The limits we create
Why is it that we can look at others and know that they can achieve what they want in life, but, when we try and say the same thing about ourselves, we somehow don’t believe it? Why do we look at others and believe that they are limitless in what they can achieve, but, we can’t say that about ourselves?
When I did my teaching degree, it was because I believed that every child has it in them to be whatever they want. This was long before I read any of the books I have now read. There was and still is, a belief that no child was limited to what they can be.
It’s a down-to-earth belief, that I still hold, that we can be anything we want to be.
That is what I thought about everyone else, but when it came to myself, I didn’t hold that same belief. As if everyone else is able to achieve anything and I couldn’t. I believed that everyone else could be anything, do anything, achieve anything, that is, that everyone else is limitless, but I was not. I was limited.
With time, I’ve come to realise that I am not the only one who believed that. Most people hold that same belief about their own world, never realising that they are themselves limitless.
Are there limits?
Of course, there are limits to what we can do. For example, there are jobs that hold age restrictions, such as specific roles in the military. Those limits are imposed, mostly, by rules and laws set by society.
There are limits to what we can do. But most of those limits are not due to our physical state, but because of our mental state. We don’t even try because we believe we are going to fail. Fear.
Most of us never do something because we feel we have no qualifications, no knowledge in the matter, never considering that we can get the qualification (if needed) and gain the knowledge as we go along.
Some jobs, that you might apply for, will have specific requests and may even be closed off to you. That doesn’t mean that you can’t start to get the knowledge required to get to that point or get a job that will move you in that direction by providing you with the knowledge you need.
Maybe you want to be self employed and be your own boss, to leave your current employment and start off on your own, but you feel that you lack the knowledge to do so. Again, the knowledge and the know-how is out there.
The only true limits to what we can do are those that we set ourselves. Most of us already know, through common sense, what we are capable of, but, we choose to add to this the disbelief that we can’t do more than what we are.
Awareness has a link to it of something metaphysical, spiritual or unrealistic, as if it’s an idea that has some form of magical quality.
The truth of the matter, is that it is an idea. It is the idea of becoming aware of what you are thinking and feeling, at any given time. It’s about grasping that thought and looking at it through almost analytical eyes and asking, “Are you based on some old belief of mine, a fear, a doubt or have you got some good reason to exist?” It’s gaining an insight into ourselves.
Imagine your thoughts becoming physical objects in front of you, such as a green apple (I wonder if my mind is linking the garden of Eden story with what I’m saying).
You can hold it, feel it, smell it. Does it have imperfections? Is there something there that doesn’t make sense – a colour, a smell, the way it feels? Or is it just an apple?
What you want to know is whether that thought, that idea, is based on fears and doubts and worry, or it is something to consider. Circumstances are rarely a good reason to stop yourself from progressing, mainly because knowledge is freely available. You can google just about anything. Then there’s the public library, where resources are free.
Becoming aware is not about gaining “spiritual enlightenment”, unless that also means understanding yourself, who and what you are. It is about the ability, which means that it can be learned, to “look” at your thoughts and feel the feelings you are having, to determine if they are justified or made up.
Why is this important to being limitless? Because you will soon realise that your own thoughts are telling you that you can’t, you wont and it has nothing to do with your environment or circumstances. It’s about what you are willing to accept as the truth about you.
The Limitless “Pill”
In the 2011 film “Limitless”, the protagonist takes a pill that opens his mind to new possibilities.
That pill is a metaphor for our willingness to accept the possibilities. The same way as the red and blue pill in “The Matrix”. It is a choice to move away from what we have believed about ourselves and understand that we can achieve our own dreams.
But dreams stay as dreams, when they are not followed by any action. Everything that exists and will exist, requires a force behind it that we call action and belief. We have to move away from disbelief and embrace the possibility that we can and are able to. Understand that failure is not final but it is a lesson to be learned.
Being limitless is not about being Superman. It’s about seeing in yourself what you se in others. Understanding that what drives that and that person is not necessarily what drives us.
“Wouldn’t the world be boring if we were all the same”, my dad would say.
We don’t all want the same thing, in the same way. We don’t all want to be a soldier, a policeman, a fireman, a baker, a doctor, a hotel owner. Some of us are happy doing what we do because it brings us pleasure – it fulfils us. Others, will not be happy until they have reached a specific goal.
That is our limit. The goals and wants that we set ourselves. Just like the ego, we will only go as far as we allow ourselves.
As for me, do I still feel the same when I look at others? No. I realised that it was a lack of confidence, a lack of knowledge and understanding. That the only thing holding me back and you, is what we believe about ourselves.
This is never over. It’s always a work in progress.
Wouldn’t it be boring if everything was always the same, without some challenge along the way? So routine that routine was the routine.
To wake up and realise you are limitless is a gift to yourself. When you give yourself that gift is your own choice. Are you willing to go without that gift and never explore the possibilities? Are you willing to live this physical experience never having opened that gift?
How important are your fears compared to your freedom?
Sober up, recall yourself, shake off sleep once more. Realise they were mere dreams that troubled you and now that you are awake again look on these things as you would have looked on a dream.