Overcoming Possibility Blindness

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This week, going about my usual 5 a.m. rituals, which include listening to Eddie Pinero, Steve Harvey, and so on, I heard Les Brown speak about “possibility blindness.”  He described a condition many of us suffer from without even realizing it—a condition that blinds us to the potential within ourselves and the opportunities around us.

Understanding Possibility Blindness

Sitting there, with my morning coffee absorbing Les Brown’s wisdom, I began to see the contours of my own possibility blindness, I mean sometimes I get the feeling I shouldn’t be where I am, like how ?, I remember early in my career transition, both of them actually I was plagued with the persistent belief that I wasn’t enough, that the dreams I harbored were too far-fetched or that I wasn’t good enough, but here we are hitting the 3 years mark at Microsoft, still excited and get energy about what I do and the cybersecurity field some would say I defied every label and limitation placed upon myself by the world and even myself, being able to share my journey as living proof that the boundaries we perceive are often illusions of our own making.

But the thing is, I am not the only one; we have so many real-world examples, such as:

Les Brown’s journey from being labeled “educable mentally retarded” to becoming a world-renowned motivational speaker.

Understanding Possibility Blindness

This cognitive condition, as Les Brown described it, is more common than we might think. Possibility blindness is when we are so fixated on the obstacles in our path that we fail to notice the opportunities around us. It’s the voice in our heads that whispers we’re not capable, the societal message that we’re too old, or the cultural implication that we’re not the “right” kind of person for success.

The Journey to Overcoming Our Limitations

Les Brown’s own journey is a testament to the power of overcoming possibility blindness. He was labeled “educable mentally retarded” as a child and faced numerous setbacks. Yet, he chose not to let those labels define him. Instead, he forged a path to become one of the world’s most renowned motivational speakers by challenging every limitation placed upon him.

Challenging the Status Quo

Inspired by Brown’s story, we can begin to challenge our own limiting beliefs. It’s about questioning the stories we tell ourselves about who we are and what we’re capable of achieving. By dissecting these beliefs, we often discover that they’re not reflections of our true capabilities but rather distorted echoes of past failures or fears.

Expanding Our Horizons

Les Brown encouraged his audience to expand their vision, to dream big, to look beyond what we believe is attainable, and to dare to envision a reality that is grander than our current circumstances. This could mean going back to school, starting a business, embarking on a creative endeavor, or getting that cybersecurity role at your dream company.

Cultivating a growth mindset

Possibility blindness withers in the presence of a growth mindset. This is the belief that our skills and intelligence can be cultivated through perseverance and effort. It is about embracing the idea that, with time and dedication, we can grow beyond our current limitations.

Drawing inspiration from others

Just as Les Brown’s story has the power to move us, so too can the stories of countless others, such as:

  1. Malala Yousafzai: Malala’s courageous fight for girls’ education in Pakistan, despite facing threats and violence from the Taliban, is a testament to the power of perseverance and determination. Her unwavering commitment to her cause serves as a reminder that no obstacle is insurmountable when we believe in our mission.
  2. Steve Jobs: From college dropout to co-founder of one of the world’s most valuable companies, Steve Jobs’ journey is a testament to the transformative power of vision and innovation. Despite facing numerous setbacks and failures along the way, Jobs never lost sight of his dream to revolutionize the tech industry.
  3. Oprah Winfrey: Growing up in poverty and facing adversity at every turn, Oprah Winfrey defied the odds to become one of the most influential figures in media and philanthropy. Her story of resilience and determination serves as a beacon of hope for anyone striving to overcome adversity and achieve their dreams.
  4. Nelson Mandela: Imprisoned for 27 years for his anti-apartheid activism, Nelson Mandela emerged from captivity with a message of reconciliation and forgiveness that inspired the world. His unwavering commitment to justice and equality serves as a reminder that true change is possible, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
  5. JK Rowling: Before becoming one of the best-selling authors of all time, JK Rowling faced rejection after rejection from publishers who failed to see the potential in her Harry Potter manuscript. Her story of perseverance and resilience is a reminder that success often comes after overcoming countless setbacks and challenges.

Drawing inspiration from these stories isn’t just about admiring them from afar; it’s about using them as blueprints for our own lives. It’s about challenging our limiting beliefs, expanding our vision, and taking action towards our dreams.

Leaning on Others

No one overcomes their limitations alone. Les Brown had mentors and supporters who believed in him, even when he struggled to believe in himself. In the same way, we must seek out mentors, peers, and communities that will support us, challenge us, and help us see the possibilities we might otherwise miss.

Conclusion

Having a support system that challenges us to think bigger and take risks can make all the difference in overcoming possibility blindness. Together, we can challenge what we know, see new possibilities, and build the confidence to seize every opportunity that comes our way. In this world, there are truly no limits—just endless chances waiting for us to grab them.

But in order to reach out and take hold of these opportunities, we must first leave our doubts behind. We must trust in our abilities, believe in our own potential, and be willing to step out of our comfort zones. When we do, we’ll start to see the world in a whole new light. We’ll begin to recognize the endless possibilities that exist outside of our comfort zone.

We’ll find the courage to pursue our passions and chase after our dreams. And as we do, we’ll inspire others to do the same, creating a ripple effect that spreads the message of endless potential and possibility. So let’s take that first step, arm in arm with our mentors and friends. Let’s take on the challenge of beating possibility blindness and stepping into a world of opportunity.

Let’s embrace the bravery and strength it takes to leave doubt behind and chase after our true potential. And together, let’s inspire others to do the same, creating a world filled with individuals who refuse to be limited by what they know and instead reach for the endless possibilities that await outside their comfort zones.

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