Wellness: Know Your Limitations
Limitations get a bad rap. They’re the bane of our existence. Always stopping us, always preventing us from doing something. But what if limitations are only limitations because we call them that? What if limitations only become limitations when we assign them that category and give them that power?
This is tricky, and the only way to see through this façade, which feels SO convincing in the moment, is to flip the image to its head.
How is it not a limitation?
How is it the best thing ever, instead?
I’ll use myself as an example. I grew up surrounded by whispers of gang activity. I rarely ventured out of the house, apart from grocery trips and journeys to school. My home was a limitation. A prison. A place I dreamed on countless occasions of escaping. But it was also the source of creativity and the birthplace of STRONG desire to explore every. single. day. And oh have I explored. Countless neighborhoods all over the world, most recently in Japan.
So was it a limitation?
Perspective matters. To call it a limitation, I would have to ignore the positive effect it’s had on me. I would have to look at the incomplete picture that is my past, without my present or my future. It would be a half-truth, at best. A lie, at worst. Knowing this provide clues on how to view what I currently perceive of as “limitations.”
Like huge surges of anxiety.
One night a few weeks ago, my mind felt like a limitation. I broke hard. I’d read an email that had inspired my first anxiety attack in years. It was concerning and unnerving. I did my best to calm myself through it and sleep, when I could. The next day, as I continued to coach myself (and let myself be coached) through lower levels of anxiety – levels that were still much higher than normal – something weird happened.
As I broke, I broke open and felt myself tearing down walls I didn’t even know had been up. It was so crazy to realize that my walls had become so normal to me that I didn’t even know they were there. Within 18 hours of the initial breaking, I was having a breakthrough. Funny. I think that might be the first time I’ve written “breakthrough” and realized “break” is the first part of that word.
So, was my mind a limitation? I would say it’s a half-truth, at best. A lie, at worst.
Instead, I offer my full truth: my mind, in that moment, was part of a very long timeline and served as a catalyst for those walls to become visible to me. I can’t change what I don’t know is there. Saying that feels good. It reminds me I’m not a static person, I’m not someone with things “wrong” with her (that one’s been fed to us WAY too much). I’m an ever-growing, always-changing person, here to have fun exploring my world – inside and outside of me.