Limits are self-imposed boundaries that we place on ourselves to hedge our potential and performance. Before Roger Bannister broke the 4-minute barrier in the mile race, people boldly proclaimed that this limit would never be reached. Bannister broke through the mental barrier of a limit, and others quickly followed in his footsteps achieving this same goal. People who allow limits to rule their lives never venture out to discover what’s possible. They live their lives in the superlatives of “never” and “always” instead of the shades of curiosity and opportunity, and they allow the past to haunt their future.
We can’t allow limits to lower our standards and reduce our goals to nothing more than everyday tasks. Peak performers in sports, business, and life explore possibilities and push through the self-imposed barriers that can hold them back. It is in those breakthrough moments that they allow their true potential to come out. We have an axiom in sports performance that says:
…which begs the question: “What thoughts are you thinking?” Are they negative thoughts of doubt and fear? Is there an overwhelming lack of confidence in your life? Are you planting a hedge around what your true potential is?
Having a positive mindset and thinking thoughts of belief and trust don’t absolutely guarantee success, but we do know that bringing negative thoughts into your activity, whatever it may be, ensures a higher probability that you will fail. The great thing is that we have a choice in the moment about what we think about. We must replace the thoughts of fear, doubt, pressure, and lack of confidence with thoughts of belief and trust. With our athletes, we use trigger phrases that help them replace these negative thoughts and activate some physical action for them to succeed.
Limits try to predict outcomes that may never happen. A team that admits, “We can’t win this game!” is sunk before they start. There is a reason you play the game. Anything is possible, and you must compete to discover what you are capable of. This concept transcends sports and applies to life as well. There is a reason you live your life. If you are still breathing, there is a reason for that, and you can’t allow limits to determine an outcome that may never happen. I love what Nido Qubein says: “Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.”
Don’t allow limits to define you. Strive for breakthrough moments in everything you do! Discover what’s possible today!
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