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The #SheTheNorth Bianca Effect

I’ve previously discussed how sports is a way of coming together as a community and when we follow an athlete or team, it can give us a sense of belonging and can also have other mental and emotional wellness benefits, too.

And while sometimes, it can be tough to be a fan, there are also times when we can feel uplifted, hopeful and even inspired.

It’ll likely be sometime before we see the really long term effects of what it meant for many of us to have witnessed and felt energized by Bianca Andreescu’s US Open win, a first for a Canadian in a singles tournament. From being ranked 152nd in the world at the beginning of this year to a Grand Slam champion and rising to 5th in the overall rankings.

There are already articles (like this one) about how she is inspiring a younger generation of tennis players who are aspiring to become the next champion.

But how about the rest of us? Most of us are not aspiring to win tournaments in big arenas or be a part of a championship team.

However, each one of us knows in our own ways have a desire to be better in some way. That’s often why we have a tendency to look for the next thing, rather than to be fully satisfied with what we’ve been able to accomplish so far.

Because as much as Bianca’s US Open will be something she will undoubtedly look back on as a HUGE personal and professional accomplishment, this isn’t where she’s going to stop. There are going to be other tournaments, there’s still space for her to move up in the rankings.

We’re all wired this way. And having these momentous examples of seeing and feeling of what’s possible, lets the rest of us know that things in our lives where we could have unconsciously believed were ceilings, are maybe not as limited as we had previously believed.

It’s my belief that these are the moments that make sense to all of us, because as human beings, each of us in our own way, want to thrive, not just survive.

If this wasn’t a truth about who we are as humans, we would not have accomplished and progressed in the ways we have throughout human history and it’s ultimately what sets us apart from other living creatures.

Other examples in sports history of breaking limited beliefs or expanding our beliefs about what’s possible:

  1. The Raptors winning the championship this year!
  2. Roger Bannister breaking the 4-minute mile.
  3. Mohammed Ali vs Sonny Liston – who then claimed “GOAT”
  4. The Battle of the Sexes – a tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs in 1973

But how about other times in history where many of us were inspired by the idea of possibilities:

  1. Space travel – push toward advancement
  2. Science fiction… There were young fans of the original show who were inspired to become scientists and I believe those responsible for innovating cellular and mobile phones were influenced by Star Trek. There’s an article on NASA’s website addressing Star Trek’s influences on space science!

These historical moments bring us together as a community or as a nation, but we can also take intentional inspiration from knowing that it’s possible to accomplish personal and professional goals outside of our comfort zones and limiting beliefs.

And while we mainly focused today on this idea of accomplishing big goals, it can also have smaller ripple effect impacts on our lives, which ultimately lead to these bigger changes, too.

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