We set limits for ourselves, whether we mean to or not. There’s a voice in our head that’s built from all the voices that have fed into us over our lives, and it tells us that we can’t do something because we’re old, short, tired, sick, female, poor…. These are sometimes called limiting beliefs, and they are like driving with the brakes on. We’re convinced that we would be so much better if it wasn’t for our major flaws, but we’re stuck where we are because of some circumstance of other.
But then we find out that someone else has the same ‘problem’ we have, and they haven’t let it bother them. Nick Vusicic is a guy with no arms or legs and I’ve seen him swimming, lecturing and generally living a more active life than I do. What’s different? I certainly can’t claim that I am less able than he is, or more held back by my physical state of health. What is different is what he’s decided he is capable of. And the limits I have set on myself that he hasn’t. And some persistence and a healthy stubbornness, too.
Surely nothing on that list is beyond our reach? If they can do it, so can you. Don’t be disheartened when another person achieves something great. Take it as evidence that it is possible. Take it as permission to go out there and do something great yourself. But when you decide that you can’t do what they can do, that is when you find that you are right. And it’s usually nice to be right, but in this case it actually sucks to be right.
People are amazing. And not just other people – I’m talking about you. Think back to a time, maybe even when you were a kid, when you found out you could now do something you didn’t think you could do. Like, say, riding a bike, reading, or even walking. How long did it take for that thing to become normal? Probably not too long. Well, what’s the next thing you can do that with? Keep making little changes and getting just a little better at the parts of your life that make the most difference to you, and who knows where you’ll end up?