“How high will a sycamore grow?
If you cut it down then you’ll never know” – Pocahontas (1995)
Sure, Pocahontas was talking about a legitimate tree in this lyric from “Colors of the Wind”, but it can be interpreted in many ways. So many times, our growth is stunted by our own disbelief. I can’t actually be the one to get the A on the math test! Without a doubt, someone is always going to be better at drawing than me! Though I’m good, I can’t be great… And while it’s indubitable that we cannot be the best at everything, we should always remember Pocahontas’s quote. You are the sycamore, and the height of the tree represents your potential.
The first step to widening your potential is simply getting yourself the resources to do well. That does not just include the tangible tools needed to achieve your goal, but also the mindset. For example, say you want to build more arm strength by doing pushups. The only way to find your greatest potential is by approaching your goal with success in your mind. Often, we will “cut down” our potential without knowing it ourselves by telling ourselves that we can’t do it. It’s like going into the pushup, already believing that your arms are not strong enough. Going into the pushup, if you believe that you are strong enough (even if that is far from the truth), you would be surprised at the outcome.