Monday, July 1, 2013

Embracing Limitations

There is a lot of focus in business on the need to 'improve' our weaknesses, to overcome our limitations.  The
assumption being that we don't want weaknesses of any kind, that our weaknesses will hold us back and limit our opportunities.  What if, however, it is not our limitations that hold us back but the way that we think of them?

As long as we perceive our limitations as weaknesses, our limitations as a negative, we put our effort into masking or hiding them, into trying to turn them around or to at least become 'competent' enough in the area that others might not notice.  It becomes a cyclical game in which we put our energy into become stronger in an area that will never be a strength.

What if we put our energy instead, into finding other avenues to getting things done, while working WITH our limitations rather than around them?  We tend to think of creativity being synonymous with the need to think outside of the box.  However, kickstart your creativity by thinking a little closer to home.  Try thinking within the box.  Enhance and spark your creativity by learning to embrace your limitations.

Don't hide your limitations away, pull them out.  Examine them.  Define what the limitation means to you.  Often this definition is accompanied by a 'can't'.  There is something you feel that you can't do as a result of this limitation.  The key question then becomes...  how else might I do it?  Consider...

  • If you are an athlete who loses their legs in a car crash, do you stop engaging in your sport?
  • If you want to become doctor but don't get accepted into medical school, do you give up on your dream of being a health practitioner?
  • If you draw detailed, realistic pictures but develop severe hand tremors, do you stop making art?
  • If you stutter, do you avoid speaking in public?
You can't do things as you once did or would want to... what can you do instead?  Don't dwell on what you can't do... focus on what you can.  What is another option or possibility?  If you only view the limitation one way you will only get one answer.  View the limitation from as many different angles as you can to unlock different answers and possibilities, many of which would have been hidden from you had you not shifted your perspective.  

Sometimes we must first become limited to then become limitless

Instead of viewing your limitations as a roadblock to your success, view them as a source of creativity.  Your dream is not gone because of the limitation, you are just required to shift your vision of it or to walk a different path to get there.  Embracing your limitations liberates you from their confines, opening new avenues, new possibilities.  It is from thinking inside the box of our limitations that we end up opening the box fully.

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