Knowing Your Limits
Limitations often dwell within us, hidden from sight. We might not pay heed to them or be compelled not to, for they can be perceived as terrifying.
The Cost of Ignoring Limitations
Yet, to disregard them demands immense mental effort. When your mind is preoccupied with this task, energy for creative and beautiful solutions is scarce. We essentially rob ourselves of our own power. Pretending something doesn’t exist often deprives us of something valuable.
To forge something new, one must consider not only resources but also limitations. Proclaiming, “I can do anything, I just need to wish it,” raises questions, for these limitations don’t vanish. They might be ignored for a season, but if you suffer burnout and neglect your weariness, no amount of motivation or willpower can prevent your collapse. It may occur after a deadline, or perhaps you’ll fail to meet it altogether.
Limitations are not solely emotional; they can be rational too. Consider your age and those who depend on you. If you have children and elderly parents, you can speak endlessly about how accomplishments hinge solely on desire, yet…
Ignoring limitations has severe consequences. If we follow the same path as those unburdened by our limitations, we may find ourselves in a difficult situation that must be resolved. We cannot dismiss this issue for long. Life will compel us to face it.
Limitations are steadfast, and casting them aside is not an option. Some even propose building stable systems upon limitations, transforming them into strengths.
In the space where limitations reside, bitterness often lingers, alongside thoughts of injustice: “They think I can’t, but I can.” Intense emotions arise, and they aren’t easy to manage. These signs indicate an unaddressed issue.
It’s not the fault of others for treating you unfairly or failing to see your worth; it’s something you’ve neglected, something that could be utilized and integrated to find workable solutions. They may not be perfect – releasing the ideal image is difficult. We envision ourselves as we desire to be, admiring those who embody our aspirations. It’s an alluring narrative, hard to abandon. Yet as long as we’re seduced by this, our minds are preoccupied with fantasies disconnected from reality. Instead of focusing on our potential, our minds are consumed with comparisons to others.
By fixating on a flawed model, we overlook alternative models. We’re prone to compare what is familiar, disregarding the unknown as it’s frightening and unclear.
The “I’m imperfect, but they’re perfect” model is comfortable. We oscillate between this dichotomy endlessly.
The Paradox of Stepping Aside for Solutions
Once all strategies have been tried and all simplistic methods exhausted, it’s time to see what else can be done.
We are all restless and anxious, and we all face resource deficits in our past. But mastering this skill is possible.
Rather than adding hours to an already long workday, stepping aside often reveals solutions. It’s a paradoxical path, a departure from the pattern of pushing ourselves to do more and seek additional support.
This paradox entails stepping back, unburdening the mind and spirit. It’s still work, but it affords the necessary internal space for new ideas to emerge.
Conversely, work that intensifies effort and time is like borrowing from oneself, a debt that must eventually be repaid.
Securing this space for oneself can be challenging, filled with anxiety and shame. Stopping may seem like inviting collapse, with so much responsibility at stake. It’s difficult to halt the complex emotions that swirl within.
Yet, by pausing for a breath of fresh air, one may discover a wonderful, good enough solution that was difficult to envision, grasp, or admit to under the weight of immense stress.
Why don’t people take this step? Because it’s a leap into the unknown. Cognitive distortion leads us to prefer a guaranteed, albeit unfavorable outcome over an uncertain yet potentially powerful one. Social norms reinforce this thinking.
We often halt when we believe we’ve reached the end. In truth, there’s still a vast journey ahead if we can muster the courage to look within and allow curiosity, interest, and life energy to guide us through this stretch.
It’s about forging your own meanings. We cannot adopt others’ meanings, as they are mere external shells. But by taking something, adapting it, and infusing it with our own meaning, we can create our own path.
What happens when someone faces a highly stressful and traumatic situation? The ability to fantasize is severed. It’s deemed unnecessary, as survival becomes the priority. We resort to basic functioning: taking steps one through five and ensuring minimal performance. But in time, our ability to fantasize returns.
If we desire something, but our body resists every effort to do good for ourselves, it’s a story worth exploring.
Ideas for this text are taken from the workshop by Tatiana Kamps and Natasha Mosunova