“Maybe sometimes people need to see someone do it so they can do it themselves” Father Charles Rorick
Prior to 1954, legend stated that the human body was not capable of running a mile in less than 4 minutes. According to some stories/myths, Romans tried dragging their best runners with horses to speed them along, and the Greeks tied bulls behind their best athletes to give them ‘incentive’ to run faster. Over the years, people began to believe that running the 4 – minute mile was simply not possible!
On May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister did the “impossible” by running a mile in 3:59.4 breaking the 4 minute barrier.
Since that time over 20,000 people have broken the 4 minute mile while lowering the time by 17 seconds to as fast as 3:43.13 in 1999. It’s now the standard of all middle distance runners. Why? Because they knew in their heart that someone had already done it and that it is possible. They began to believe that if someone else can make their dream a reality, then they could also believe they could make their dreams a reality. It all came down to belief!
What we think is what we believe and it often does not matter whether it is true or not. We have all had clients who stubbornly hold onto the belief that “there are no jobs out there” and then justify it by quoting the 7% unemployment rate. Of course this belief can be very easily challenged by letting your client know that the employment statistic actually shows that there are 93% employed people out there. You can further challenge their belief by letting them know that these employed people will eventually move, retire, pass away, take a leave of absence, be promoted, etc., opening up tons of jobs for them.
Challenging our clients beliefs is one of the most important jobs we have as career practitioners. By challenging what I call ‘career limiting beliefs’, we can open up possibilities that they could not otherwise see.
What types of career beliefs do you have? Have you encountered any career limiting or enlightening beliefs with your clients? Let us know!