The number one thing I’ve observed over the last 30 years of leading people is that people are always way more capable than they think they are. Period. This is self doubt.
For whatever reason (and there are many), the majority of people place limitations on themselves, think less or poorly of themselves and are incredibly judgemental and critical about their abilities and their potential – and this becomes their reality, regardless if there’s any truth to their beliefs or not. (which 9.9 times out of 10 there isn’t).
I’ve witnessed so many incredibly talented people being held back by their internal belief systems. I’ve also seen people who have been marginally successful change their thinking who have had their potential unleashed. It has been an amazing privilege to watch.
Your mind is incredibly powerful – you know that – I’m not telling you anything new in that regards – BUT, what I want to challenge you with and leave with you to think about on today is this:
Your thoughts will determine your destiny.
There was an incredibly interesting and, in my opinion, mind-blowing study conducted in 1981 by Psychologist Ellen Langer on the power of the mind and aging. She recruited 8 men in their 70’s and placed them for 5 days in a converted monastery in New Hampshire in the United States of America.
Inside the building, Langer had re-created their world 22 years prior – from the shows on the TV, to the music playing on the radio, to the books and magazines lying around. There were no mirrors, no modern clothing – only photos of themselves 22 years ago.
When they entered the house, they were told to not only reminisce about their life 22 years ago but to actually make a psychological attempt to be the person they were 22 years ago. Langer told the men, “feel as you did in 1959.”
From the moment they entered the building, they were treated as though they were younger – they were even told that they had to carry up their belongings upstairs to their room, even if they had to do it one shirt at a time.
Before arriving, the men were assessed on such measures as dexterity, grip strength, flexibility, hearing and vision, memory and cognition, and then they were tested on these again at the end of the study.
What Langer found was that the group outperformed the control group (who’d entered the house prior to them and who were simply told to reminisce about life 22 years ago) on several measures. They were suppler, showed greater manual dexterity and sat taller. Perhaps most unlikely, their sight improved. Independent judges said they even looked younger. At the end of the study, the 8 men were even seen playing a match of touch football while waiting for the bus to take them all home.
Astounding stuff don’t you think?
It makes you wonder how each one of us is holding ourselves back, simply by the way we think and the way in which we perceive the world, ourselves and each other?
So again I ask you, what are you believing about yourself right now? Is it based on facts, or just your own self doubt?
What limits are you placing on yourself and what are you going to do about it?
Remember, you’re ALWAYS more capable than you think.
Keep climbing and take care,
**Note: If you’re struggling to lift your mood, to see light at the end of the tunnel, or just feel down a majority of the time, you’re not alone and you may need to seek professional help. Beyond Blue provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live.
If you’d like to learn more about my strategies for growing a positive mindset and much more, to grow a thriving business, we’ve just launched our new LEADING4GROWTH ONLINE LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM.
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