In 1954, Roger Bannister became the first person to do what was considered by many to be impossible. He ran 1 mile in less than 4 minutes. For 70 years, runners had chased the goal, but none had been able to break through the barrier. In most of the world's mind, it was just not possible.
Within just over a year after Bannister's feat, 4 more runners accomplished the achievement, and thousands of runners since have done the same.
A mindset shift.
Seeing Bannister accomplish the goal allowed them to believe the feat was achievable.
At Premier, we talk a lot about protective mechanisms that exist within the body. These mechanisms limit our ability to move freely and perform at our best. In many cases, these physically induced limitations can develop due to previous injuries or improper movement patterns.
However, the race to the 4 minute mile demonstrated that the most significant limitations can often occur in our minds..
Psychologically induced limitations are created when we have negative beliefs, thoughts, and emotions about the goals we set out to achieve. Negative thoughts serve to protect us from the psychological damage of failing (which in 99% of cases really is never as bad as it seems, right?).
In doing so, they drastically reduce our ability to set meaningful performance goals and strive for improvement.
Instead, negative thoughts allow us to quickly say "no" to new ideas and move on.
Just think about it for a second... when's the last time you had a great idea or ambitious goal?
Maybe it was to decrease your 40 time, throw more weight around in the gym, or start a new project for your business.
It's possible the idea ignited a fire of enthusiasm, but was quickly doused with a negative thought like "I could never do that."
Within seconds, negative thoughts limited your ability to improve and do something great.
On the flip side, having a positive thought in that moment would have expanded your vision, making you more receptive, creative, and likely to achieve your goal.
If negative beliefs are the walls that we build around ourselves, positive thoughts are the ladders that allow us to peak over that wall to see if it's a barrier worth overcoming.
Therefore, in order to perform at your best, we must work at replacing negativity with positive belief.
Because negativity is a much easier thought process, it can easily become our default operating mode if we don't work at it.
How to start shifting your mindset:
One way that's proven to be effective is tallying the number of times you feel positive and negative emotions throughout the day. You can do this on a piece of paper, a word document on your computer, or the notes app on your phone.
Positive emotions to key in on include:
Negative emotions include.:
By doing so, you'll place a focus on the positive, and quickly start to shift your mindset. Goals that previously seemed impossible will seem reachable, allowing you to constantly strive for better performance.
About the Author
Evan Lewis is a nationwide leader in Neuro Therapy and founded the Baltimore area's only specialist Neuro Therapy facility.
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