WHAT WOULD YOU ATTEMPT TO DO IF YOU KNEW YOU COULD NOT FAIL …
“Everybody stand up,” the facilitator said. It was a one-hour workshop on Living Beyond Limits and we were near the end of the session.
“Within the next two minutes,” he continued, “I’m going to let you experience for yourself the truth of what I’ve shared with you this hour.”
He explained that in the hundreds of workshops he had given and of the thousands of participants to whom he had shown the technique, only 23 were unable to successfully complete the exercise.
“Lift your right arm straight out to your right and point. Keeping your arm straight out, and your feet firmly planted, turn your body as far as you can and note the spot at which you are pointing.”
We all did so.
“Face forward,” he said. “Close your eyes and see that spot in your mind. With your eyes still closed, notice a new point about two to three inches to the right of that spot and point to it.”
We all did so.
“Open your eyes,” he said. “Now lift your right arm straight out and point. Keeping your feet firmly planted, turn your body and point to the new spot.”
Again, we all did so.
“Is there anybody who was not able to end up at a point past the first spot?” he asked.
No. Everyone had pointed to a new spot beyond the first point.
So how was it that we were able to turn our bodies farther than the point we had first established was “as far as you can” go?
One. By talking about the thousands who had completed the exercise before us, the facilitator established for us a more than 99% probability of success. Even though we didn’t know what the exercise was, we felt fairly guaranteed of success.
Two. We established our baseline physical “limit” – the first point. It was a somewhat arbitrary, self-established limit. Despite being told to turn as far as we could, we stopped at a self-imposed comfort point.
Third. We mentally established a goal beyond the first one and we saw ourselves reaching the new point.
Fourth. Because we believed that we were going to succeed, and because we had visualized ourselves reaching the new goal, like thousands had before us, we responded in accordance with our belief.