“Our only limitations are those we set up in our own minds.” This quote by Napoleon Hill in Think and Grow Rich got me thinking.
My limitations are what I perceive them to be, but … are they real? Yeah, maybe. But sometimes … maybe not. This set me on a train of thought.
It’s very easy to tell myself a story to justify avoiding challenges put before me; in fact, probably any sort of change.
I’ve tried to develop the practice of listening to myself … ‘hearing’ the stories I’m telling myself. It’s funny, but by doing that, I also started noticing that other people do it too. That other people tell themselves stories, make excuses that legitimise them not doing something or other.
Do you limit yourself in this way?
I’ve come to realise that there are many times in my daily life that I coach myself out of doing something or trying something new. Why can’t I sign up for a course and do some study? Am I really not able to climb a mountain? Is there a real reason why I can’t learn something new on the computer? Is there really anything stopping me from making amends with someone I’ve offended, or who’s offended me?
Here’s another example. What’s stopping you from going out the door right now for a walk, run or ride? Is it a legitimate reason or is there a story you’re telling yourself to quell your inner prompting, that inner knowing that you really should be doing regular exercise?
Maybe you’re busy doing something else. Maybe you have an injury or don’t feel well or don’t know how to get started or don’t have the right shoes. Another classic excuse is … time! Time is so often the excuse that jumps into our head!?!?!? Yes, I just like you, have used that excuse, over and over again. Too many times.
Time … the classic excuse
While it’s easy to use lack of time as a classic excuse, the reality is, we all have the same amount of time. Every day we prioritise, we use our time by prioritising what is most important. But maybe, if we aren’t really aware of it, maybe we’re not really using our time most effectively. I was recently challenged by this when I got addicted to Candy Crush. Man that game gets you in and then before you know it … bam! You’ve wasted hours over the course of the day (especially when you learn how to trick the time clock … oops).
Time is a great example of how we limit ourselves, ‘excuse’ ourselves. We have a constant stream of excuses just like that flowing through our minds every day.
Maybe you could join me, once in a while, by taking a breath and stopping. Take a moment to think about your stories, your excuses … your limitations. Notice them. Then you will be ready to take the next step … and remove some of them.