man running on side of road

Have you ever heard of the Bannister Effect?

In the group mindset coaching call I lead each week, I mentioned Roger Bannister. Prior to 1954, no one had ever run a mile in less than four minutes. In fact, scientists had said that the human body was not capable of such a feat – that it was impossible.

Roger Bannister disagreed.

He began to train to do just that. He did not follow the conventional training wisdom of his day, and he did not look for the silver bullet that would “microwave” his success. 

He put his shoulder down and worked hard. He believed it could be done, and that he could do it.

And he was the first man to break the four minute mile on a track in England. 

Truly an astounding feat. But what is even more remarkable is what happened next.

Within 12 months, 300 other people around the world broke the four minute mile too.

“Well, if Roger can do it, so can I!”

Today this is called the Roger Bannister Effect. That’s what it’s called when someone breaks through what was previously thought to be impossible, and others are inspired by their success and follow through into the new possibility.

What was the key to success for Roger and those that followed?

Their mindset.

They believed that the “impossible” was actually possible.

And they made it so.

Examples of this abound throughout history and on our world today.

So let me ask you: what are you struggling with, thinking that it’s “impossible?”

  • Well, that might work for them, but not for me
  • I could never do that
  • Some people have all the luck

One of the keys to a growth mindset is understanding the power of the word yet.

I haven’t done that YET.

As you get ready for your next initiative, your new job, your next relationship, your new project – remember that belief is critical to success.

Nelson Mandela once said, “one cannot be prepared for something while secretly believing that it will never happen.”

Begin with your mindset. Choose to believe that it’s possible to overcome, that you CAN. Read about and be inspired by the Roger Bannisters of our world. And then follow through into the new possibility.

Choose that mindset. Surround yourself with people and coaches who believe in you and cheer you on. And see where you go next.


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