To exceed your limits you have to know them first.
There are a lot of ways to fail in life, but sadly there are fewer ironclad ways to succeed. With all honesty, one can’t really succeed until they’ve learned how to fail a few times. This lesson is one that many people have learned the hard way, and it’s actually broken more than a few individuals and made it next to impossible for some to keep going. Failure isn’t fun, and it’s not meant to be, since it indicates that the plans we make are less than perfect and that we’ve overlooked a few things here and there while trying to make whatever life we envisioned work. Failure is something that many people shy away from because they can’t stand the shame, and they can’t stomach the idea that they weren’t ready for what life would throw at them.
Here’s a hint: no matter what you plan, life has its own plans, and will do whatever it can to scatter your well-laid plans like a child blindly scattering a Monopoly board because they can. Success is a tenuous thing, and a person will always be reminded of their limits by whatever force it is in this world that reminds us that one will only rise so far before they have to contend with one limit after another. But while many seek to reach beyond their limits, perhaps recklessly so, it stands to reason that we should recognize those limits before seeking to move past them. Many people will no doubt want to scoff and state that limits are what keep us down, what keep us back, and that limits are for being broken. It’s funny, people say the same about rules, and then wonder why people think they should pay the consequences. The fact is that recognizing our limits is not the same as allowing us to hold ourselves back. Admitting we have limits is how we learn to break them and set new limits, in an orderly and successful manner.
Our limits define us up until we learn to reach past them, to realize how far we’ve come. Once that moment arrives, when we hit that limit, we have reached another horizon, and are now prepared for yet another evolution that sends us onward toward the next limit, armed with the tools we need to reach that next goal. Too many people look at limitations as a means of keeping ourselves down, of keeping ourselves in check, but the truth is that limits are necessary for success. Limits are, for better or worse, the horizons we move toward and the goals we seek, and each time they are reached, they are surpassed. The downside of limitations, or rather, thinking of them in a negative light, is that one forgets that it is possible to move beyond their limits and that it is necessary to assess what’s been gained, what’s been learned, and what each limit surpassed can add to the overall experience that people seek. Limits aren’t there to hamper success.
Being able to see the limits is a positive.
Some people choose not to see their limitations or even acknowledge them, but the truth is that recognizing your limits is very important, since at some point they will cease to be limits and will become challenges to be overcome. This is up to the individual of course, as some see a limit and bemoan its existence, citing one or more excuses that explain why they can’t, or won’t exceed that limit and keep pushing forward. But if you’re the type that sees a limit and defines it as a challenge then good on you, since you’ve recognized that limits are important, but they’re not always insurmountable. Take a quick Google search to see how many people have broken through their supposed limits throughout history and you’ll see a large number of people that might have recognized their limits, but weren’t bound by them. Acknowledging that, as humans, we do have limits in every sense of the word is important, since it reminds us that there is something keeping us back at one point or another in our lives.
The weak-willed and weak-minded will see limits and allow themselves to be bound. True strength comes from recognizing your limits, and being thankful that they exist.
Once you see the limit, go ahead and break through it.
So you’ve seen the limit, and now you want to break through it. This is where the previous lesson of recognizing said limit/barrier comes into play since now that you recognize it, you can figure out the best possible way to break through it. Those that don’t plan still have a chance to luck out and break against the barrier without doing any undue harm to their reputation or life in the process, but too many think that the best way to get what they want is to bull their way through it until the barrier submits to them. This works to be fair, but it’s not one of the best ways to go about things. Those that ‘fake it until they make it’ also experience success since they might end up finding a way to vault the limit or move around it, but once again, without a concrete plan and base to operate from, they’re bound to fail at some point since like it or not, many fakers will be called out on their bs at some point. Remember Anna Sorokin, the supposed German heiress? That’s an example of faking it until you make it that’s taken to the extreme, but also one that came with a serious consequence. Granted, she’s been able to bank on the fact that people love a good scandal and bit of controversy, but the point is that having a plan to break this limitation of yours is far better since no matter if it’s tougher, it’s far more worth it in the end.
If you’re going to break through a limit and keep going, make sure you have something real to fall back on if things don’t work out the way you wanted. Some might call you weak for having a safety net, but in truth, you’re far smarter and capable of picking yourself up a lot easier if you have that safety net in place.
Be ready for resistance.
Don’t think that you’re just going to waltz past that limitation like you’re strutting through the park. There is almost always bound to be one or two people who will try to keep you back, or there will be other varying factors that you’ll have to deal with to move forward. The truth is that I’m not a planner, and I hate schedules, but like many others, I see the value of being able to move forward without feeling like you’ve run into a wall made of rubber bands that will snap your ass back the moment you try to push through them. This is where planning comes in, and where it can be of great use, since thanks to not just pushing through without taking the time to recognize your limits, you’ll be better prepared to bust through them as you’ll have the tools, the experience, and the knowledge of how to circumvent, break through, and handle the limitations keeping you from the next leg of your personal journey as you move on. Some might say that you won’t have had it hard enough to appreciate the joy of moving on to the next horizon, but the truth is that you will have done the work in preparation for the struggle ahead, and as a result, you’ll be far better equipped to take anything that might come your way.
Make a plan, but be flexible. Break through your limitations, but be aware of what will come next. In this manner, you have a better chance of succeeding while others will be scrambling to keep themselves afloat.
You have to know failure to prevent it in the future.
Like it or not, if you don’t fail a time or two in life, you don’t learn as much. What I keep saying about limits is very true, they’re challenges along your path, not barriers. They aren’t there to keep you down, they’re to remind you that life isn’t easy, and no one is just going to hand you the golden ticket or the key to fortune and happiness. Those that have things handed to them are considered to be blessed and lucky, right? Not really, because many of them wouldn’t be able to handle the challenge of earning their keep, and would be lost without the life they’ve been given. Failing teaches a person far more than winning, but the stigma attached to losing makes many people think that it’s something to be avoided.
Personally, I’d rather take a loss and learn something than breeze through life without meeting a single challenge.
Don’t fear your limits, just recognize them.
One thing you should seek to avoid is the inability to face your limits without fear. It’s natural to be certain, being afraid, especially if it’s a new experience and a new way of thinking that you’ll have to adopt. But one of the many things to remember about fear is that it can be beneficial, or it can ruin your chances of moving forward. Fearing the road ahead is fine, it’s letting that fear keep you from testing your limits that you should think about, since believe it or not, a lot of us operate every day with at least a hint of fear, be it the fear that we’ll fail at something, or that we’ll be remembered for that failure and not the good we try to do.
Remember, the sky is the view.
It’s been said that the sky is the view, not the limit, and I agree from a metaphorical standpoint. Granted, we’re not all going to start sprouting wings and flying off to test this statement, but the fact is that aiming for one limitation and stopping when we get there is kind of silly since moving forward is a constant necessity, and allowing one limitation or another to keep us from moving on is counterproductive to a full and meaningful life. Know your limits and work from them as a way to better yourself, but do your best to see those limits as challenges made and goals to be met.
WTR? (Why’s That Radass?)
Inspirational and motivational speeches and videos, seminars, and books are all well and good, but at the end of the day, one needs to take stock of their own life and figure out how to move forward. Your motivation should be meeting the goals you set and finding that your limitations are challenges waiting to be met. The more limits you break, the more you’ll accomplish in life.