“Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they’re yours”
- Richard Bach – Writer
The other night I had a dream and the only portion of it that I could recall when I awoke was that I was chasing after a boat and I jumped from the shore into what appeared to be a river to swim out to the boat I was chasing. Not sure why I was chasing the boat and for the purpose of this discussion it doesnâ€™t really matter. In my dream the boat was already pretty far down the river yet it was still in sight. I felt good about swimming towards the boat and felt no real concern about the distance I had to swim. Now at this point I realize I am in a dream and even though I realize I am in a dream my consciousness reminds me that I am not a skilled swimmer and I start to falter. I realize that I am not going to be able to swim as far as I need to and I start reaching for the banks of the river which by this time seem to be the side of a mountain with little to grab on to. I then awake.
Now there are many ways to interrupt the meaning of this dream, however I am not concerned with the possible meanings of the dream. The reason I am sharing this dream with you is because I am simply amazed at the pervasiveness of the limitations that we have stored in our consciousness.
Think about it, I am in a dream, I know on some conscious level that I am in a dream. Knowing I am in a dream should mean that I can choose to be without any limitations. I should be able to swim the length of the Nile in a dream. I should be able to walk on water in my dream if that is what I desire to do. Yet, in my dream I brought my limitations into play. In my conscious life I can swim, however I am not a skilled swimmer who has the skills or the endurance to swim the length of a river. If I so desired I surely could develop endurance and skills to be able to swim great lengths.
The point is that some of our limitations are so deeply seated that we bring them with us even in a dream state where one would believe there are no real limitations.
We do carry many limitations within our mind; some are real limitations such as the ability to swim a long distance; real because it takes practice and effort to improve a skill like swimming. Other limitations are simply limitations that we have created and ingrained within our mind to the point where we believe these limitations are written in stone. For instance last night someone asked me how to spell a complex word, without too much thought I rattled off the correct spelling of the word. My friend knowing that I am notorious for being a poor speller double checked my spelling on line and with a surprised look made a remark as to why I knew how to spell that word and reminded me that I am not a good speller. I laughed and said, â€œI gave up that limitation, I am now becoming a good spellerâ€�. This is true; I shook off the self imposed limitation of not being a good speller. I simply no longer accept that I am a poor speller and I have made a focused effort in becoming a better speller. See, the only thing holding me back from being a good speller was the limitation that I had carried around all of these years. I have the intellect to be a good speller; I simply had to choose to abandon my self imposed limitation, one that I have believed in for decades.
These self imposed limitations are often deep seated and pervasive. It is only through our awareness that we can choose to release the limitations we impose upon our self. What self imposed limitations do you believe in about yourself. What limitation are you constantly reinforcing within your mind?
Think about your perceived limitations. Ask yourself are they true? If you believe they are true, why do you believe they are true? What proof do you have? You may be surprised at how weak your proof is or that the proof that you come up with is only your repetitive thoughts and self talk about the limitation.
Work to free yourself of the shackles of your own self imposed limitations. Listen to the language you use. Do you hear yourself saying I am just no good at __________? If you wanted to be good at _________ what do you need to do to improve? What changes do you need to make? The first step is becoming aware of what you perceive your limitations to be, the next step is to change how you think about those limitations, the final step is to initiate change in feeling, thought and action which will remove the limitation and create an enhancement to yourself and what you believe about yourself.