In my experience, one of the most dangerous types of thought is the limiting thought. You know it, the little negative seed of an idea that gets planted in the brain and keeps great things from happening. Limiting thoughts are lame thoughts; ok perhaps not as lame as James Franco, but still pretty lame.
Some famous limiting thoughts I can think of include:
“No one can run a sub 4 minute mile.”
“The Cubs will never win the World Series.”
And the big winner “You can’t put a man on the moon.”
Yes, throughout history there have been pretty binding thoughts put out there. The ‘wisdom’ of these thoughts prevailed for quite some time until a brave soul (or souls) stepped forward and asked “why not?”
When the masses take a stand, it is hard to run counter to that thinking. You know “what they say….” On one hand, being the contrarian can get you in some pretty hot water. Your employer may not take kindly to the idea that you want to run the opposite of what the limiting thought yields.
Yet virtually all of the great improvements in technology, economics, business, and the world were derived from someone rising about the naysayers. That one brave person who believed in a different calling or a different vision of what could be.
The experts said it couldn’t be done
According to legend, experts said for years that the human body was simply not capable of a 4-minute mile(1). It wasn’t just dangerous; it was impossible.
Further legends hold that people had tried for over a thousand years to break the barrier, even tying bulls behind them to increase the incentive to do the impossible.
In the 1940’s, the mile record was pushed to 4:01, where it stood for nine years, as runners struggled with the idea that, just maybe, the experts had it right. Perhaps the human body had reached its limit.
On May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister broke the 4-minute barrier, running the distance in 3:59.4. As part of his training, he relentlessly visualized the achievement in order to create a sense of certainty in his mind and body.
Barely a year after Bannister’s accomplishment, someone else ran a mile in under 4 minutes. Then some more runners did. Now, it’s almost routine. Even strong high-schoolers today run 4-minute miles.
You can beat the odds
Your thought pattern can help beat the odds. Rather than giving in to the negative positions that swirl around, decide to focus on the positive. If your early results seem promising, keep pressing toward a higher, more noble goal.
Forget the people who want to drag you down. Decide on your vision for what can be. Then get going, make it happen.