The Power of Belief

Posted on November 19, 2010


“Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you are right.” Henry Ford

What I spent this mornings run thinking about was the power of belief.

The best illustration of the power of belief in action is that of Roger Bannister. He was a talented runner and proclaimed that he was going to run a mile in under four minutes.

No man had ever achieved this. Doctors declared it was impossible as the heart wouldn’t be able to handle the strain and the lungs wouldn’t have enough strength. A load of other reasons were cited too that apparently rendered a sub-four minute mile impossible.

But Bannister believed otherwise. He believed it was possible as he saw himself improving and getting faster every year … and he refused to listen to what people said.

Day in day out he trained and in doing so sharpened his mind and his body. He was convinced that slow and steady training would enable him to reach his goal.

And indeed it did. On May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile. The remarkable thing is however, was that one month later the impossible was made possible yet again, this time by another runner. And in the following year more and more people started to break this same record.

Did all these runners suddenly become faster? Or was it that they now believed it was possible to break the four-minute mile?

What is possible and what is not is all in the mind. Most of life’s limitations come from within. But once you break these limitations and get out of your mental prison you realise that your biggest limitations are your beliefs.



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