Stevie Wonder is an American music legend, selling over 100 million records worldwide. His music has been ingrained in our history and he has maintained his influence by collaborating with the likes of Dr. Dre, Mark Ronson, and Celine Dion. Wonder was born with a number of obstacles, but he did not let them get in the way of enjoying life. He was born prematurely in 1950 in Michigan. Due to too much oxygen in an incubator, his vision was damaged, and left him permanently blind. Despite this limitation, his love of music began at the early age of 4. By the time he was 8 years old, he learned to play the harmonica, piano and drums. His talent was so impressive that he was signed on with Motown Records’ as their youngest musician and by the age of 12, his first live album hit #1 on both the pop and R&B charts.
Stevie Wonder said, “I have no limitations on what I see because I can’t see. Don’t be limited by what you see.” Self- limiting beliefs are assumptions we make about ourselves and the way the world works. They are self- limiting because oftentimes those beliefs hold us back from reaching our true potential. Wonder argues that much of his success is probably due to the fact that he is blind and did not compare himself to those around him.
Don’t let what others are doing around you get in the way from trying something new and believing in yourself. If someone is getting top scores in a class or considered ‘the best’ on your team, it does not mean that you cannot get there. If anything, consider asking that person what they feel has helped them succeed. They may offer advice or a skill that you can work on to help you improve. Most importantly, do not stop working on something that makes you happy, simply because you see others around you who might be better at it now. A Harvard psychologist recommends that in those moments of doubt, try to insert positive elements right away. So, for example, if you are worried about doing well in a class presentation, try and shift your focus to a prior positive experience you had and how you can recreate it. Continue to do this until it becomes a habit. Results are not inevitable and you have the ability to change it by taking action to get better.
Stevie Wonder is an inspiration for everyone to believe what can be achieved regardless of ability or perceived limitation. What you may even consider to be your obstacle may turn out to be your greatest strength. No one else can write your story, and if there is a part you are not happy with, you alone have the ability change it. In this weeks #MakeItHappen Monday, work on switching those limiting beliefs and put your focus on the positive and how far you have come. Let us know how you are creating your own story and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or share your story and tag us on social.
Go make it happen,
Luly & the YTeach Team
“We all have ability. The difference is how we use it.”
– Stevie Wonder