As a result I’ve taken some time out to stop, look at my life and identify and remove some of the limits that I know I have myself, created and imposed on myself recently.
Back in early 2011, I had an epiphany of sorts. I realised that the only thing that was holding me back from living life to my full potential was fear. I concluded that if I could face those fears then my life would be limitless. Subsequently, the rest of 2011 was spent facing various fears in a variety of ways and I loved every minute of it.
Recently I’ve hit a wall.
A wall I hadn’t even realised that I myself had been slowly building. Limits are sneaky like that, they build up one brick at a time and before you know it, you need a sledgehammer to break out of there.
The turning point for me came last Wednesday as I sat in my favourite Café at around 6.30pm sweating over my weekly post. My heart sunk as I looked at the time and realised I’d be pulling another late one to get a post out before midnight in order to stick to a schedule I hadn’t broken in over 9 months.
Almost as soon as I felt that sinking feeling, I knew in an instant that I wasn’t going to publish a post that night. What I realised in that moment was that somewhere along the line I’d allowed this very blog, titled “Life is Limitless” no less, to box me into a corner.
Freedom is precious to me.
I don’t really know why but it’s up there as one of the things I treasure most in this life. A whole cornerstone of my belief about life being limitless is that we always have a choice. Far too often I hear people use words like “can’t”, “must” or “should” in ways that all too often belie a limit we’ve imposed on ourselves rather than a real reason either to do or not do something.
So, when I found myself telling myself that I ‘must’ get this post done, because I’d said that I would post on a Wednesday and so I “should” stick to that schedule, I promptly stopped writing and closed my laptop. What followed was an all-encompassing feeling of relief and that relief is what I would also call freedom. Freedom from an obligation. An obligation that last Wednesday no longer served me or my readers well. What point was there in forcing out a post just to stick to a schedule? I want the writing on this blog to come from the heart, not to be dictated by a calendar.
“The trap of obligation creates mediocre work” ~ Kate Swoboda, Your Courageous Life
I could write a whole post about the limiting nature of obligation but one of my all time favourite bloggers, Kate Swoboda has already written a brilliant post on the subject so I’d suggest you read that instead.
I’ve also been feeling limited lately by my story.
Which in a nutshell goes something like this: Nearly a year ago I became a personal development blogger, with a focus on facing fears and consequently I’ve quit my job to travel around the world indefinitely.
Six months ago I loved my story. Whenever it came up in conversation, people would get excited along with me about my forthcoming plans and many would tell me how courageous and inspirational they found it and I’d be left feeling, well pretty kick-ass actually.
Over the last few weeks, on the other hand, I’ve felt totally trapped by it. I’m still getting the wonderful and positive responses from the people in my world but rather than feel excited, courageous or inspirational I’ve simply felt anxious.
I could write a whole post about this kind of anxiety but one of my other all time favourite bloggers, Benjamin Spall has already written a brilliant post on the subject so I’d suggest you read that instead.
The disconnect between how people expect me to feel and how I actually feel has created a huge space for another limiting emotion to fill.
When people inevitably and understandably say to me “you must be so excited about your trip” and all I can think about is the ten million things I need to do before I get on that plane, the numerous people I’m leaving behind and the other hundred or so emotions a change like this evokes in a person then I inevitably start to feel guilty. Guilty that I’m not feeling more grateful for the incredible opportunity I have before me.
“Right now all I want to do is dive under my bedsheets, hide away and pretend I’m not about to make the biggest leap in my life.” ~ Benjamin Spall, Life Rapture
Discovering these limits hasn’t worried me, in fact realising that there are limits that lurk has given me a much-needed kick up the backside. What I’ve realised over the last few weeks is that living limitlessly doesn’t mean an absence of limits, it means really getting to know our limits and by that I mean really getting to know the clever and sneaky ways in which we trap or corner ourselves and limit our choices through obligation, guilt, comparison and a whole host of other ways.
Do you know your limits? Have you thought lately about what your life would look life if it were truly limitless? If you haven’t try it, you might be surprised by what you find. If you’ve enjoyed this post, please do share by hitting one of the buttons below.