Back in the days when everyone believed the Earth was flat, they acted toward the Earth as if it were flat. Because they acted as if it were flat, it effectively was true that the Earth was flat. Today we know that the Earth is round, so we behave as if it’s round and that makes it round. Yet we have many flat Earth beliefs that guide us in our daily dealings.
I recently finished my third year coaching high school Cross Country. One of my runners has been telling me that it is physically impossible for someone to run the entire 5 kilometers that constitute a race. Never mind the fact that he sees it done by dozens of runners in every race. He knows it to be impossible, so their doing it is something he can dismiss because it doesn’t fit his world view. A couple of weeks ago, I focused on him throughout an entire race. I told him to just avoid walking the first time and the race would be over before he walked. He did it! He ran the entire race and shaved 10 minutes of his best previous finish. Afterward, he told me that he couldn’t believe he was able to run the entire race. I expected this to be the equivalent of Columbus’s voyage for him. As we prepared for the next meet, he restated his belief that it is impossible to run the entire race. I reminded him that he just did it a few days prior. He looked me in the face and said that doesn’t make it possible.
How many beliefs do we carry that keep us from examining the evidence to the contrary that presents itself to us each day? Is it really not possible to be more organized? To take more time for ourselves? To eat better? Exercise? Read? Are we so sure the answer will be “no” that we don’t bother asking? We create our reality when we establish our beliefs. Once that’s done, our blinders will keep contrary evidence from catching our attention.