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Moving Beyond Limitation
“Argue for your limitations and sure enough they’re yours.”
For whatever reason, I’ve been fascinated by the number of times that the topic of limitation has come up for discussion in my coaching sessions recently. Sometimes my clients feel limited by some perceived parameters such as a disability, a difference, a perceived weakness or imperfection. But more often than not, they are struggling with someone else’s projected idea of limitation.
I know in my own life, I am much more careful than I used to be about telling others the things that I am doing or the things I hope to do. At times, others will suggest that I am doing too much or suggest that what I am already doing (unknown to them) is impossible. Now, more than ever, I am vigilant not to buy into someone else’s ideas of limitation.
It may be tempting to see ourselves as small and play small. Playing small doesn’t threaten others and it can feel reassuring to not challenge the choices we’ve always made or that those around us make. However, if to limit our truest and highest expression is an attempt not to rock the boat, or make others feel less threatened, our life is ultimately unlived.
We know when we are doing too much, when our priorities are out of whack or based on values and ideals that don’t suit us. We tend to feel run down, we get sick easily and we have low energy. Only we can evaluate whether we are involving ourselves in what positive psychology expert Paul Pearsall refers to as “Toxic Success”. What looks frenetic or overly-intense to another may be on point and healthy for us. We can always ask ourselves a question to uncover the genesis of our motivation to assess whether we are behaving manically or purposely, whether we are moving towards or away from life and/or if we are coming from the perspective of love or fear.
If we are creating, developing, growing and learning, why visit the idea of limits? Why buy into the projections of those who feel restricted and limited in their own lives?
What is fascinating to me is that many of my clients and friends with disabilities perceive fewer limits than my friends and clients who seem to have every opportunity and ability at their fingertips. What I have discovered is that what is most important is what abilities and blessings we are willing to embrace. Certainly, the biggest limit comes from putting focused attention on perceived challenges, disabilities, imperfections or limitations.
When speaking to a dear client of mine the other day, we marveled at the life of Helen Keller. When we ponder the fact that many of us can be derailed for days in the face of an unkind word, it is amazing to think what she was able to overcome. Helen Keller is a great example of someone who was able to focus on her abilities instead of her limitations. Because she was able to do this, she was able to maximize her gifts of genius and compassion. How can you focus on your abilities to release your personal genius?
Helen Keller (1880 – 1968) ￼
Whenever I am tempted to think that I can’t face a certain life challenge because of some perceived limitation, I think of Helen Keller. She became deaf and blind due to a childhood disease, and she overcame her adversity by learning sign language, Braille, and learning to speak. She said, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it.”
(c) 2012 Jeanine Marie Austin, Ph.D., C.Ht.
Doctor of Life Coaching, Certified Hypnotherapist
Simply Divine Solutions
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