Most of our limitations are self-imposed. For some crazy reason, we do that to ourselves.
I hear you say, “No way. That is rubbish. What stops me from achieving my goals are real obstacles that even Superman could not overcome. Don’t you know, I have tried everything!”
Yeah, you have been trying and failing for too long. Far too long. So, what gives? Do you have the limitations you think you have, or is something else going on?
It could be that you’ve limited yourself. As I said earlier, most limitations are, in fact, self-imposed, for one reason or another. So how can you tell when a limitation is real or something else entirely?
Look for the word “they.”
Anytime you make a ‘they’ statement what you’re talking about is your self-doubt.
You may feel like ‘they’ are keeping you in the same tedious job or from becoming financially independent.
Fear doesn’t discriminate.
Still, in truth, it’s your fear holding you back.
Fear doesn’t discriminate.
Each one of us will feel fear at some point in our lives. It can stop the strongest of people dead in their tracks, and it is probably the biggest killer of dreams.
You get all excited about beginning to follow your dream and then quickly you have to deal with fear. The fear of getting started, looking like an idiot, rejection, making a mistake, and on and on.
Plus, there is also a fear of the unknown. Get real, is there anything we don’t have some sort of fear about?
It’s not just with big dreams either. Fear can be destructive even in your daily interactions by convincing you to turn down invitations because you’re afraid to go by yourself or you’re scared to go somewhere new.
Or you’re afraid of speaking to new people.
Have you checked your motivation?
It could be that you’ve lost sight of why you want what you want. When your goal becomes muddled and unclear, it can look and feel like a limitation.
Your underlying motivation.
Understanding your underlying motivation has a massive impact on your life. And it provides a great answer to a cliche interview question. Motivation is highly individual, so it is crucial to know precisely what it is that motivates you?
Are you feeling vulnerable?
When you’re worried about how you’re going to look to other people, it’s easy to put limitations on your actions. The reality is, no one likes to be the subject of other people’s laughter or ridicule.
The question is, is anyone paying any attention? Most of the time when we’re worried about how we’re going to be perceived, there’s no one even paying close attention.
Do you lack confidence?
If you’ve started doubting your ability to reach your goal, it’s easy to formulate limitations to keep you from having to go further.
Each one of us experiences a lack of confidence at some time. However, when we experience a sustained lack of confidence, it becomes crippling.
A lack of confidence.
The phrase seems pretty self-explanatory. It’s the opposite of having an abundance of confidence. But it looks completely different on different people.
Some people lack confidence in their abilities. Others lack confidence in their personal appearance. And some lack confidence in their ability to voice their opinions.
Of course, no one is confident all the time.
Each one of us experiences a lack of confidence at some time. And it’s perfectly normal to feel less than stellar every once in a while.
If this is the case, then it can be beneficial to look back at your history.
Where have you succeeded before? What does that tell you about your ability to handle this situation?
Ask for help.
Have you tried asking for help?
Are you stalled out due to lack of knowledge or because you’ve gone as far as you can on your own?
It might be the right time to enlist the help and support of a mentor to help you push past this specific limitation.
I get it. There are some stubborn people out there who would rather walk into work butt naked than swallow their pride and ask for assistance.
Yes, I know because I was one of those stubborn people.
For some crazy reasons, many of us perceive a request for help as a sign of weakness. And we don’t want to appear weak. When, in reality, asking for help is a sign of great strength.
Time to call for reinforcements.
Asking for help means you’re self-aware and self-assured enough to know when it’s time to call for reinforcements.
That doesn’t mean that asking for help is easy. Not at all, approaching someone to ask them to lend you a hand can actually be anxiety-inducing.
Where are you emotionally?
Is depression or worry, keeping you down and inventing excuses for you to stall out? Address the emotional issues that are making you feel like you can’t get past this point.
Being emotionally out of balance usually involves one of two things. Either being so attached to and identified with them that your feelings are all-consuming.
Or not allowing yourself to experience your feelings as they evolve by avoiding or suppressing them.
When we have emotional balance, we allow ourselves to feel whatever feelings come up, without getting overwhelmed. And we learn to accept our feelings without judgment.
The majority of us try to avoid physical as well as emotional pain. Not many of us want to be in pain.
The Pleasure-Pain Principle suggests that we behave to minimise pain and maximise pleasure.
The logical part of our brain tells us that if we can avoid the pain, then it won’t affect us.
Ironically, efforts to keep painful thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations at bay may work temporarily.
Over the long run, it only prolongs those experiences and intensifies the suffering connected to them.
Do you need a mental health day?
If you’ve been plugging along for a while without seeing much success, it’s easy to get burned out and then perceive that as a limitation.
Taking a sick day from work for a cold or any other physical health issue is commonplace.
However, taking time off to tend to your mental health is more of a grey area.
Most companies do not have policies for mental health or personal days, and if they do, they are not promoted.
So it can be challenging to take time off when you feel you need a mental break.
A lot of us will feel hesitant or guilty to use some of our precious holiday entitlement, and so we push ourselves to show up anyway.
Think about it, when you’re feeling stressed, both you and your work suffer.
This potentially leads to other issues that can hurt your performance and your co-worker’s performance too.
Maintaining well-being and health.
Knowing when to take a mental health day is crucial to maintaining your overall well-being and health.
Try taking a day off so you can get your head back in the game tomorrow.
Recognising when you’re at the root of these self-imposed limitations is a good thing because that means you also have the tools to get past this point.
Close self-examination will help you determine what you need to do to move past this point, and so find the success that is waiting for you.