Today I want to share with you something I had to fight against all my life. What can I do when I find my limits? And I think I’m not the only one facing this sort of questioning.
First let’s look at an important question: do we have real limits? Lots of people will tell you no! If you want to reach your full potential, you must believe you have no limits. Let’s be realistic, we’re all bound by time, we all have a certain amount of energy, responsabilities, skills and talents. Before we continue, notice that these can shift, increase and evolve but they’ll still be limited.
If you know me, you know I love music – especially 80’s music. I’d love to play piano, a bass guitar or become an amazing drummer. Unfortunately I have some physical limitations that makes it harder or even impossible for me to play piano or bass and get really good at drumming. Sometimes this discourages me.
Here’s another example: running. Up until a couple of years ago I never thought I could enjoy running as a sport. Running has less limits for me than playing piano. When I put time and effort into running, I really see an improvement. Of course my limits are different than Cheryl’s – she’s becoming quite an athlete. Nevertheless, I choose to focus on what I can do.
Limits vs full potential
Here are some tips on how to deal with your limits and yet reach your full potential. You can do this without getting depressed over your limits or using them as excuses.
Test your limits. You used to be very good at this. As a kid you were constantly testing the boundaries. In order to learn how to walk, how to handle a spoon and how to drive, you tested your limits and discovered that you could do more. You must do the same now. It might take you a good amount of time and effort but don’t stop trying before you’ve tested thoroughly.
Not every limit is worth pushing. Remember that your resources (time, energy, etc.) are limited. If you’re not enjoying your pursuit, maybe it’s the wrong one. Maybe it’s time to find another project or activity where pushing your limits will have more return on your investment or, at least, be more enjoyable.
Diversify. Find what makes you tick and what your good at. Once you’ve found your passion(s) and they’re in line with your talents, skills and the time you have on your hands, test and push the limits. Keep in mind, it takes time to find and develop these passions.
Check for sanity. Ask people you trust to help you figure things out. They will encourage you and be able to provide you with an external look to keep you grounded. From 2010 to 2015, I started a small business developing mobile and Mac OS apps. As our family grew, I did a sanity check and I decided to only do maintenance in order to cut the work to a minimum. I had to do a second sanity check last year which resulted in stoping this endeavour. The thought of having to change the code every time a new iOS (or Mac OS) came along was too stressful. And I did not enjoy it anymore. I should have done it sooner. Don’t be afraid to let go!
Last but not least, focus on what you can do. No one can reach their full potential in everything but everyone can reach their full potential in at least one thing.