I think it’s time that we all start accepting our limitations. And here’s why.

I remember someone that I was dating who was very, very big on personal development who would have this guilt about feeling bad sometimes, even if something legitimately very bad had happened. He reacted as if it had to be okay – and sometimes it wasn’t! Last month I wrote about the fact that we have a spectrum of emotions and so being able to experience all of them is actually a very beautiful thing. You get to appreciate the good ones when you’ve got them. I think this inability to accept bad things is the same model of thinking that applies to the idea that you can do, be or have anything you want. You can’t! Am I saying that you are absolutely stuck the way that you are? No, I’m saying that there are different versions of success that exist and given where you are starting from and the resources that are available to you that might influence (to some extent) what your success can look like.

Lets associate success with monetary value – which I don’t often like to do – but it does give us some kind of representation which is easy to reference. Do I believe that everybody can be a millionaire? No, I don’t believe they can because I don’t believe that everybody has what it takes to be able to manage that sort of experience. Even people that win the lottery often don’t hold on to that money for very long because they’re not used to managing at that level of wealth. So do I believe that everybody can, therefore, be successful? I think they can to a point. I think that you can improve, I think that you can change, I think that you can evolve into brilliant, beautiful things but I don’t believe that everybody is geared up to achieve the same kinds of success as others. I believe that if we begin by accepting what limitations there may be around us then we actually give ourselves a far easier time as we begin to move forward.

Before we set out on any task or goal it’s a good idea to do some inventory: where are you at the point of getting started and, therefore, starting where you are is the goal actually realistic for you Maybe it is but maybe it’s not realistic within the timeframe that you set yourself. Maybe it is but maybe is not realistic to the skillset that you currently have. Perhaps you need to change things a little bit, perhaps we need to have other mini-plans that you put in place before you achieve the big plan. Maybe you need to change time in some ways; maybe you need to think about just laws of the universe! All of those different sorts of things that actually do put constraints on the way human beings operate, and that might mean changing what you desire so that it’s similar to what you wanted but maybe not exactly the same. If you do that infantry and you realise that actually there is some massive awful reason why what I want is never going to be possible do you give up? What do you do?

Well, then the question becomes what do you want? We can’t look back when we answer that question because if your answer is ‘I want you to achieve something that by my age I know can’t achieve or something that with my limitations in my life I’m not able to make happen’ then that doesn’t answer the question. What that does is say ‘if I could go back and change time, if I could change history, if I could change the way that the world is designed’ and that’s not going to happen. We have to say ‘what do you want now given the parameters that we have; what do you want now given the limitations that exist in your circumstances?’ That’s the question that gets us to move on to the next level where we may then start to move toward something looks like what really wanted. Is it going to be exactly the same as what we originally wanted? Probably not, but it could get us close and that might be important.

So in summary of what I’ve just said one thing we need to do when we are looking to succeed, when we are setting goals, when we are dreaming big is that we are going to do so with our limitations in mind. We’re not going to pretend they don’t exist, we can only look at them and hold them up to the light and examine them closely so that we know what it is that we are dealing with. We’re not going ignore them but we are actually going to use them and build them into our planning because maybe there was something in those experiences of limitation that might be useful for us in some other way. They helped us to build a more realistic idea of what our success is going to look like and that is most definitely important.

By Gemma Bailey