I recently watched a video about a 3 year old girl with a leg prosthetic trying to climb a man-made rock wall. The video was very popular, thousands of viewers watched as she grappled with the lack of traction, the difficult logistics and how, no matter what strategy she used she failed to reach the next grip on the wall until……….. she did! The entire time she kept trying to climb the wall we the viewers, were cringing, waiting, hoping someone, anyone, would come up and help her figure out how to navigate the wall and be successful.
The only problem was this little girl didn’t know she had a handicap or was disabled. It simply didn’t register, no adult, no person let her know that she wouldn’t be able to run in a field, play a sport, or a climb wall for that matter. It was all news to her, she just kept trying.
On the other end of the spectrum I had a client who was in his 70’s had arthritis and a lack of flexibility in his knees and hips and had little experience with exercise. His presence at the gym meant he had no other alternative, no matter how frivolous a gym membership seemed to be for him, he recognized his need to strengthen and prevent further injury to his legs. He became my client and I learned a lot about his medications, his wife’s influence and his attitude toward himself, his schedule and his energy level.
“He fell on the stairs, he has to know how to climb stairs! He hasn’t been able to judge stairs or climb them for months.” said his wife. Kvork’s wife had no problem telling me about all of his weaknesses, his arthritis, his laziness and his ability to avoid any difficult tasks because of his age and well “ he’s seventy five” and on and on. Kvork was a man of great humor, little words and even less mind body connection. Based on my assessment, his physical traits and past habits, health and tendencies I knew he could climb stairs. Something or someone was holding him back. I told his wife we would be fine for an hour alone while I trained with him.
I took his hand and walked with him, we walked inside the gym and he told me the story of his fall while I set up levels of practice “stairs”. When I finished and I asked him to step up he immediately said “I can’t do that!” So I lowered the levels until I could coax him into believing that he could step that high. I kept telling him that I was so impressed with all of the other leg strengthening exercises we had worked on together. I told him he was doing really well and I had no doubt that he would climb stairs again very soon. I held his hand and continued speaking with him as he took his first step up, then the next and the next. Before he knew it he was walking up and back down the steps with a stick and then a few more times without a stick before he became too tired to continue. Kvork’s wife watched as we wrapped up our session and then she congratulated Kvork “Kvork how wonderful! You were wonderful out there!” It was a special moment when they both realized Kvork was capable of far more than either of them had anticipated.
These two people; the three year old girl from the video with the prosthetic leg and my seventy five year old client had two things in common, they believed what they were told. One was told they had no disability and the other was told they had a debilitating disabilities. One succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations and the other failed at a simple step.
What we believe has EVERYTHING to do with what we can achieve. Whether our handicap is real or fictitious almost doesn’t matter. Our minds dictate our reality and this is true for all perceived handicaps. If we feel we don’t make enough money, we are disabled, we don’t have the right tools, spouse or location, we won’t.
What we choose to believe will dictate our next steps, our future, our ultimate success or demise.
Where are you now? Are you only half functioning because of your circumstances, your perceived limitations? Are you believing what everyone else is telling you, or are you actualizing your reality? Can you safely say that you can predict your future with certainty, knowing you will make the right changes and utilize your knowledge and wisdom to get you there? Or are you functioning based on a limited belief structure of who and what you are capable of?
Take a moment right now and write down five things you feel are true for you. Then analyze whether or not these beliefs are helping you realize your dreams or are they undermining your reality?
A few words of advice: Believe you are strong, know you will make good choices, act as though you will win and create the reality you really do want. Knowing the entire time that this is your truth. Own it, be it. This is real.