Why do we love a comeback story? Great sports moments like the 2004 Red Sox winning the World Series. Coming from behind, down 0-3 to the famous New York Yankees. The “curse of the Bambino” was alive and well; or at least it seemed. But the story didn’t end as planned; at least not for the Yankees. The Red Sox would come back and win the next four games, defy the odds and go on to win the World Series.  Even Hollywood loves comeback stories. We love stories about guys named Rocky and Maximus. We love reading how the media counted out Martha Stewart and she came back stronger than ever.

So what is it about the comeback story that ignites the human spirit in each and every one of us? Just like a sports team that is facing an opponent with what appears to be an insurmountable lead, something has to happen to ignite a spark and shift the momentum in their favor. Is it because we love the underdog or is it because we personalize the story and put ourselves in it? Our own failures our own defeats. We’re down but not out. Beat up but not given up. We root and cheer; here they come and with them, here WE come!

It doesn’t matter how old you are or how young, how wealthy or how poor, where you went to college or if you didn’t finish high school. Each and every one of us, has been knocked down. Possibly, each and every one of us has been counted out. We’ve all felt what it’s like to lose something or someone. The pain, the suffering; the agony of defeat. Whether it be a personal loss like an injury or accident or maybe even a personal relationship or marriage that is going through rocky times.

Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve. ~Napoleon Hill

There are so many challenges, so many barriers that we have to overcome. Two obvious ones are the mental barriers and the physical barriers. Most likely the most difficult of these is the mental one. In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill, after interviewing some of the most wealthy and influential entrepreneurs of our time said, that the secret to their success was first visualizing in their mind, that they were already successful. Seeing themselves winning the prize and achieving their goals. One of my favorite quotes is, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” WOW! Talk about powerful! If you haven’t read it, you should add it to your reading list.

Henry Ford said it a little differently, but basically the same message, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” Basically, if we think we can do something in our mind, our body and our surroundings will perform the actions necessary to make it so. It doesn’t know any better than to complete them because mentally we’ve already done it. Once we overcome the mental barriers, we also have to deal with the physical barriers. But it does get easier. Be it a physical limitation or someone or something trying to hold us back. The task at hand seems insurmountable. We want to give up, we want to quit. But something inside us won’t let us.

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right. ~Henry Ford

Abraham Lincoln is one of my favorite Presidents. ImageHe grew up in meager circumstances, failed at business twice and had what most would call a nervous breakdown. He lost when he ran for Congress, lost twice when he ran for the Senate and lost as a vice presidential candidate. Lincoln was then elected the 16th president of the United States, led the country to reconciliation and won re-election. His leadership acumen, political skill and outstanding speeches all contributed to his amazing comeback.

So how do they do it? How do we do it? Where does their drive and inspiration come from? Where does ours? Where do we get that “spark”? Maybe its attitude or maybe it’s a lucky break or timing. Maybe it’s a feeling of wanting to win or so tired of losing that they make the mental and physical leap that drives a new behavior. Whatever the situation we find ourselves in, there will come that defining moment in our lives; that instance when we realize that we want to win more than anything. That we’ve had enough of the status quo and we just don’t want to lose anymore. We’ll take that first step towards a mental or behavior change. It seems as though, once we do, once we start that initial push or inertia will soon build into momentum and carry us toward our goals and dreams. Like a small snowball dropped from a mountain; it will build up into an avalanche.

So find that spark! Find that small snowball that will push you to break through that barrier that might be holding you back. Have a never quit, never say die attitude. It’s what drives many of us. I know personally it’s what drives me. Believe in your mind that you can do it. See your success happening, see yourself crossing the finish line and see yourself winning! You can do it!

Need some more motivation? Check out From Tragedy to Triumph

What are your excuses? How will you overcome them? YOU can and YOU will! What will your comeback story be?