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What is Your Limit?

"You can no more do that than you can fly to the moon." Over forty years ago that was a common way to say, "That's impossible; you can't do that." But saying that phrase today would be silly. We landed on the moon many years ago, and now the vision is to put humans on Mars.

There was a time when most everyone thought that you could not run a mile in under 4 minutes. But in May of 1954, Roger Bannister broke the once believed impossible barrier and ran the mile in 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds.

Then, 2 months later, another great runner, John Landy ran the mile in 3 minutes, 57.9. Previously his best time was around 4 minutes, 1.5 seconds. But once Bannister broke the barrier, the limits were lifted for other runners. Within three years, no less than 16 other runners also ran the mile in under four minutes.

The current record, set in 1999, is held by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco. He ran the mile in 3 minutes, 43.13 seconds.

So, did human runners suddenly become stronger in the mid 50's? Of course not. All it took was one man to show everyone else that it was indeed possible. So many times, the barriers and limitations in our own lives are really only barriers in our own minds. In other words, our limitations are self imposed.

I have seen the video of Tony Melendez, who has no arms, not only driving his car with his feet but also playing the guitar with his feet, and performing for the Pope.

Erik Weihenmayer was the first blind man to climb Mount Everest. He is also one of the youngest climbers to have successfully climbed the highest peak on all seven continents.

There are many stories like those I just mentioned, and I venture to say that most of us do not have the challenges that those individuals have. Sadly, neither do we have the attitude, determination and mindset that they have. If we did, we would not put limitations on our lives.

Hearing stories of someone who has overcome great challenges in order to achieve success can many times cause one to reflect. You may even ask yourself, "What do I have to complain about?" You can often realize that you might be a little ungrateful. But that is not the point of this article. In hearing stories like that, one must look at the individual's mindset.

Why is it easier to say, "I can't do that, because..." than it is to say, "Yes, I am going to do that?" The reason is that your core beliefs, what you really believe about yourself, set the boundaries for your life. If you impose limitations on yourself then you will never rise above those self imposed limitations.

The good news is that you can change the limitations you have put on yourself. Your life will never change until you do. So if you really want to see some change in your life, then you have to see what your beliefs really are. And it really doesn't matter if you call it a belief system, your core beliefs, a mindset, the inner self or the heart. What is most important is to find out what's going on inside.

When you stop and get honest with yourself, and recognize a limitation that you have self-imposed, then you can consciously choose to get rid of it. Toss it out like you toss out the trash, and then replace it with what you want instead.

Suppose your self imposed limitation sounds like this: "I can't find a good paying job because I am just not smart enough, and besides, I don't have a college degree." Believing that will severely limit you, because you have imposed that limitation on yourself. But, you can choose to toss that out and replace it.

"I can absolutely find a good paying job; I may not have a college degree, but I have integrity, I am a hard worker, and I'm intelligent; I would be a great benefit to a new employer."

And here's the really cool part. What's in your heart will always direct your life. If you believe that you are not smart enough, that belief directs you into that kind of environment and keeps you there. But, when you believe that you are smart enough, then likewise that core belief directs your life into that kind of environment, and you will actually increase your knowledge and skills.

Stop imposing limitations on your life. You really can accomplish so much more than you think possible right now. And, the so often quoted verse is still true: "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he."

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