Most of the limitations we believe are self-imposed.
When all is said and done, if you truly desire to have something you CAN find or create it. BUT — and this is important — you need to TRULY desire it.
What does that mean? Everyone has skillsets. Some people are adept at all things physical. Other people are adept at all things mental. Most people have a mix of skills both physical and mental.
If you are mostly mental and lacking in the physical — you will have more obstacles to overcome for physical activity. Likewise, if you’re mostly physical and lacking in the mental — you will have more obstacles to overcome for mental activity.
That’s not to say you can’t. But you will need to give it devotion, dedication, and desire if you truly want it.
Some things will limit you. Most, however, are outside of your control. But there are plenty of stories of people who disbelieved in limitations and overcame impossible odds to achieve what they desired.
My struggle to do something physical well
I have been the fat kid all my life. What attempts I made at playing sports in my childhood went poorly. I wasn’t an utter and total lump — but I was not athletic. My strength was largely mental.
At 19, I was introduced to medieval fencing. As a longtime fan of sci-fi and fantasy, the chance to play with a sword, like in The Princess Bride, was extremely appealing. But it was not going to be easy.
I had terrible balance. My eye-hand coordination was laughable at best. I was heavy and short with t-rex arms. It was going to be an uphill battle for me to exhibit any skill at this whatsoever.
But I really wanted it. Gods did I love fencing. Especially in this format. I mean, we dressed in cool outfits and fought with a weapon in each hand if we wanted to!
I put in a lot of time and effort to learn the basics. Then I relearned them. Then I got hit by a car crossing a street and needed to also relearn how to walk — let alone fencing basics.
The hit-and-run created new limitations. I had to overcome severe nerve damage to my right (dominant) arm. Also, I was expected to walk with a limp for the rest of my life after my right tibia was shattered — then rebuilt via a bone graft. Oh, and I now had titanium plates in my right shoulder.
These would not deter me. I was going to fence again — and I would even get better than I was before.
And I did.
Limitations? I don’t think so
Let’s sum up, shall we? Short, fat, broken, and an uncertain recovery. Lots of people would accept that they had new limitations and move on.
I am too stubborn for that.
Before the hit-and-run, I had been fencing for 8 years. I credit that skill for why my legs were made of almost pure muscle — and never fully atrophied. Additionally, this was why I had any use whatsoever of my left arm. Fencing lefty was a skill I learned — which proved invaluable when my right was disabled.
It took a year for me to recover to 98% of where I was before. That was, I came to learn, impressively fast. This was partially because I had amazing doctors, nurses, and therapists. But also because I refused to accept limitations.
Never walk without a limp again? No, I pushed to make sure that was not the case. Never fully recover the use of my right arm? No thanks, it would be healed.
It will be 21 years since that accident at the end of November. Unless you see the scars, or I tell you this story — you would have no idea I was that badly injured.
On top of all I did to recover — I still desired to not suck at fencing. So, I persevered. Took a new course of study. Put in a lot of work. And it all paid off.
Though never undefeatable nor the very top of the game — I was one of the better fencers. Not to brag, but I think I can easily argue that in my “Kingdom” I was in the top 25 fencers — out of probably 200+ total.
The short, fat, unathletic kid became skilled. Because I accepted no limitations and constantly pushed to improve.
Taking on the things that limit you
Over the years, I have taught a wide number of people to fence. Some of them were far more capable than I, even as I was teaching them. Some were as unimpressive and out-of-shape as I was when I began. I believed that if they desired to be skilled at this game, they could be.
I helped a lot of people push past the limitations they believed that they had. But that’s not always going to be possible.
Public speaking is a matter of confidence, voice control, tonality, reading words without sounding detached or monotone, and improv skills when unscripted. Classic theatre also adds the need to understand and use projection.
I have helped teach people how to do a certain form of public speaking that is mostly theatre. Think of a town-crier from a classic medieval or fantasy film. The difference between projecting your voice and shouting is important — particularly if you don’t want to damage your voice.
Just about anyone can learn to do this. BUT — not everyone can. Or rather, when they do, they’re utterly unengaging.
Some people are unable to read without stumbling, some cannot project or provide sufficient volume, and some people just don’t have the ability to engage the audience. That’s not to say you cannot learn to do this — but you must desire it and put in the time and effort.
If you only half-want something, or you kind of desire to get somewhere — the limitations can and will limit you. Only by having focus and a fierce desire that encompass your mind, body, and soul can you overcome almost any limitations.
Adjustments for limitations
I know a fencer who is bound to a wheelchair. Not only is she a delight as a human-being — but her skill is excellent. She’s a lot of fun to fight against.
I know a public speaker who has overcome a physical inability to project to be heard. He pushed past a limitation to embrace a skill he desired to have.
I do not doubt that there are limitations almost impossible to overcome. However, most limitations are only as limiting as you allow them to be.
The battle to overcome limitations can be exhausting. Sometimes, you may fight the good fight — and determine it’s not worth it. Other matters may take priority — or you could fall in love with another skill and set this one aside.
If there is something you desire, no matter if the limitation is mental or physical — you can push past it. That may be super-challenging, painful on a lot of levels, and difficult. But you alone know what value you place upon it.
You are empowered to find and/or create what you desire your life to look like. While some limitations ARE real, others are self-imposed. There are ways to adjust for any limitation — but you must put the work in for that.
Neither physical nor mental limitations need to stop you. But the work to overcome them can be overwhelming. You get to choose how to address that and where you draw the lines in your mind between possible and impossible — probable and improbable.
Push for more
When I recently realized that, for all my writing, my daily word count was low — I made a choice. I could write more every day. That spurred me to put more energy into my work. The more I write, the better my skills get. As I edit my writing — before and after sending work to professionals — I hone my craft.
I have this skill. I desire to make it my primary source of income. The more I write the more I can publish. That opens me to reach a wider audience and hopefully increasing my sales.
Money is my biggest limitation right now when it comes to investing in advertising, coaching, or hiring someone to help me with marketing. It’s a very real limitation that is difficult to overcome. However, I believe that I can overcome it — and get myself and my work out there.
Unlike physical limits and mental limitations, money is both. Physically it gets you goods and services — and mentally it drives you insane when it is lacking. Still, I believe that I can get past this limitation and make my living via writing. Which would, probably ironically, solve the money issue.
Some limitations are real — but many aren’t. Nearly all can be overcome — but not without effort. Focus. Be mindful of who you are and what you desire. Use thoughts, feelings, actions, and intentions to overcome limitations. Push for more if more is what you desire.
One caveat: Do no harm. Pushing for more and overcoming limitations should cause no harm to any other in the process. Though unintentional harm may result — that is beyond your control. Please be mindful.
So — what limitations have you pushed beyond?
Thank you for reading! I am MJ Blehart. I write about mindfulness, conscious reality creation, positivity, and similar life lessons.
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Originally published at https://titaniumdon.com on September 30, 2020.