August 12, 2016
Reason #5: It provides a way to let go of self-limiting beliefs (Part Two)
Whether you believe you can, or believe you can’t, you are right. Henry Ford said that.
He also said, “Produce it anyway,” when his team told him that it would be impossible to cast an eight-cylinder engine-block in one piece. They returned to him over and over again telling him that it could not be done. And, each time he told them, basically, to just make it happen. And guess what? Eventually, they did. It happened. In a nutshell, Ford challenged his team’s beliefs until they changed and became realities.
Now, consider the four-minute mile. The world thought that it was an impossible feat—to run one mile in fewer than four minutes—before it was done by Roger Bannister in 1964. Literally, people did not think that it could be done. Nevertheless, mile-by-mile, runners have shaved seconds off of this time to give us the current record of the 3:43.13 minute mile (run by Hicham El Guerrouj in 1999).
So, what does this have to do with strengths and beliefs?
The answer is: Everything.
When we believe something can be done, we are likely to keep after it until it is achieved. Whereas, if we lack belief, the merest setback could send us packing, saying, “It was impossible anyway.”
Knowing our strengths gives us a line of defense against giving up, because our strengths are our greatest assets and hold our greatest potential for growth. It doesn’t mean that it will be easy but it does mean that it will be meaningful and, ultimately, worth our while.
When we focus on strengths we see continuous (and, usually, measurable) growth—and evolution. When we focus on our deficiencies, we see, at best, minor improvement.
What feels impossible today?
Action: Close your eyes and imagine yourself as a child. Put yourself in your mind and shoes as an 8 year-old and try to remember what did and did not seem “possible” back then. Chances are, some things that are normal and natural today, were unimaginable back then. Now, imagine your life today—think of everything you have achieved, overcome, survived, and accomplished. Ask yourself, “What are the things that I want to do with my life that feel unachievable?” Last step, put yourself in your shoes as a 100 year-old person looking back. What advice would you have for you?
Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.
Zach Carlsen is the grateful lead blogger at StrengthsLife.com
His strengths of Ideation, Connectedness, Input, Strategic, and Empathy have taken him all over the world. He is an inventor, athlete, joyous wanderer/wonderer, translator, poet, and Gallup Certified Strengths Coach.