One of the greatest accomplishments in sports is when Roger Bannister, a British runner, broke the four-minute mile barrier in 1954.
He accomplished something that was previously thought to be almost physically impossible to achieve.
Here’s what’s interesting and not as well-known: After he accomplished that feat, many people started running sub four-minute miles.
In fact, just two weeks after Bannister achieved that breakthrough, someone actually beat Bannister’s record-setting time.
There’s another interesting aspect of this related to Bannister’s strategy. It’s the psychology of pulling away from the pack, which he thought was necessary to win races like that. And he said in an interview it’s a combination of confidence and a lack of confidence that allows someone to make that decision to pull ahead.
The confidence is related to knowing and feeling that you can run faster than you are moving at that time, that you have more speed than you’re using. That is part of what helps you pull away from the pack.
But the second piece of it is a lack of confidence.
And he said these thoughts all occur at the same time, where the runner may believe (or fear?) that if they pull away, the rest of the pack will catch up to them.
It’s really interesting to me that somebody who accomplished something as phenomenal as he did was dealing with a lack of self-confidence and used it to propel him forward.
I think so often when we are trying to accomplish things, we let the lack of confidence be a wall that we feel like we can’t get around or we can’t get over.
I hope you’ll consider the idea that people who accomplish amazing things – especially things that were thought at one time to be impossible – are using that lack of self-confidence as something that can propel them forward. It’s part of the fuel that they use to achieve these great things.