A 10-Step Guide to Boldly Break Through Your Limitations

“The  only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.”~ Arthur C. Clark

This is a guest post by Aileen Mahoney of Kaizen Vision.

How many times have you surprised yourself and done something you had once only hoped to do, or done something you thought was impossible?

Even though I’ve surprised myself many times, I can still get caught up in doubt. Often we think that once we achieve success or fulfill our dreams, we then get the prize of staying “there” for the rest of our lives. Actually, there is no “there,” we’re always a work in progress with new heights to reach for and new breakthroughs before us.  No matter how much we achieve, new obstacles will present themselves and to varying degrees our doubts, fears and hesitations will accompany them.

Whether or not you’ve ever gone beyond your limitations or only just hoped to, it’s something we can all do. Sometimes we just need some extra help and a good boost.

Perceived Limitations

“What we can or cannot do,
what we consider possible or impossible,
is rarely a function of our true capability.
It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are.”

~ Tony Robbins ~

It takes a strong desire, discipline and determination to dig into the depths of self-development and really work on ourselves. It’s the easiest thing to put off doing. We come up against our own levels of resistance and often don’t even recognize it. We avoid doing the inner-work by tricking our minds and coming up with all sorts of creative excuses like fatigue or busyness.

Sometimes we inadvertently use our intelligence and creativity to keep us bound to and barricaded in our comfort zone. It’s an interesting phenomenon how we individuals can be our own best friend and our worst enemy.

We can become stuck at different times throughout life, or find ourselves lost in transition seemingly unable to break through. We all deserve a great life experience, but we have to earn it.

10 Tips to help you Break Through Your Limitations

1. Seek GuidanceWork with a mentor or a life coach. They can be the very thing you need to push you through your limitations.

2. Action Plan Take the time to write out your dream or goal. Write or draw the big picture of  how you would like your life to be 10 years from now, 5 years from now, One year from now and then break down the one year from now into smaller steps or goals with deadlines. Design your action plan and be open to revising it as needed

3. Commit Guard a period of time and keep that weekly appointment with yourself. During that time, verbalize how well you stayed on your action plan this week. Look at your successes and your misses for the week. Look at what you might do differently and revise your action plan as needed. It will keep progress alive and maintain your commitment.

4. Journal Have a nightly appointment with yourself where you journal your daily successes and your misses. Small successes can build our confidence. When we write them down and we see them in front of us in a journal of other successes, it’s harder to give up because you can’t really deny your success when you’re looking at them.  With your misses or little failures, simply determine what if anything you could do differently.  Review your action plan to keep it fresh in your mind and allow it to strengthen your commitment.

5. Partner Success is easier when supported. You can be a lone warrior shattering your limitations and holding yourself accountable if you want to, but it’s much, much easier when you have a support system. Find a partner you can count on or create a meet-up group for people with similar aspirations. It’s okay if it’s just you at first…  big beautiful gardens can start from a single seed.

6. Question Question your limitations, it weakens them. “Am I really going to let myself down this time? Am I really going to allow myself to sabotage this and not go for it.” Question yourself into doubting your limitation!

7. Self-talk Have a conversation with your best self, the version of you who is optimistic, resourceful and encouraging. Remind yourself of your successes or how you’ve conquered some of your limitations.

8. Visualize  – Make a vision board or hang up images of what it is that you desire. Visualize yourself experiencing the reality. Shakti Gawain wrote a brilliant book on how to visualize, Creative Visualization

9. Dare Yourself Dare to do the thing you are having a hard time with. If being shy or introverted is your perceived limitation, dare yourself to go to a networking event and dare yourself to strike up a conversation with at least two people. It’s okay if you only stay for 30 minutes, just dare yourself to do it. Dare to adventure into the thing you feel is holding you back, that thing you’re not yet good at. Challenge yourself in small ways. It builds your courage to go for bigger things.

10. Do  – Take big steps, small steps, heck  just take any steps as long as they’re in the direction toward your dreams. Momentum happens when we begin to take action.

So get out there! Be bold and push your limits. It’s the only way to make the impossible possible.

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.” ~ Goethe

Aileen is a lover of dance and the performing arts. She writes about cultivating mind, body and spirit through continuous small improvements on her blog, Kaizen Vision. She is the Section Editor for  The Daily Brainstorm, News and Views section.

Comments

  1. Tess The Bold Life says:

    I’m a big believer in journaling. I don’t journal successes but everyday I list 10 things that went right today and 10 things I got right today. Maybe that’s the same thing? I also make my own affirmations on index cards with colored markers. I have a huge zip lock bag of them. I read them when I’m stuck and my mood is completely changed after about 20 of them!
    .-= Tess The Bold Life´s last blog ..Delivering Happiness =-.

    • Tess that is truly fantastic!! “10 things that went right today and 10 things I got right today” I love this, especially since what we think about expands.

      I’m also a fan affirmation cards. They can be very powerful for changing our attitudes and getting us-unstuck. I love that you make you own – and with colorful markers!
      .-= Aileen Mahoney´s last blog ..Kaizen Vision Guest Appearance at Live Bold and Bloom =-.

  2. Steve-Personal Success Factors says:

    Journaling, partnering, and questioning: those are three great techniques! It was through partnering that I accomplished one of my biggest goals that I had the most doubts about. I like the idea of questioning my limitations: doubt in reverse. And I love the action of journaling about my successes and points for growth. Thanks for a great article.
    .-= Steve-Personal Success Factors´s last blog ..Who Else Is Ready for 2011 =-.

    • Hi Steve. I’m happy to hear that partnering has worked so well for you. I find it even more fulfilling when I accomplish something in a partnership, and having that shared journey. It can create a phenomenal momentum and give that extra push through the difficulties.
      .-= Aileen Mahoney´s last blog ..Kaizen Vision Guest Appearance at Live Bold and Bloom =-.

  3. Leah McClellan says:

    Good stuff Aileen! I love the idea of making the impossible possible. With this kind of stuff I get the idea of a big swimming pool and just jumping in! When the goal is worthy and we set our sight on it, we can do it.

    Thanks for the reminder 🙂
    .-= Leah McClellan´s last blog ..Who Do You Think You’re Talking To 7 Tips for Better Conversations =-.

  4. Leah, I really like your vision of jumping into a big swimming pool. It’s a great analogy for life. We have the option of just watching others jump in and swim or doing it ourselves, even if we’re not exactly sure how to do it.

    I do agree with you, “When the goal is worthy and we set our sight on it, we can do it.”

  5. Aileen,
    Feels like I haven’t connected with you in ages. This is one heck of a motivational post. Love the part about having a conversation with one’s best self. We tend to do it more often with the other self 🙂 There is boldness in stepping out of our comfort zone and moving past limitations. Thanks so much for the insight.
    .-= Manal´s last blog ..What If No One Remembered You or Cared About What You Do =-.

  6. Hi Manal, oh boy I do know about having conversations with the other self! It is strange how we do that to ourselves sometimes … so having conversations with our best self, is even more important! 🙂
    I’m glad you liked the post!

  7. Hi Aileen,
    I love the first quote..along the lines of “do the thing you think you cannot do”..
    *Anything* is truly possible when I allow it to be..my life is as magical and grand as I allow it to be..
    And you share some excellent tips on how to allow for..
    LOl I dare myself all of the time..makes for a very interesting life:)

  8. Joy, I truly love your words, “*Anything* is truly possible when I allow it to be..my life is as magical and grand as I allow it to be” this shall be my mantra today… and maybe all month!

    Your daring actions inspire others to dare.
    .-= Aileen Mahoney´s last blog ..Kaizen Vision Guest Appearance at Live Bold and Bloom =-.

  9. Barrie Davenport says:

    Aileen,
    Thank you for your beautiful and useful post. You would be a good coach! Everything you have included in your list is part of the path a coach would guide a client on as they work toward a change or goal. When someone really puts these into practice, they are incredibly powerful. Thank you for highlighting a real path to pushing beyond limitations.

  10. Aileen, great post. The beginning is always the “thing” that gets in the way. I find it applies to everything, even housework, but for those bolder things in life, beginning with baby steps gets you farther than you ever thought possible. Then suddenly, you’re walking head held high (or vacuuming). You sound very inspired by your recent successful audition.
    .-= Katie Tallo´s last blog ..If Babies Could Talk What Would They Tell You =-.

    • I agree with you, the act of just beginning something can be a giant obstacle, even with vacuuming! It still amazes me when I hit up against that ‘just need to begin’ obstacle. “Then suddenly, you’re walking head held high (or vacuuming).” – very true & very funny.
      .-= Aileen Mahoney´s last blog ..Kaizen Vision Guest Appearance at Live Bold and Bloom =-.

  11. Hi Aileen,
    This was wonderful! I love all your tips. I’ve read almost all of Shakti Gawain’s books too. I think if we “see” it in our minds eye, and “feel” it to be already true, and then believe it will be – it will be!
    Thanks so for this terrific article.

    • Hi Angela. I know there are many books on visualization, but she has a way of simplifying it that I just love. I feel comfortable recommending her books to those who have never heard of visualization and to skeptics. She’s great!
      .-= Aileen Mahoney´s last blog ..Kaizen Vision Guest Appearance at Live Bold and Bloom =-.

  12. Keith Davis says:

    Hi Aileen
    Congratulations on a super guest post.
    Sometimes you just have to get out there and do it… and sometimes you have to take it a bit at a time.
    I’m not a big believer in learning from our failures, I think that we learn much more from our successes and we increase in confidence with each success.

    If you can find a supportive environment with good coaching, we are all capable of fantastic things.
    .-= Keith Davis´s last blog ..Facts tell… emotions sell =-.

    • Keith, I’m a fan of your philosophy, “… I think that we learn much more from our successes and we increase in confidence with each success.”

      Celebrating all successes and having a supportive partnership is one great recipe!
      .-= Aileen Mahoney´s last blog ..Kaizen Vision Guest Appearance at Live Bold and Bloom =-.

  13. Zengirl @ Heart and Mind says:

    Aileen,

    Great guest post! I came here specially for you! I like these 10 steps guide, I love Journaling, and have help from partner or friend to hold me accountable to get me going.
    .-= Zengirl @ Heart and Mind´s last blog ..Why learning from history is cool- fun Part III =-.

    • Thank you Preeti! Journaling is a great way to have creative expression and track our growth – I love it too!
      .-= Aileen Mahoney´s last blog ..Kaizen Vision Guest Appearance at Live Bold and Bloom =-.

  14. Clearly Composed says:

    What an awesome list of tips! They are fun too. Who wouldn’t want to team up with a cheerleader or make a vision board? These are the kind of things that get the ball rolling and create the core of passion which makes pushing through limits seem more like running through the mist instead of into walls! 🙂
    .-= Clearly Composed´s last blog .. Running In The Gray =-.

    • Emma, this is a beautiful and strong visual – “create the core of passion which makes pushing through limits seem more like running through the mist instead of into walls!” I’ll join you in running through mists rather than walls 🙂
      .-= Aileen Mahoney´s last blog ..Kaizen Vision Guest Appearance at Live Bold and Bloom =-.

  15. annelouise says:

    This is such a clear wonderful post. I believe your suggestions are right on the mark and I am inspired by your suggestions. I have made goals in the past only to fall in my own road blocks. I believe the more I, or any person, revisit goals set and “journal them nightly” can navigate more clearly. I thank you for your honest and inspiring post. I will get my tired self back to my drawing table!!! : )

  16. Hi Aileen!

    I love your perspective. I like that you include a partner as part of the plan. A lot of people charge ahead without considering the importance of support. It’s great to have someone cheering you on along the way. When we learn to support each other in different endeavors, we all end up growing together. This makes for a beautiful journey.

    Thanks for a great post! Loving blessings!
    .-= Andrea DeBell – britetalk´s last blog ..5 Wacky Ideas to Stay Energized Throughout the Day =-.

  17. Nice post! Self talk is very useful to set your goals.

  18. Daniel Boyd says:

    Thanks a million.