Words are powerful. The physical world demonstrates the power of words in that it came into existence through words. After creation of the physical world, words have not ceased to create things; people’s destinies are still being created and recreated with words.
I listened to Les Brown’s audio message Step into Your Greatness a couple of days ago. In the course of his delivery, he quoted someone as saying that “When someone makes a negative comment that you hold true about yourself, you need at least 16 positive comments to counteract that negative comment…” (paraphrased). I am not certain about the amount of positive remarks you need to neutralize a negative remark, however, I know you need strong doses of positive affirmations that you can believe.
So much about negative words…
People are more aware of negative words and how to deal with their consequences. The challenge is more with words that seem harmless but, because of their insidious nature, do worse things to the human capacity for accomplishment than negative words. One of such words, rather clichés, is “Don’t bite more than you can chew.” I reflected on this cliché recently and it dawned on me that it’s responsible for the low-level performance in life.
It works by creating limiting beliefs that hold you back from living the life you’ve always wanted. Its strength lies in its subtlety. Though subtle, it’s nonetheless highly virulent to your dream of a progressive life.
If you subscribe to not biting more than you can chew, it’s certain that you’re under-performing in critical areas of life.
Why Bite More Than You Can Chew?
From personal experience, the times I’ve accomplished things I am proud of were times I bit more than I could chew. For instance, getting married at 28 amounted to biting more than I could chew. In retrospect, I can’t think of a better time to have married. Now I wouldn’t trade my status as a father of two (almost three) teenagers for anything in the world.
Now, why should you bite more than you can chew?
- You don’t know what you’re capable of.
What you can do is far more than what you think you can do. How do I know? Scientists say that most human beings come to the end of their lives only to realize that they used about 20% of their potentials! Only geniuses come close to utilizing 40%.
- That’s how you build capacity for growth
When you bite more than you can chew, you create an impetus for your mind development which makes visible growth inevitable. Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Once stretched by a new idea, a man’s mind never regains its original dimensions.” That’s well said.
- Most people are lovers of pleasure and haters of risks.
Naturally, we love the safety of our comfort zone than the risk associated with stretching our limits. Therefore, at your current level of performance, you’re probably playing safe, too safe!
- It provides access to your creative ability
Until you bite more than you can chew, your creative ability lies dormant. But when you have many things on your plate, you activate your creativity. That’s how you master the art of prioritizing.
- You need leverage
When you bite more than you can chew, you’re compelled to tap into resources available within your network. That’s what happened to Peter when he had a net-breaking fishing experience.
- To overcome boom and bust cycle
If you want to do away with downtime, you must create what business people call “pipeline deals.” It’s in biting more than you can chew that you spread deals to lean periods.
- Some animals are doing just that!
You’ve probably heard about ruminants. These are animals that chew their cud. They include cattle, goats and sheep. When these animals graze, they swallow (bite) more grass than they can chew by storing their food intake in one of the 4 compartments of their stomach (rumen).
Thereafter, they look for a quiet place to lie down. There they regurgitate what they have stored in their rumen and start re-chewing. This is what eventually goes to their true stomach (abomasum), get digested, assimilated and excreted. This feeding habit allows these animals to go for days without new food intake.
You need to learn one or two things from ruminants to get over periods of scarcity.
Recipe for biting more than you can chew
Follow your heart!
To attempt biting more than you can chew, follow your heart!
You cannot imagine how many things my heart told me to do that my mind stopped me from doing. Malcolm Gladwell hit the nail on the head in his book Blink when he said that introspection inhibits instinctive responses.
Your instinct is almost always right. Don’t engage in analysis paralysis, the only thing you get from it is motion without movement.
You can change your current level of accomplishment when you bite more than you can chew. If this article resonates with you and your heart tells you, you need guidance to make the next move, send me a message.