What’s keeping you from your true potential?
For most people it starts with their mind – how they think and what they believe. Especially about themselves.
We all know the quote that is best attributed to Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you’re right.”
This quote references our ability to reach our potential. If we think we can max our capabilities then we can. If we think we’ve already maxed out and have no more room for growth, then we’ll naturally limit ourselves.
Is this really right? Does whether we think we can or can’t really affect our ability?
Yes, it does!
Science has actually been proving the sheer power of how we think and what we believe for over 200 years.
At the dawn of the 19th century, the first placebo study was introduced as a method to test the effectiveness of treatments. The creator used it to test what he thought were “quack” treatments in his era. It’s now commonly used in clinical pharmaceutical tests.
In these trials, participants are split into two groups – one group receives the experiential medication (what the trial is testing), the other group receives a placebo, which has no active ingredients. Plus, the trial participants nor the administrators know who is getting the medicine vs the placebo. There’s no bias.
Everyone is told they are receiving the experiential drug. In theory, they think or believe they are getting a drug that can help them.
In order for an experimental drug to “pass” a placebo trial, the drug must have a “statistically significant” greater efficacy than the placebo. That means in order for the trial to succeed, more patients that received the real drug must receive the benefits than the patients that received the placebo. In other words, in most of these trials a percentage of people who received the placebo got the same results as those who received the actual drug.
A recent meta analysis (the study of a bunch of studies) revealed that in tests of over 100K people participating in anti-depressant treatment trails, 21%-40% of people who took a placebo got the intended results of the drug. That’s a massive amount of people who received relief from their depression without the actual aid of a chemical drug.
All these tests over the centuries continue to prove that merely our beliefs can be strong enough to fix problems we’re facing. Even physical problems in our body (headaches, pains, chemical imbalances causing mental illness) can be relieved through the power of our thoughts.
Let’s come back to Henry Ford. If you think and believe you can reach your potential, your belief alone will allow you push through hard things, see setbacks as learning opportunities, maintain a positive attitude of yourself. You support yourself in achieving your goals!
The flip side is that when you think & believe that you’ve reached as far as you can go, the research proves that your mind will rally around your beliefs. You will put a lid on your potential and achievement.
As you are marching toward your goals, check in with yourself. Do you believe you will achieve your goals? Do you have real faith in yourself and your capabilities? Do you think you deserve it?
Yes, these are soul-searching questions. The answer – the real answer – will support you in potential & achievement or limit your capabilities and stifle your goals.
Henry Ford was right indeed.