Limits


“Limits like fears are often just an illusion” - Michael Jordan.


I am a manager and a mentor at work. In these roles I get to evaluate people’s performance and make suggestions on how they can improve in the future. In my experience, without exception, the vast majority of people do not realize their full potential. They do not realize how much more they are capable of.


The biggest limitation in what we actually do is how much we think we can do. We will only do as much as we think we can - and no more. And most people think they can do far less than they actually can. So they do far less than they are actually capable of. These self-imposed limits hold people back.


Let me give you a couple of examples.


If you are set the challenge of jumping up to reach a mark on a wall that is 8 feet high but you only think you can reach up 7 feet high - then that is how high you will try to reach. When you jump up and only reach the 7 foot mark you will stop trying because you achieved what you think is possible. Now if you thought you could reach the 8 foot mark but only happen to reach 7 feet up on the first attempt, you will try again. On the next attempt you will try harder. You will keep trying until you reach that 8 foot mark. Your self-imposed limits will determine how high you aim, how hard you try and how many times you try. “Impossible is only an opinion” - Paulo Coelho.


If you have a burning desire to do a different job, but you don’t think they would give it to you - you don’t even apply. Guess what - you never get it! Now if you were convinced you could do the job you would apply. You would prepare. You would get (or make) some relevant experience. If for some reason they didn’t give it to you the first time you would keep preparing, you would network, you would keep getting experience until the next opportunity came along. Then you would apply again. You’d keep trying until you were successful. “If it’s important to you, will find a way, if not you will find an excuse” Unknown.


This is true with everything in life. Whatever you think you can do will be the limitation on what you try. Most people set their sights too low - and that’s all they achieve. They think they can do less than they actually can. This is what holds most people back from achieving their full potential.


Personally, I tell myself that I can do anything. I may have limits to what I can achieve but I don’t let what I think I can do hold me back from achieving what I am actually capable of. The next time you are trying to do something, remember the Michael Jordan quote - “Limits like fears are often just an illusion.” What you think you are only capable of is just an illusion. What you are actually capable of is likely far more than you think. Don’t let your self imposed limitations stop you from achieving what you are actually capable of. So go, think bigger than before and do more than before!



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