9 November 2018
“I can, I will – just watch me.”
Steve Hill MBE
What a mantra.
All too often we hear that we can’t do this, won’t do that.
As adults we build up these limiting beliefs, we limit ourselves. Yet, children don’t have these restrictions.
If you ask a child what they want for Christmas, they believe they could get a pony with moon boots on and a castle to live in. Ask them what they want to be when they grow up, their answer is going to be along the lines of an astronaut, footballer or kangaroo!
Because they have never been told that they can’t, they have the firm belief they can do anything. When you think about it, it really makes sense. For children, almost everything is new. We learn to talk by constantly trying. How do we learn to walk? By falling over and getting back up again. And we learn to make friends by meeting new people and inevitably falling out with a few of them along the way. It’s trial and error.
Yet as adults, when mistakes are made or goals are missed, that becomes a limiting belief. “Because I couldn’t do X that one time, now I can’t do Y.” It’s so sad.
It’s all about belief
So, why does it happen? I’ve heard stories of teachers telling children similar things. One of our female apprentices was told she couldn’t start a career in tech because she’s female. When children are being told by the very people who are teaching them that there is a limit to what they can achieve, that’s terrifying!
But it’s, thankfully, not always the case. Earlier in the week, I shared a chat I had with a remarkable teacher called Steve Hill MBE. Steve’s primary school class have chosen an epic challenge for him to tackle every year. So far, together, they’ve raised more than £100,000 for a number of different charities.
These challenges include climbing mountains, trekking through jungles and running ultra-marathons in the Arctic.
What’s more, in Steve’s world ‘can’t’ is a swear word; instead he lives by the mantra ‘I can and I will – just watch me’. What an example to set for his class! Directly involving them in the challenges shows that no matter how big a goal, if you put the effort in, you stay focussed and try your hardest, you’ll make it.