Capability is daring yourself to stretch and see that you don’t have a limit to your potential. A former boss used to say, whether you think you can or you think you can’t you’re right. When she would say this I would roll my eyes and think, oh what a Pollyanna! However if you examine how the brain are brain works, she’s actually right. Our brain is designed to filter out information that does not fit with our self image or capability.
This phenomenon has been documented throughout history. I was first exposed to the concept when I attended Lou Tice’s workshop Investment in Excellence. He cited explained how the brain works and illustrated with the example of the four-minute mile. Once the record was broken, multiple people broke it within 30 days. That ability to see that you can achieve something is sometimes the thing that actually allows it to happen.
There is another great story that Lou tells to illustrate this point. A potato farmer in Australia entered a long grueling race that typically took five days to run. The farmer was dressed in his normal attire - overalls and work boots. To the local media the farmer was a joke, he was older than the rest of the runners; he was ill-equipped. The farmer who was a joke at the start of the race ended the race a winner. Not only did he win but he won the race by a day and a half! How did he pull off such a huge win? He did so because he really didn’t believe or didn’t even know about the common race methodology suggested by the experts to run for 14 hours, then sleep for six. He just kept running, like the age-old story of the tortoise and the hare. I think by not focusing on what the world sees as limitations but looking past to what we want allows us to reach our own inner potential.
What do you see as your potential? What belief could be holding you back?
“Sometimes what holds us back is not who we think we are but who we think we are not.” ~Anonymous