It’s September, guys, and I don’t know about you but I am feeling kind of like I’ve got a chance to start afresh. I don’t know if it’s because it’s the changing of the season, or because we used to start a new school year in September, but for the first time I’m not sad about summer ending; instead, I’m excited about a new beginning.
But there’s something pretty big that stops us from using these new beginnings to make important life changes. LIMITATIONS. We all feel that we have limits that stop us from being better, doing more, achieving our dreams (and so on). And these limitations can really affect our mental, physical and emotional health.
Except…do we really have limits? I think not. We’re not limited by much, and I’ll explain:
Not limited by your lack of education
I feel that I am not as intelligent as a lot of those around me. I dropped out of university after a year, and I think that this has settled in my mind as “you are not smart enough.” Because I didn’t finish uni, get a degree, and graduate like so many others around me, that means that I’m not intelligent. It means I lack the vocabulary, critical thinking skills, higher reading abilities, specific knowledge and know-how, and credibility/qualifications.
Except…this isn’t true! At least, it doesn’t have to be.
You see, I have spoken about university with the university graduates that I know and a lot of them didn’t think that university was worth the time, money, and effort. My brother barely attended his lessons, and was self-taught with a lot of the skills he now uses for his job. My partner has been working a job as an architectural technologist for almost a year now…even before he had completed his degree!
What this tells me is that not everyone needs to go to university and that your intelligence is not determined by how far you went with your education. It just isn’t. The only thing that a lack of education does is give you a lack of qualifications which (I admit) can be damaging for certain jobs – but not all! In fact, most university graduates will agree that doors didn’t automatically open for them just because of their degree. They still lacked experience in the job world.
In this day and age, it’s almost impossible to be ignorant. We are in an age of endless information available to us with ease. With the click of a button, we can go from not knowing who Nietzsche is, to knowing his entire works and theories.
All we have to do is look for the information and want to know it.
Not limited by your lack of money
Now, some people may be thinking well “education isn’t the problem, it’s money.” And yes, I’ve felt quite limited by that too. Except, a lot of things are free. Think about the common areas where people want to better themselves or their lives: health, knowledge, fitness, career, hobbies, relationships, and friendships. Yes, some of these things are limited by money, but how much, really?
I’d say not a lot. You can find plenty of free resources for educating yourself. You don’t need a gym membership or a personal trainer to get fit, you can do it at home or go for a run outside for free. A lot of hobbies are free and if you head down to your local community centre, I bet they have a lot of activities that you could do for free to meet new people, too. And you don’t need money to advance or change careers, in fact it’s usually the changing of careers that brings the money in.
You can get a free (or cheaper) education than at university to gain the knowledge or skill that you need to then advance your career and then better your money! Boom, done.
So, don’t blame your bad life or lack of change on money – it’s not the money’s fault that you’re unhappy.
Not limited by your lack of physical ability
Firstly, I know what people may be thinking, “what about those of us in wheelchairs or with blindness or no limbs?” Well, I will refer you to the Paralympics – the most inspirational and motivational thing I’ve ever watched. These people have more physical “hindrances” than I do, and yet they accomplish so much and are downright badasses.
So, unless you are literally bedridden, unable to move and talk, you not really limited by your physical abilities. Not completely, anyway.
I say this to my mom who has arthritis. She often moans about her aches and pains and the inability to do certain things. But to this, I say, “mom, there are some things you can’t do, yes, but there is a lot that you can do. So, do those things instead.”
A man with a bad back doesn’t say, “well I guess I’ll just stay in bed forever“. No, instead they get a walking stick, zimmer frame, or wheelchair and carry on with their life. I had a friend who had Cystic Fibrosis that attacked her lungs, but guess what? She lived a damned full life, whilst wheeling around her oxygen tank. If you have physical limits, use tools and imagination to find a way around them. Simple.
Now, if you are someone with no real physical handicaps, then you are like me and you have no limitations at all. Want to be fitter (stronger or more flexible), work on it. Simple!
Not limited by your social pressures
The last big one that I’ll quickly discuss is social pressures, definitions, ideals, expectations, and all that fun stuff. “No one is accepting of me. No one understands. Life is harder for people like me. You don’t understand.”
There are plenty of people who do, in fact, understand. There are plenty of people who are totally accepting of you as you are. There are people who will go out of their way to help you. People who will open doors for you. People who get you, are like you, and want to advocate for change. The world is not as bleak as some people think.
It’s just your current environment that is.
So, to that, I will say move. Go somewhere else. Find new people. Find your crowd. Knock on more than one door. Build your own damn door! In this day and age, there is nothing you can’t be and definitely someone out there who is like you and will love you.
Instead, the only real limitations that we have are these:
- Lack of motivation
- Lack of discipline
- Lack of passion
- Lack of focus
- Lack of energy
- Lack of purpose
- Lack of willpower
- Lack of perspective
- Lack of imagination
If you keep saying you want change – you want this, you want that – but it isn’t happening, I bet that it is down to one or more of the above.
I know for sure that my fitness hasn’t been fixed because I lack motivation and I’m lazy (I can’t be bothered to work out, I’d rather do something else). I know that waking up earlier hasn’t happened for me because I lack the discipline and energy to do so. I know that I get sad about my situation at times because I lack perspective. I know my career could be in a different place if I didn’t have so much fear.
My only limitation…is me. Your only limitation is you.
I didn’t discuss mental health here, because I think it suits the idea of physical hindrances. Yes, there are things you can’t do (or feel you can’t) because of your mental illness, but there is so much that you can do, too. I have social anxiety and I’m prone to depression. But the aforementioned perspective, motivation, passion, focus, and discipline work to help me better these illnesses. So, if you’re like me, they could do that for you, too.