single-most controling influences on our decisions and our direction in athletics and everything we do. In fact beliefs are one of the most powerful forces that exist to motivate an individual, a team, or a nation.
A belief that love would overcome hate, and that non-violent opposition would overcome British rule is what motivated Gandhi and his followers to endure beatings without fighting back.
A belief that it was possible to invent the incandescent light bulb is what allowed Thomas Alva Edison to persevere after 10,000 "failed" attempts.
A belief is what allowed Neil Armstrong to take that "giant step for mankind".
And a belief is what allowed a man named Roger Bannister to make history. Are you familiar with this individual? Roger Bannister was a world-class runner, and the first person to break the four-minute mile barrier. Up until that time, no person on earth (in recorded history) had ever run a mile in under four minutes. In fact, physicians and trainers declared that it was physiologically impossible for a human being to run that fast. Yet, Roger knew that he could do it, and in fact in 1954; the year I was born, he achieved his goal. He did it using two approaches, anchoring and chunking down.
First, he put in his running shoe a slip of paper with "3:58" written on it. Every time he ran, he had that little piece of paper as a reminder of his goal, utilizing the power of visualization. Second, he broke this seemingly impenetrable obstacle into smaller chunks. Specifically, instead of thinking about the goal in terms of minutes, he broke it down into 240 seconds. As he ran and got closer to the goal, he thought that he could shave it off by just a fraction of a second. After all, less than one second wasn't that big a deal. So instead of going directly from where he was to where he wanted to be in his mind, he took it in little steps, a fraction of a second at a time.
What Roger Bannister did was certainly impressive. What happened after he broke the record is even more so. Remember that until he broke the four-minute mile barrier, no one else had ever done it. But within one year, 37 other runners did the same thing. In the year after that, over 300 runners ran a mile in less than four minutes.
Every one of those runners had within themselves the capability to achieve that goal. Each one of them had the potential to run that fast, but it wasn't until someone else showed them that it was possible, it wasn't until they believed it, that they tapped into the potential that was always there.
What did Roger Bannister's beliefs allow him to do? They allowed him to achieve a feat that no one on earth ever had before.
He had an If /Then Belief (you can imagine his internal dialogue being something like, "If I can run a mile in 244 seconds, then I'm sure I can do it in 243, and if I can run it in 243, I'm sure I can knock off one more second, after all it's only one more second, how hard can that be," and so on,until he did it.) that helped him to focus on tiny, continuous improvement. He also utilized his imagined references to harness the power of visualization. No Since no one else had ever run a mile in less than four minutes before, so he had to imagine it was possible, he had to create such a level of certainty in his entire being, his entire nervous system and subconscious that he knew, he absolutely knew, that running a mile in less than four minutes was not only possible, but that he personally could do it.
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
By the way, can your subconscious mind, the part of you that really runs things (and this is not just your brain, but your entire interconnected system, much of which is below your conscious awareness), can it distinguish between something that actually happened to you and something you imagined? Before you answer, have you ever had a dream where you wake up and feel as if what you just dreamt about had actually occurred? Where your heart is beating out of your chest, you may be sweating, anxious, excited, or petrified? Probably, and could your subconscious tell the difference? No way. Our subconscious does not distinguish between something we vividly imagine, and something that we actually experience.
Roger Bannister's beliefs enabled him to tap a potential in his body that was always there; these beliefs inspired and empowered him to achieve a feat greater than he or anyone else had ever before accomplished. Most people think that when you see it then you believe it. However, the rare individual knows, when you believe it, it is then that you will see it.
How Can You Use This?
Think about and list the beliefs that had the most powerful
positive impact on your life. As you write out your list pick the top two most
empowering beliefs that have had the most significance in your personal success
in any subject, sports, carreer, personal or financial goals, familial or social
accomplishments, and so on. Now list the references that support your belief.
Are they personal experience based, second hand experience based (observed,
read about, or told to you by someone else, etc.), or imagined references that
you dreamed about or concocted on your own? Is it possible that they may in
fact be a combination of all three? Now, look deeper to see if these beliefs
have carried over to help you in other areas of your life's endevors. Last,
look at how they can support, direct, and/or change the way you might view a
challenge you have currently in your life. Use this to help Tap into your vast
Do not let what you cannot do
interfere with what you can do.
-JOHN WOODEN, The only man ever to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach!
"The biggest thing is to have a mind-set and
a belief you can win every tournament going in"
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