Sports legend Michael Jordan said in a speech while being accepted into the Basketball Hall of Fame: “…limits, like fears, are often just illusions!”
Think about what this means.
Often, we limit ourselves more by what’s on in our head, than what’s going on outside of it. Our fears and our limitations both are usually things that we’ve created entirely for ourselves. How? Often it happens when somewhere along the way we’ve suffered a setback of some kind. That setback becomes a limitation in our minds. We think because we couldn’t push past it once, that we can’t push past it ever. We start even to become afraid of trying, without realizing that success is not only entirely possible but usually a whole lot closer than we think.
Let’s look then at what we can learn from Michael Jordan about pushing past limitations.
- Start by remembering that failure doesn’t last. When you suffer a setback, there are two ways to look at it. We can either see it as a stop sign or an opportunity. To extend the analogy, consider it a yield sign that tells us to slow down and look around before proceeding. Failure then does several things:
- It helps us to decide if what we’re doing is worth it.
- We’re forced to reassess how we’re going about things.
- We learn a way that doesn’t work.
- We know to try something else.
- Next, check your attitude. The last thing you want to do is get caught in a spiral of negative self-talk or bitterness. Focus on the positive, and it will lead you to the possible.
- Embrace a changed heart. Accepting that you’re going to succeed and establishing you have the passion needed is when you know you’re ready to concentrate on the next step. Now it’s time to prove it.
- Jump into the action, but don’t go it alone. Talk with your support group and mentors as you move forward. This kind of accomplishment requires a team, one with the experience and invested interest to help you keep going, even when the going gets tough.
These are the methods that Michael Jordan practiced daily in his career. These same principles applied to your perceived limitations will take you past the roadblocks that have held you back previously and into a whole new ballgame. It’s how winners succeed, and how you will be one of the winners!