Are you afraid of failing? Who isn’t? My colleague, Anna Bowness-Park, explores how we can break the chains of self-imposed fears and limitations. We really are more capable than we think no matter what the challenge is, be it employment, health or relationships. Enjoy!
Canadian Olympic gold medalist Adam Kreek was not happy. A new member of the team was a better rower than him, consistently beating him at races. Although annoyed, Kreek was also curious. What made this young rower more successful? So, over coffee he asked the question. The response was surprising. “I seek failure,” said his teammate.
Expanding this idea in an entertaining and thoughtful TedX Talk in Victoria in 2013, Kreek went on to explain his teammate’s comment. Imagine yourself with a bubble around you. That bubble is your self-imposed limitations; how you see your abilities and what you believe about your capabilities. Kreek stressed that breaking through that bubble is the first step to understanding our true abilities. It is a vital part of understanding how we unwittingly limit ourselves in every avenue of life, including our health.
What was interesting, was that Kreek’s teammate did not talk about diet, fitness or modern technology as what helped him be a better athlete. He talked of a mental app; if you like, a change of thought about how he sees himself.
With every world record broken, athletes of all disciplines are continually stretching the limits of what we consider physically possible.They inspire us to move beyond our self-imposed beliefs about what we can and cannot do and to reach for higher goals. In many ways you could say that they are explorers – discovering not just what we are capable of, physically, but also mentally. Kreek’s point is that being afraid to fail keeps us within the limits of what we believe about ourselves.
But what if we are capable of so much more if we change how we view where strength, stamina and other qualities needed for any strenuous endeavour come from?