I’ll bet the title question has you just a little stumped. Maybe perplexed. And maybe not. Regardless, the idea of limits is what we’re going to explore in this article. More specifically, we’re going to look at limits in the context of how you create your life.

One of the things that is important when you set about to create the life that you want for yourself, life on your terms, is for you to know your capabilities, your passions, your talents, and your limits. Sounds like a lot when put this way, but really it’s about knowing what your strengths are so that you can “leverage your best and ditch the rest.” Indeed, you’re most effective in the creation of anything — but particularly in the creation of life on your terms — when you know where your particular assets lie. Here’s the kicker though: while knowing your strengths can serve you well, being aware of your limits can actually hold you back. Why? Because you start to create a story that is filled with limitations. Phrases like “I don’t do…”, “I can’t do…”, “That’s just not my thing”, “I’m not into…” actually form boxes in which you start to live. In my experience the actual fact, however, is that while you may not like certain things, while you may prefer a specific way of being, if pushed to the wire you actually COULD do a lot of what you tell yourself is impossible.

So what? So this: rather than thinking about your “limits” in terms of “can’ts” and “won’ts” (”I can’t do”, “I won’t do”), you are truly better served by thinking along the lines of “I could do, and I’d rather not”, or “I don’t like to do, but I could if I tried”, and similar phrases. My personal belief is that anyone is capable of most things when presented with the right set of circumstances. Let me give you some examples: I consider myself a fairly non-techy person; computer lingo often baffles me, and I’d really rather not engage in tech-related projects. That being said, I now have a bi-weekly podcast, which requires me to use techy gadgets. Granted, I have a fabulous producer who does most of the background work in terms of making the series available to subscribers, but one of my stories until recently was “I don’t do tech-stuff”. Clearly, while I may not like it, I can in fact do it! Here’s another one: I’ve always considered myself to be lacking in natural physical strength — never really been on a sports team in my youth, walking was fine as long as it was warm and sunny and I could walk slowly, and coordination was noticeably sub-par, at least compared to those “natural athletes” in my world. So the story I created was that “I don’t do physical activity.” Well that’s a real crock — because I do go to the gym, I do lift weights (albeit reluctanctly) and I am capable of physical exertion, to the point that I’ve started training to run a marathon next year. Once again, my story that I’m not capable of athleticism was stopping me from exploring my range of options. Is athletic ability a natural strength of mine? I don’t think so. But does it mean that I can’t access it at all? Nope. It’s actually there, and I CAN access it, if I really want to.

So, what do YOU really want? And what’s it going to take for you to step outside the perceived limits you’ve set for yourself and expand your range? Because that’s what this is really about: giving yourself permission to play with a full range of capabilities, skills, and options. It’s about playing outside the box and stretching your comfort zone, making “I can do anything” (or at least, “I can do most anything”) your default statement, and then choosing what you will do without limitation.

Bottom-line: while you may have a preferred set of strengths, skills and aptitudes that you like to use, while you may have passions that light you up more than others, having these doesn’t necessarily preclude you from BEING ABLE to do other things. You may not choose to do other things — and you’re still capable of them. Anyone is capable of anything under the right circumstances. Know your limits, and don’t let them limit you. Instead, get comfortable with your full range of potential, and live into that.

Author's Bio: 

Gail is the principal and founder of Stellar Coaching & Consulting, a company committed to supporting professional women in living lives with ease. All of her programs and services revolve around the fundamental premise that life is more fulfilling when lived by active design instead of passive default. Her unique insights and experiences have allowed groups to work successfully on issues related to improving team function and productivity, and individuals to work towards achieving their goals without compromising a sense of balance.

Gail is the host of the twice-monthly podcast series, Your Life, Your Way, Starting Today which is available at www.stellarcc.com/landing/ as well as co-author of The Control Freak's Guide to Living Lightly: Manifesting a Life of Total Trust (www.controlfreakseries.com).