Fellow practitioner, Lavinia Plonka (LaviniaPlonka.com) sums up a recent Scientific American article on the impact of our beliefs on our abilities. What we think really does matter…
There Are No Limits, Really!
My friends sometimes tease me because below my email signature I have written, “There are no limits to our possibilities.” Moshe Feldenkrais often stressed the importance of visualizing what you want to do; if you can clearly imagine every part of an action, you will execute it more effectively. This power of our minds to affect our performance has been borne out by top athletes, musicians and dancers.
Feldenkrais also believed that we don’t succeed because of our perceived limitations. Our belief in our abilities, or lack of ability, stops us from doing what we want. A recent article in Scientific American brings new research that validates these ideas. In one study, people told they were lifting light weights were able to lift heavier weights than people who were told the weights were heavy. By changing the size of letters on an eye chart, people were able to read smaller letters because they believed the letters on top were big. Author Ozgun Atasoy concludes the article, “The mind and body are not separate; our thoughts have remarkable control over our bodies; and our mindsets are capable of improving our brains’ performance.” How close to Feldenkrais, who said long ago, “I believe that the unity of mind and body is an objective reality. They are not just parts somehow related to each other, but an inseparable whole while functioning. A brain without a body could not think.” Perhaps science is finally catching up!