Earlier I posted this photo performing a one arm lever. I did this because someone called me out claiming the two arm lever was “too easy” (LOL). He then posted a link to someone else doing it. Though he couldn’t perform it himself, he attacked someone else for not being able to do it.
When we criticize others for not doing what we cannot do, we secretly hope they will prove us wrong. We rationalize that if someone we respect cannot do it, then it’s okay that we believe we cannot, but we quietly hope the impossible IS truly possible and that our cynicism is unjust.
This photo is my young cousin, who through whatever internal dispositions and supportive familial and environmental circumstances lacked a concept of “impossibility.” When he saw me performing it, he went ahead and replicated it, without having trained it or attempted it prior. He just thought it looked fun and challenging.
One of my students posted this comment, “I had a basketball ring in my back garden and always wanted to be able to jump high enough to touch the ring, but could never do it. One afternoon one of my ‘younger’ cousins came round and did it. Seeing this not only made it possible, but
as my little cousin was doing it right in front of me, it made me feel as though I should be able to do it. So I jumped up and reached it… I tried again and reached it again. I couldn’t believe I could do it after all that time. However, a couple of days later I tried and failed and never reached it again? The mind is such an all powerful thing, I obviously needed that stimulus as my own self belief was not strong enough… Nothing is impossible if you have positive and supportive people around you and most of all a strong self belief.”
His experience is a textbook example that I have seen repeatedly not merely in myself as anecdotal evidence but across several sports of which I have been national coach. In coaching psychology we can see that this can be either positive or negative and it is often referred to as a belief bias. You can believe that it’s possible to achieve it or you can believe that it’s impossible to not achieve it; either way you were correct .
It is not our bodies which limit us, but our beliefs. Expand your imagination, embrace your potential, be courageous and hold yourself personally accountable for both your safety and growth.