THE POWER OF OUR BELIEFS
What we think of ourselves and the beliefs that lie behind this are fundamental in deciding whether we achieve our life goals.
As the old adage says, those who think they can and those who think they can’t are probably both right.
Here’s a recent example that a friend of mine has given me permission to share with you.
My friend, Sam, had taken up running and had committed himself to running a half marathon (21k) in October this year.
Sam had no real history of distance running and had been very unfit when he had first started running.
Sam had a mental block with pushing himself hard physically. He was worried that his years of being unfit may catch up with him if he over exerted. As a result , he wasn’t running as far as he needed to in training to take significant steps towards achieving his half marathon goal.
In Coach speech, Sam was stuck, held back by a limiting belief.
Two weeks before the half marathon, Sam ran a 10k race. He did well, set a personal best of 65 minutes but crossed the finishing line very worried that he would have to run twice as far in just 2 weeks time.
By coincidence, a couple of days later Sam had a routine health check organised through work.
Amongst other checks, Sam was told he had the lungs of a 25 year old (Sam’s in his mid 40’s).
Armed with this knowledge, Sam blew his limiting belief out of the water. “I have the lungs of a 25 year old” became his personal mantra and he was able to push himself both physically and mentally to places he had never before been to.
In October 2014, Sam completed the half marathon in 2 hrs 20 minutes, a fantastic achievement. In November, he ran another 10k and set a personal best of 57 minutes, 8 minutes inside the time he’d set just 6 weeks earlier.
So as a coach, what do I learn from Sam’s experience…
• Sam had set himself a fantastic goal that was Smart and in line with his values and he was very motivated to achieve it.
• Sam was not going to achieve his goal because he was stuck by a limiting belief.
• By increasing his self-awareness, Sam learned that he could achieve what he had previously thought was not possible.
• There was no physical change in Sam – he had the lungs of a 25 year old both before and after the check up. What changed was Sam’s knowledge of himself.
• Sam’s mantra was a positive affirmation. He said it often enough and with such conviction that he believed it to such an extent that he removed his limiting belief.
• It’s never too late to learn new experiences. Sam’s in his mid 40’s and has learned a huge amount about himself both physically and mentally over the last 6 months.
• Finally, without the great goal itself and Sam’s commitment to it, none of the above would have taken place.
As a coach, I never cease to be in awe of how amazing and resourceful the human body and mind are.
Timothy Gallwey wrote, “Performance equals Potential minus Interference”.
My role as a coach is to help the client reduce this interference, both internal and external, so they can improve their performance.
Well done Sam and all of you who are setting yourselves great goals.