Who is Roger Bannister? He is the first man in history to break the 4 minute mile barrier. A barrier that was said to be humanly impossible to achieve since they began clocking track athletes in the mile run. However, Mr. Bannister, a 25 year old determined man in 1954, set out to prove that he could do whatever he put his mind to despite what professionals and others believed.
I imagine during his training and time leading up to his attempt that he received a lot of negativity and feelings of solitude, because no one knew how to help him or guide him in the way he truly needed. I would also imagine that people thought he was crazy to even attempt it. Despite all that, Roger Bannister broke the 4 mile mile barrier by running the mile in 3min 59.4s.
With the perspective I have gained over my lifetime, I think he was extremely courageous to do something uncharted, against the grain. If I knew about Roger Bannister throughout my life and read his story, I would have learned that the limitations society, your family, the professional world, your circumstances, your school, your town, your city, your state, your country, your own mind and this world place on your unknown potential/natural abilities are not real.
This blog is about limitations, the belief systems that hinder your ability to grow and succeed beyond even your wildest imagination. I used the real life story above about Roger Bannister, because I recently heard about it in my process of writing and I thought about it through the perspective of limitations and the lack of support when you set out to accomplish something uncommon.
We do not pour enough belief into each other. Whenever we hear about someone attempting something that you yourself have never thought of or you yourself have never done before, most of us change the subject to something we do know or gravitate to programmed negative responses because we have been groomed to doubt our own potential.
However, I am here to tell you that you are free to think, free to dream, and free to live beyond the limitations that have been weighing your wings down throughout your life. DO NOT SELL YOURSELF SHORT EVER! I know this sounds cliche and I admit, I once thought like this too, but you are capable of so many incredible, impossible things. Especially if you are blessed with people who pour belief in you on a daily basis. Most importantly you have to pour that belief in yourself.
As a young kid from a small little ‘country’ town called Barrett Town Little River in the hills of Rosehall, Montego Bay Jamaica, I would have never thought that I would be where I am now. I just had these dreams and the drive I got from my mother as well as a grandmother that kept me humble.
I had dreams of graduating college with a BS in biology and engineering, dreams of becoming a cardiologist or working in the biotech field, dreams becoming a dancer, dreams of becoming a personal chef, dreams of becoming a basketball player, dreams of becoming a business owner, dreams of running a marathon, dreams of becoming a better communicator, dreams of becoming a writer, and dreams of teaching others how to believe in themselves.
How am I doing with all these dreams? So better than I could ever imagine. I have achieved almost everything above with the exception of becoming a doctor, because I made the choice not to because that was someone else’s dream that I was trying to fit into my scope of abilities. However, I was the first to graduate from college with 2 degrees, the first to have a long standing career in the biotech field, the first to start an adult dance studio, the first to start his own personal chef business, the first to have my article published in a local magazine, the first to run a marathon, the first to become multiple business owner and the first to pour belief into everyone that is a part of my circle to let them know that they can accomplish the impossible with belief in self, time, training, and love.
So if you have someone in your life that has recently shared something that sounds far-fetched, don’t disregard what they shared with you or change the subject. Take the time to process it and ask questions if you don’t understand. Respond with care and encourage rather than judge. You may help them believe just a little more than they did before they shared their idea with you.
I’ll leave you with this; Roger Bannister broke the 1 mile barrier in 1954, and almost 1700 track athletes have broken the 4 minute barrier since then. In fact, it took the next track athlete 46 days after Roger broke the mile barrier to break his record. Today the fastest mile was clocked at 3:43:13 in 1999 by Hicham El Guerrouj. That shatters the mile barrier by almost 17 seconds. Just think about that! If Roger Bannister didn’t believe in himself and his ability, then this barrier would still be a limitation that we measure our abilities against.
So evaluate your life in the next year. What limitations have you been housing in your unlimited potential. Is it physical, is it mental, is it from your family, is it from your friends/peers, is it from your past relationships? It is time to take steps in a new direction so that those that follow you know that you were crazy enough to break through or even attempt it. Live your greatness now, because we don’t spend enough time living beyond our limits.