In 1881, the New York YWCA's proposed typing lessons for woman
brought protests citing "the female constitution would break down under the
strain." I wonder how many women believed that and didn't sign up? Or how
many would-be-travelers listened when "experts" determined that riding a
speeding train of fifteen miles an hour would cause them to suffocate in
tunnels as blood spurted from their noses? These incorrect thoughts are
amusing now. But, don't laugh too hard. We have plenty of our own that
limit progress and hold us back.
Once Roger Bannister ran a mile under four minutes, proving that the human
heart could hold up when running that fast, others quickly followed. And
once Olympic champion, Vasily Alexeev broke the weight lifting barrier of
500 pounds, other weight-lifters broke his record knowing it was possible.
Yet before he could do it himself, Alexeev's trainers changed his limiting
belief by rigging 501.5 pounds of weights to look like 499.
Our thoughts are powerful. What we belief to be true, often is. One of my
favorite stories involves an elementary school teacher who was delighted
the first day of school to see what a smart class she'd been given. Next to
each child's name were numbers like 138, 140, 154. Taking these numbers as
the students' IQs, the teacher worked extra hard to challenge the class. By
the end of the year, the progress was remarkable. It was then that she
discovered the numbers weren't their IQs but their lockers.
Are your thoughts limiting or invigorating? Self-restricting or
self-empowering? Think it's impossible and you'll build your own walls.
Think you can't and you set yourself up for a self-fulfilling result. Think
you can and your thinking can help make it happen. Take Florence
Griffith-Joyner who wrote in her diary before the l988 Olympic Games that
she would win the 100-meter dash in 10:54 seconds. She did win in exactly
10:54 seconds. That's because thoughts can determine reality.
Years ago, I told a friend about a promotion that would take me from what I
knew into a new discipline. She quickly responded, "Nan, how could you say
yes? You won't know what you're doing." It surprised me. I'd never thought
of saying anything other than yes. "I'll figure it out," I told her. And I
did. My thinking told me I could figure things out. Her thinking told her
she couldn't. That difference played out in our careers.
People who are winning at working understand there's power to their
thoughts. Power to bring results, create realities and banish walls. Power
to overcome challenges, eliminate barriers and achieve what others only
dream. Want to be winning at working? Power your thoughts to positively
impact your future.
© 2005 Nan S. Russell. All rights reserved.
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Nan Russell has spent over twenty years in management, most recently with QVC as a Vice President. She has held leadership positions in Human Resource Development, Communication, Marketing and line Management. Nan has a B.A. from Stanford University and M.A. from the University of Michigan. Currently working on her first book, Winning at Working: 10 Lessons Shared, Nan is a writer, columnist, small business owner, and on-line instructor. Visit www.nanrussell.com or contact Nan at firstname.lastname@example.org.