Imagine riding a bicycle for so long that when you get a car, you start pedaling. Far fetched? Maybe! Then try imagining always having your toothbrush on the right side of your bathroom vanity and then switching it to the left. How many times do you still reach to the right before getting used to the idea that it is no longer there? More relatable?
Whichever one you can relate with, the common theme is limitation that often stems from what we are used to. Most of the things that actually limit us are intangible and come from our mind.
When Charles and I got our house, I always found myself confined to the room, wrapped in a blanket and using my laptop to indulge in my Netflix shows. This continued for a while even though there was a sitting room and a big TV to watch my shows on.
On one of my random thought days, I started reflecting on why I preferred being in the room, lying on the bed and squinting to watch my show on a tiny laptop screen and then it hit me. For about 7 years since I left home, I had lived in student housing where I rented a room and never had a sitting room furnished with comfortable furniture or a TV. So, through all that time, I became comfortable living in my bedroom and streaming my shows on my 12 inch laptop screen.
After coming to that realization, I had to work on coming out of my ‘shell’ or room and exploring the world of my house.
This might seem trivial, but it really exposed to me one way which we can limit ourselves. Another conversation I had with a close family member reinforced that limitation is not natural. It always stems from something and I’ll be talking about some of those.
Much like my background of being able to manage one room and a tiny laptop screen, we are often limited by our previous history of struggle, poverty or disease.
The first step to breaking free is the realization that struggle is not natural. It’s okay to make do with what you have in times of scarcity but what you must never do is allow it become your end zone. There is better on the other side of limitation.
Like I mentioned, I was sharing a dream I had with a trusted family member and he said to me “Which Nigerian have you seen doing that in Canada?”
My first reaction was hurt but I knew that he was coming from a genuine place of ignorance and self doubt. Why should other people’s failure to do something limit me from doing it?
Also, people can intentionally or unintentionally limit you through their actions or words. If you know the story of Jonah in the bible, he had to be thrown overboard for the rest of the travellers on the ship to travel smoothly.
Never be afraid to let go off people who clash with your life’s purpose. Not everyone will accompany you to your destination. Besides, its better to travel light. Don’t use people and discard them of course; but know when a relationship no longer works for your life’s goal.
Recently, I was having a conversation with a friend and we talked about all the things we wanted to be when we were children. As children, we have dreams that are larger than life but as we grow up, we trim our dreams until they are cute and small enough to match our reality.
Sit back, think on what you would do if you stopped limiting yourself. Stop thinking about ‘reality’ for a minute and dream. It costs nothing but it can reveal how much you are limiting yourself.
Is it the fear of failure? Fear of quitting? Fear of competition?
There’s always a fear and it is impossible to conquer fear without facing it. Today, you might give up on your dreams because of fear but what will you be giving up tomorrow?
As people say, do it afraid! Take fear on the journey and it will get tired of riding with you when it sees that you are unstoppable.
Think of the fear of heights and how you never want to get off the ground. Some will stay afraid never try but some get on the roller coaster and have fun. Be one of those who get on the roller coaster.
This is one of the biggest limitations many of us face; sometimes solely or often in addition to one or more of the others listed above. It seems like a good enough reason to abandon your dreams but believe me, it is not.
People often say, “where there’s a will, there’s a way” and I definitely agree. It may take longer but you can still overcome. Again, think about what you would do if funds were not an issue. Then go for it or plan towards it. Just don’t let it limit you.
Heart to Heart: Are there any other things that limit us? What experience have you had with limitation in your mind or otherwise?