You have heard the question “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound?”.
Well, I have another question for you:
“If you have a limiting belief but refuse to think about it, do you still have a problem?”
The mind is an interesting muscle. Once it assigns a meaning to a particular situation or event, it starts building additional thoughts and beliefs to justify that initial meaning. For better or for worse.
Years ago, I had a limiting belief that I could not run; it hurt my knees too much. I built a wall of beliefs around that belief to justify my not running. Then one day I decided to challenge it by running two miles, walking a mile, and running one more. I chose a new belief: “I can run three miles.” In that moment, I refused to think my old limiting belief and replaced it with another one. And, my mind responded like it always does; it started to look for new beliefs and thoughts to strengthen that new belief. I found a way to use my mind in a way that was to my advantage. The new beliefs, strengthened with consistent running, changed my life.
The results speak for themselves: 15 half marathons, 13 marathons, one 40-mile trail race, 50-mile race and 100K trail race in the next 20 years. I found that, in the end, I changed something even deeper than a belief. I changed my core identity. I changed from being the “fat band kid” to being a “long distance endurance athlete” and “zen-runner.” Changing who you believe you are is the deepest change you can make.
I encourage you to question your own thoughts when you think something limits you. Just because you think a thought, does not automatically mean that it is true. Go and find a way to disprove it, even if it is in a small way. Adopt a new belief and strengthen it with consistent actions.
Let you mind weave new beliefs and thoughts around it to strengthen it, and over time, you will achieve more that you ever thought possible. It will give you the strength and courage to truly change your life.
Running two miles did not lead to “long distance endurance runner” overnight. Initially, I never dreamed I would go out and complete a 100 kilometer race with total confidence in my ability to go the distance. But once I challenged my initial limiting belief, it led me down many paths, many races, many spiritual moments, and a more fulfilling life.
And as for the philosophical question of whether or not a falling tree makes a sound if nobody is there to hear it, the answer is “It doesn’t matter because you will be somewhere else, thinking about something else, and making your life be something better!”
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