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Breaking Barriers

The Impossible Time

In 1954, Sir Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile barrier at the Iffley Road track in Oxford, England, challenging the belief that it was impossible. He demonstrated that self-belief and action can overcome the barriers that hold us back.

Up until that point, running a mile under four minutes was considered impossible. Doctors believed that the body wouldn’t survive the stress that would be put on it running at that speed.

Bannister was an experienced runner who had participated in two Olympic Games and various national and international events. Despite numerous attempts, no one had previously broken the four-minute mile barrier.

All previous records had neared the four minute mile, but, fell short of breaking it. It seemed impossible.

Bannister, like other historical figures such as the Wright Brothers, Robert Stephenson, and Amelia Earhart, saw beyond the perceived limitations. All of them dared to achieve their goals, despite the risks and doubts.

They had a dream, which was commonly considered impossible or involved the fear of death. Seeing beyond the impossible and the fear, they set their mind to breaking barriers that others feared to go through or challenge.

Unseen Beliefs

What is often unseen in these individuals is the internal struggle they had to overcome to break their own personal beliefs. They were driven by their passion to achieve a goal that many deemed impossible, but which they considered to be a worthy goal. These goals would forever write their names in history.

The likes of Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, and Elon Musk continue to challenge common beliefs and overcome the impossible, unlikely, and unknown, proving that anything is achievable when we change our mindset from “Is it possible?” to “It’s possible!”

The impossible dream suddenly becomes the possible dream and the reality.

That single turn of beliefs, is what has created the world that we live in. Every invention came from the imagination of it’s creator, to the material world that we see today.

Breaking Beliefs

Overcoming our beliefs and breaking through the mental barriers that hold us back takes effort, persistence, faith, and belief. Our mind is the single greatest barrier to overcome, and our beliefs and tendencies, our habits, lie within our subconscious.

Once we have overcome those beliefs, everything else falls into place.

Within these, is found the courage and discipline to ensure that we stay on track to achieve our dreams, our goals, our passion and the life we want to live.

To change our beliefs, we must replace the negative with the positive. We must affirm the positive until it becomes a truly held belief, accepted as true by our subconscious mind. You know when that happens, when the new belief feels as natural as breathing.

Bannister’s achievement not only broke his own belief but destroyed it for others, demonstrating that barriers of belief are an illusion created by our own mindset.

Breaking barriers requires effort and action, so that we can overcome those beliefs and achieve goals which others consider impossible.

By breaking through our beliefs, we can achieve our goals and live the life we imagine, as Henry David Thoreau once said:

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

Photograph by Ben Stern on Unsplash

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