Richard Bach wrote this remarkable line: “Argue for your limitations and they are yours.” It has had a great impact on my life.
How many times have you made a case for why you couldn’t possible do something? And then, you were proven right. You couldn’t! Was it actually about circumstances or other people, or was it an inside job? You actually stopped yourself by your mindset and attitude?
Recently I was talking with a friend who has multiple sclerosis. When we first met, she was working full-time and occasionally walking with a slight limp. Now, she lives in a care facility and is completely immobilized in an electric wheelchair with a little use of one hand and her head operates her chair, the TV, and the phone. Every possible day, she orders a special bus to take her to the bustling waterfront of the town in which she lives so that she can experience life as fully as possible, to be part of the vitality.
This is a bright, vivacious woman with a positive attitude and a determination not to live from limitation. Would you be as determined in the face of adversity of this kind?
You may not be physically immobilized, but, are you mentally, emotionally or spiritually immobilized?
Are you allowing something to stop you without exploring all the ways around it?
Would you be willing to ram through the difficulties to get what you say you most want?
Times many, my clients argue for their limitations. Those are the ‘Yes…but’s’ of life. “Yes, I could do that, I guess, but……” Ever heard yourself say that?
Most of us do at one time or another. The danger is that it becomes a lifestyle. Every molehill seems like a mountain. Sometimes, we become experts at molehill magnification! We can make any obstacle appear insurmountable in our minds.
Where do we get this habit? It may have been handed to us when we were children. Parents….particularly perfectionist parents….would say, “Let me do that for you. I can do it better, faster, more accurately, etc.” We then might have assumed that we were incapable of accomplishing things for ourselves. Perfectionist parents leave a legacy of low self-esteem often.
(Note to yourself: This had nothing to do with your abilities. It was all about their fear of inadequacy. You can do anything you set your mind to doing!)
It may be from laziness. Ouch! It’s true, though. If you don’t try anything, no one will expect anything from you. Then, they will leave you alone. If this is true, FIX IT! You’re wasting your life.
It may be fear of failure that immobilizes you. That makes you play very small in the world. It can lead to low-self-esteem and a few other unpleasant things like jealousy, resentment, gossip and self-pity. Not very pretty! If other people can do things, so can you. It’s a choice. Choose in favor of expressing yourself and reaching your goals.
Have you been “arguing for your limitations” lately? Now would be a good time to stop, examine what you are allowing to, or putting in your way, and create a new path around what you previously thought was an obstacle. Today, take a step in that direction. Don’t be stopped by unexamined limitations. There is usually a way!
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© Rhoberta Shaler, PhD
The Relationship Help Doctor
Disclaimer: All advice, insights and suggestions made here are not to be construed as psychological or legal advice. Any actions you undertake as a result of reading any article, book, video, ebook or blog post from Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, are entirely your own. Having worked with individuals and couples for more than twenty-five years, she offers her insights and opinions for your consideration only.