Shhh, be very quiet. Can you hear that voice? The voice that is whispering in your ear saying that you can’t do this or that? Or is it another voice that is talking. The voice that says you can do anything you want as long as you focus your mind. Which voice is talking to you today?
Each of us faces an uphill battle within our mind, everyday. We allow ourselves to be limited by what has been fed into our brains since we were children. Don’t misunderstand me about boundaries, there are positive restrictions and there are negative prohibitions. As adults, we need to learn which fences help us to be safe and protected while we break through the barriers that prevent us from achieving our maximum potential.
I want to share with you something I learned from Dr. Dave Martin. He stated that humans are the only species in all creation that fail to reach their ultimate potential. Trees grow as tall as they can grow. Cheetahs run as fast as they can to capture their prey. Eagles fly at such high altitudes so that can see their dinner from nearly a mile away! These are just a few example of nature working at its best.
I have been a victim of my own limited thinking. Early on I learned to play the piano, the cello and to sing as a bass/baritone. Many people felt that I had the potential and talent to become a great musician. As a result, I really pushed myself to learn how to perform at a high level and become a valuable member of both the high school choir and the chamber ensemble. When people started to point out that I lacked the ability and skill to sight-read music, I began to falter. Suddenly, I noticed that others were better performers and that I really didn’t belong singing with them at all. I allowed the voices that were critical of me to transform my thinking and thus limit my potential as a musician.
I found a way around this boundary, years later, when I took a bold step and performed solo during a church talent show. I sang with the greatest confidence I could muster and really did my best. As a result, I was invited to join the praise team at the church. This was an honor for two reasons. First, the praise team was only six to eight people. Second, it had been several years between that performance and the last time I took the stage in high school.
Now, I want to bring this into the present. When I joined Toastmasters, I knew that I could speak in public. Much like my time as a musician, I had not spoken on a platform for quite a while. It took a really concentrated effort for me to take the stage and perform at a level where I thought I might be able to reach. Now, the barrier is broken and I know that my talent can carry me further. My mind is engaged and being conditioned to envision a future in public speaking that I would not have thought could exist outside of reading, hearing or watching speakers like Tony Robbins or Norman Vincent Peale.
To bring this in for a landing, here are the points that I want you to remember for your own breakthrough. First, listen to the voices around you that encourage you to be the best you can be. Second, identify the limits on you life that are preventing you from achieving your desires and dreams. Third, start making an action plan to break through the barriers that are holding you back. Finally, go to work at becoming the person you want to be. You have the power to think your way into success!