• Coach Lisa Strei

Challenge Your Perceived Limitations

Don’t limit your challenges—rather, challenge your limits!! One of my favorite sayings, even if it’s often easier said than done.

Perceived limitations can be as challenging as trying to tie a rope with your hands behind your back. However, we know by watching athletes achieve the seemingly impossible feats of man against the elements, that the mind and body can exceed limits far past what we may expect of ourselves. Just look at the evolution of sports—first there was the marathon. Now, there are Iron Man competitions, Tough Mudder’s, and other races that I have no intention of ever putting on my bucket list to attempt. Those of you who know me know my aversion to running (give me yoga or Pilates any day!).

We may look at these athletes, or salespeople who blow sales goals out of the water, or philanthropists who commit their entire lives to serving others, and we may think “I can never do that!” But we all have that power within us when we have the passion and desire to achieve a goal. An obstacle may seem insurmountable, but rather than ask yourself IF you can overcome it, challenge yourself to figure out HOW you can do it.

Endurance events that athletes face are no different than the challenges you face at work, in relationships, or in completing goals and realizing your dreams. When you surrender your dreams to the limitations you place on yourself, you’ll never reach the vision of your true destiny. And that’s not the life we want to live.

There’s nothing deep or mystical in lifting the limitations on your life – it just takes persistence and continuous results. One thing you can do to challenge those limitations you place on yourself is to list what you want to accomplish and then think about what you have to do to get there. Really visualize it—if your dream is to run a marathon, for instance, visualize yourself in that race. What does the scenery look like? How does it feel to run past those along the route cheering you on? Can you hear them? Can you see your own personal fan club standing there yelling your name? Can you see your child coming onto the route and running the last 50 yards with you across that finish line? What does that medal feel like on your neck? What does that picture of your crossing that line look like framed and sitting on your mantel? Experience the sights, sounds, smells, and feelings while you’re visualizing this. Write it down to hang on to that experience. I also encourage you to practice aromatherapy while you do this—either breathe or diffuse a scent while you’re practicing this visualization technique. Your brain will later associate that scent with the release of those positive feelings, so when you breathe in that scent again, you’ll re-experience those emotions.

Dream big. Don’t just stick to things you know and that are in your comfort zone. It’s those challenges that will spur you on to even greater things. You may change your challenges and dreams as you go along because of a change of mindset, injuries or life-altering situations. That’s okay—don’t see this as a negative! However, always make sure to focus on the finish line you set for yourself.

After you figure out how you can challenge the limitations you set for yourself, it’s time to prepare for the race. You wouldn’t swim the English Channel without preparing months (or even years) ahead for the challenges you’ll face across those treacherous waters.

Prepare for your own journey through extensive training, gathering knowledge, getting your body and mind in shape for the challenge and anything else you can do to make sure you’ll be successful.

You may need to adjust your strategy from time to time as you learn, but eventually you’ll be on your way to the success you envision. Next, you’ll have to put your plan into motion.

This can be a difficult time for some because you’re afraid of failure. After all, you’ve been thinking and preparing for the race – and now you have to make it happen. But it’s far worse to hold back and do nothing than to fail because you didn’t even try. And, you may experience failures along the way, but that’s okay. Learn from them and get back in that saddle. Don’t give up! Fail forward, learn from the experience, and try again.

Last, you need to believe in yourself. You are the only obstacle in your way of achieving greatness and you should NEVER let self-doubt keep you in a box because you were afraid of failure and thought you had limitations you couldn’t overcome. Try to think like a child. Children boldly believe they can climb the highest tree or venture out into the middle of the lake. Thank goodness adults are there to hold them back. Those are true limitations. But the mindset children have that they can do anything is amazing and something we need to hold on to!

Your fear of success is false. You may have limited yourself in your thinking process or perhaps others have made you think you can’t do it. You can – and you will – cross the finish line of success when you challenge those perceived limitations you’ve set for yourself.

Never accept any thought or suggestion that limits your ability to achieve everything you can dream of to have the kind of life you crave and deserve. Get busy and begin to challenge those false beliefs! I believe in you!!

Peace and Wellness,

Coach Lisa

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