Are you limiting yourself? Do you even realize that you are doing it? Most of us don’t. It’s certainly not intentional, but most of us are guilty of it at one point or another, myself included. We just have in our mind the belief that we can’t do something; we aren’t talented enough, strong enough, smart enough, whatever the reason. We think this belief is fact, but in reality it is only our thought and it is not set in stone. If you are willing to take a fresh look at these self-imposed limitations and honestly question them, you’d be surprised at what you might discover.
This past weekend I really wanted to go for my morning run, but it had been raining horrendously and it was threatening to start again. Normally I would have dismissed the idea out of hand. I’m a fair weather runner. I only like to run or walk outside when it is sunny and 60 degrees. You will not find me with my hat and gloves or rain slicker. Just for a moment I had a flash of daring and I thought why not? What is the worst that will happen? I may get soaked. I may have to cut my exercise short. I may be uncomfortable and hate it. Just once I decided to take a chance and go for it.
I laced up my shoes and off I went. About 5 minutes in it started sprinkling. I got a little nervous, but decided it wasn’t too bad and I could keep going. After about 15 minutes the rain started coming down harder, but I was at the halfway point and far from my home. There was nothing I could do now so I kept going, determined to make the best of it. It felt unfamiliar, but not awful. All of the sudden it occurred to me that I was running in the rain; something I thought I never would do and never could do. Huh….imagine that. At the 30 minute mark I rounded the corner toward home, pumped my fists in the air like a gold medal Olympic runner and felt victorious.
If you had told me last week that I would not only manage to run for 30 minutes in inclement weather, but set a personal best time while doing it, I would have said that you were crazy. Today, that limit no longer exists for me and has opened my mind to a whole new set of possibilities. I started to question myself. Where else am I limiting myself? What else can I do that I thought was not conceivable?
This is transferable to all areas of our lives and work. Ask yourself:
What limitations have you placed on yourself?
Could you stretch them just a little?
Is there something that you would like to do that you just don’t think you can manage?
Why is it not possible?
Is it a fact of reality or just a thought or perception that you hold?
Stretch yourself and be open to all of the new possibilities!