We all have dreams for our future and goals we’d love to see come true one day. One of the reasons that many of us don’t achieve those, though, is because we have limited ourselves. Limits can come in many different forms and learning to reach beyond those limitations is the key to achieving your dreams and getting what you truly want in life.
Knowing the benefits of pushing past your limitation as well as how you may be limiting yourself are essential for achieving your goals.
We’ll share valuable information on both of these as well as helpful strategies to use to stop limiting yourself. If you’re tired of not being able to reach your goals or settling for less, then this is the right guide for you.
The Benefits Of Reaching Beyond Your Limitations
When was the last time you felt like you really tested yourself? How often have you discovered a previously-unknown talent or stamina? When have you ever really pushed yourself to your limits? The answer for most of us is rarely or never, sadly. But great accomplishments derive from such tests of mental and physical strength, and only when you push yourself to new heights can you hope to accomplish new goals.
Whether you are looking to reach new physical, mental, or emotional goals in your life, reaching beyond your limitations can have some significant benefits to your life.
1| You Build Your Confidence and Self-Esteem
When you learn to push yourself beyond what you think you can do, you gain confidence in your abilities and realize you have untapped potential that could help you improve your life. Not until you stretch those boundaries, though, can you realize your full potential.
Once you succeed at something you never dreamed was possible, you’ll feel like you can tackle just about anything the world throws your way.
2| You Start to See Gains Throughout Your Life
Pushing beyond your limitations in one area of your life will affect all areas over time. For example, let’s decide you want to become fluent in a foreign language. You currently speak only basic words and phrases necessary for survival. You set an ambitious timeline for yourself, start studying, meet with others to practice your skills, and really start learning your new language.
As you dedicate yourself to this new task, which you previously thought would be impossible, you’ll start to notice that you are more productive in other areas of your life. You are setting higher goals for yourself at work. You are becoming more dedicated to being healthy at home and getting the exercise you need. Bettering yourself in one way influences how you care for yourself in all ways.
3| Your Expand Your Comfort Zone
If you don’t venture to the edge of your limits, you’ll never understand the boundaries of your comfort zone. And while living in that zone is, well, comfortable, it certainly isn’t helping you grow and reach your full potential.
Expanding your comfort zone enables you to improve, which is an essential need we all have in life. Risking failure or mistakes by pushing your limitations should be viewed as an affirmative act, as it helps you evolve into a better person. And while it may be frightening to force yourself to that limit, you will gain far more in personal growth than you could lose by sticking close to what’s familiar.
4| Your Learn How to Fail Better
Failure is something that many people fear. It’s so ingrained in our minds to protect ourselves from failure that it serves as a potent limitation we place on ourselves regularly. But, when you decide you want to expand your boundaries and push beyond your limits, you learn that failure doesn’t have to be something you fear.
In fact, you learn to see that mistakes are just opportunities for learning. And failing means that you tried to push your limits, which is better than not trying at all. So, you lose the fear and decide to try again.
Even if that results in failure, you learn something and can say you pushed harder the second time. We all fail more often than we succeed. Learning to appreciate those failures as opportunities for growth is a significant benefit of reaching beyond your limitations.
5| You Appreciate Being Uncomfortable
Instead of fearing uncomfortableness or choosing to remain in safety, pushing your limits helps you appreciate that being uncomfortable is a positive thing. When you are uncomfortable, it means you are trying something hard or new. It means you are willing to confront your fears and venture to outside your zone of safety. It means that you are trying to make substantial changes in your life, which can be scary but also very rewarding. Embracing uncomfortableness is a positive attribute we should all learn to appreciate more.
6| You Confront Your Fears
Reaching beyond your current limitations means you are willing to confront the fears that have been holding you back from achieving your dreams. Your fears create an invisible barrier around you, keeping you penned in and preventing you from expanding your goals.
Learning to confront what scares you most in this world is a healthy behavior that can allow you to understand your deeply-rooted issues as well as develop ways of moving past them. If you are ready to live fearlessly, you are prepared to confront and push beyond your own limits.
7| You Expand Your Potential
When you decide you are ready to reach beyond your limitations, you release yourself to enjoy more potential than you ever imagined. Everything you could be lies ahead of you, and when you venture to the edge and beyond of your personal limitations, you can explore infinite possibilities.
Ways We Limit Ourselves
Your environment can certainly play a role in limiting your behaviors or beliefs. Your family and friends, your education, even where you live can place some limitations on your life and ability to dream bigger.
While it can be easy to assume that it’s the world that is really limiting your possibilities and placing all these limitations on you, but it is, in fact, you who are limiting yourself. You are likely putting severe limitations on yourself without even really noticing. Here are some of the most common ways we limit our thinking, which can limit how we live our lives.
Following the Crowd
One way we limit our thinking is to accept what others are doing or accomplishing in life as enough. Following the crowd absolves you of having to take responsibility for your own goals and dreams, but it also means you are likely setting your sights on things that don’t necessarily make you happy.
Limiting yourself by following along with others’ perspectives or values is easy because it doesn’t require standing on your own. But, taking the road less traveled can lead you to reach beyond your limitations as well as those of others.
Whatever you choose to reach for in life should be grounded in your values and beliefs. Reaching beyond your limitations still means seeking things that are in line with what you think is essential in life, and when we lose sight of that purpose, it can become easy to lose momentum and limit our actions. Focusing on why something is important to you can help you stay committed to your sustained efforts at achieving your goals and reaching beyond your own limits.
Playing it Safe
When you make decisions based on what is most secure or because you value being cautious is another common limiting factor. While living with complete abandon can cause problems, taking calculated risks that push your boundaries and limitations can unburden you from fear of the unknown.
One reason you may limit your own success and thinking is that you just give up too easily. Quitting is easy when things are hard, and you don’t know if you’ll actually succeed. It’s much harder to stay the course and stick with your lofty ambitions, even when times are tough. But, sticking with it is the only way you will successfully push your limits and expand your life in positive ways.
One way we limit ourselves is to take a look around our tumultuous and challenging world and decide it’s just not worth trying. It’s easy to give into the negative attitudes of others about the future when you see so much lack of hope among our society.
But, what if, instead, you decided that providing hope to the future was your goal? Justifying your lack of effort by assuming things won’t work out will never see you across the finish line or help you reach for bigger dreams.
Defining Success as Material
A significantly limiting factor in our thinking today is how many people define success or achievement. If your only marker is monetary wealth or material possessions, you have automatically limited your goals and dreams. Believing that there are other ways to think bigger and live a happy life is a key to embracing fewer limits in life.
19 Strategies for Reaching Beyond Your Limitations
Ok, so you know you need to think bigger and push yourself to new heights. Now what? How exactly do you nurture the habits of mind necessary to reach for the stars and think in new ways?
Luckily, there is a difference between the skills you have yet to develop and the limits you have placed upon yourself for achieving your dreams. You can learn to think differently, which will help you create new, more expansive boundaries for who you dream.
Getting rid of your self-imposed boundaries and learning to think in new ways can be accomplished when you practice new habits of mind regularly. Below are activities and strategies you can use to help push yourself beyond your own limitations and expand the possibilities in your life.
1| Ask for Help
Learning to think in new ways needs skills you don’t have and the mindset you likely have never imagined. And to do this, you will need encouragement, support, modeling, and advice. Asking for help from others in your life can supply a counter-balance to your old ways of thinking. Surround yourself with people who push their own limits so that you can learn from them.
Outside perspectives and mentorship can help you feel more confident about your efforts and work. Creating a community of people that support your goal is invaluable, especially when you are pushing yourself far outside your comfort zone, where fear and anxiety are likely to live. These people will be there to support you when you feel discouraged or nervous about what you are trying to accomplish.
2| Be Cautious of “Them”
Listen to your self-talk and be wary when you start giving too much power to others, which we often refer to as “them” or “they” in our minds. When you hear yourself wondering if “they” will give you a fair shot or if you won’t succeed because of “them,” stop yourself. Change your self-talk to focus on your solutions and ideas instead of worrying about what others are doing. Your limiting yourself when you focus on others, so put a stop to it when your mind starts to wander there.
3| Don’t Give Up
The next time you are faced with a tough challenge, what if, instead of quitting as you have always done in the past, you kept pushing? Just once, try it. Sticking with something is hard, we get that, but if you’ve always given up in the past, you don’t even know how gratifying it is actually to stick with something and see it through.
Pick a hard goal and stuck with it, no matter what. Do everything in your power to keep going, and you will find strength and skills you never knew you had, plus you’ll finally experience real success, which can help set you up for future goals.
4| Become More Proactive
Learning to push your boundaries and expand your limitations also requires that you think proactively about potential obstacles. Think through what is likely to hinder your new, bigger plan, and plan ahead for how to avoid falling down. Be prepared for possibilities, and you will be more likely to stay on track.
5| Pay Attention to Your Motivations
When pushing your limits and raising your expectations, it is crucial that you stay connected to what motivates you in life. From where do you draw meaning? What do you value most? What brings you joy and fulfillment?
Staying grounded in these will help ensure you can stick with your efforts to stretch yourself and push your limits. It’s much easier to lose interest or give up when what you are doing doesn’t really speak to your heart, so be sure you’re in it for the right reasons, whatever you are trying to do.
6| Embrace Hard Challenges
If you want to learn to push yourself beyond your limitations, you need to practice by taking on challenges that are harder than you’ve carried out before. Pushing yourself in small, daily ways helps you find your current boundaries so that you can know where to push harder the next time around. Enthusiastically embracing challenges in your daily life enables you to develop the skills and mindset necessary to push yourself further when it really matters.
7| Learn to Live with Discomfort
The reason it’s hard to push your limitations is that you are embarking on unknown territory, which can be frightening and riddled with anxiety. Avoiding those negative feelings is why we cling to staunchly to our excuses and reasons for why we can’t go any further.
But, when you learn to live with a little bit of discomfort, you start to see that it’s not as bad as you imagined. Do something every day that makes you a little uncomfortable. Doing this will train your brain to understand that you are okay and it’s acceptable to feel discomfort from time to time. Stretch yourself in small ways to help you learn to push your limits in more significant ways, later.
8| Go After the Unknown
Fearing what we don’t know or understand is natural and a big reason why we don’t usually push our own limits. But, learning to embrace the unknown can help you overcome that fear and instead see the opportunities that exist when you do.
Start small but try something new or different every day. Even if you don’t enjoy the experiences, you can ask questions and open your mind to new perspectives and possibilities, which will help you push your own boundaries in other ways. Embrace new things in all aspects of your life, and you’ll start to see that pushing your dreams to new heights isn’t such a strange idea, after all.
9| Work on Your Confidence
If you want to push your limitations in significant, important ways, start small. Set daily goals and action steps that will move you toward a larger goal. When you can do these well, you’ll begin to feel more confident that you can achieve your goals.
Mastering new skills can help you achieve professional or personal goals, so practice those every day. The more you work on these smaller goals, the more confident and competent you will feel when it comes to embracing the more extensive changes in your life.
10| Stop Assuming So Much
What you think you know is likely killing your ambition and limiting your reach. For the most part, what you THINK you know, though, is based on incorrect or incomplete information or it is based solely on your past, limited experiences. None of these are realizable sources or give is all the information we need to decide anything.
Test your assumptions to see if they still hold true and are a reason to limit yourself. For example, if you think you are unmotivated to learn a new skill because you didn’t enjoy school before, take a short, informal course in something in which you are interested, to see how you do. Then, you have more information to help you make an informed choice. Stop assuming, though, that what you “know” is serving you well.
11| Let Go of Comparisons
Stop, please stop, comparing yourself to other people. This is one of the most destructive limitations we place on ourselves, and it only ever results in dissatisfaction. Whatever you think you know about how good someone else’s life is, it is most certainly an illusion.
You have problems; others have problems. It’s a fact of life. There is nothing better about anyone else than you. So, stop worrying about what others have or can do and focus only on yourself.
12| Visualize Your Goal
Getting to a new and unfamiliar place is hard, so make it easier by visualizing exactly what you want to do. See yourself achieving your goals, imagining all the positive changes that will come to your life once you’ve reached your dreams. Imagine your future, create a mental image, and return to your visualization regularly when you need motivation or a reminder why this is important work for your life.
13| Imitate Your Model
The adage “fake it until you make it” can be a tricky one when you don’t necessarily know what it is you are trying to “fake.” Instead, try modeling your actions and thoughts after someone who has accomplished big goals and pushed beyond their own limitations.
In the beginning, pay attention to their language, how they approach and solve problems, and how they respond to adversity. While you may be “copying” them in the beginning, over time, you will develop your own style and approach as you feel more confident in what you are trying to do.
14| Rebrand Yourself
One reason you may be limiting yourself is that you are stuck with an “image” of yourself that has probably been around since childhood. It’s who you think you are or what you think others expect from you. But, guess what?
Those are just ideas, and you can change them if you want. Your personal brand could be holding you back, so why not change it? Changing how you see yourself can have a powerful effect on helping you expand and explore your boundaries.
15| Always Know Your Next Step
Not knowing what’s coming next can create fear and anxiety that leads you to wonder just exactly you are doing. Even if you don’t necessarily know all the steps of your plan, knowing what comes next can lower those fears and help you focus on what you need to do now. Clarify your short-term goals to help you stay focused on what you need to do right now. Focus on getting through that stage of the process, so you can envision the next step in your plan. Having a clear idea about your next step, though, gives you something toward which you can work today.
16| Learn from Your Mistakes
Along the road to expanding your limitations, you will likely make mistakes and experience some failure. More important than the mistakes you make, though, is what you learn from those experiences and how you apply that to your future work.
Every failure or setback is really just feedback. That didn’t work. So, what will? Start asking questions and exploring that you can learn from obstacles and mistakes. Once you embrace these as opportunities for growth, explaining your limits becomes even easier to do.
17| Play Up
In many sports, a good strategy for improving your skills is to “play up,” which means playing intentionally against players who are more advanced than you. When you compete against others of more skill, you are challenged and motivated to play better yourself.
The same is true for life. Find people who motivate you, who are carrying out their goals and expanding their limitations. They can inspire you to “play up” your game and push yourself beyond the limitations you have imposed.
18| Work on Your Weaknesses
We all have weaknesses. It’s a fact of life. And many times, we use these are self-imposed limits, believing they are insurmountable obstacles to achieving our goals. But what if you instead focused on improving those areas of weakness?
Instead of ignoring or just accepting these weaknesses, you could instead focus on developing yourself in specific ways. Turn them into strengths or drop the unhealthy or unwanted behaviors that you perceive to be holding you back. Overcoming your limits requires you to build these areas up so they no longer serve as a reason you can’t achieve higher success.
19| Don’t Forget to Reflect
When you are working on making significant changes to how you think about your life and the world. You need time to work and you need time to rest and reflect on what you’ve learned.
Taking time, now and then, to think and reflect on your growth will help you pinpoint what is helping you along your journey and where you need to change tactics. Reflection is an essential part of learning, so be sure you are giving yourself plenty of time to consider your own efforts to expand beyond your current limitations.
When you hold yourself back and limit your own possibilities, you are doing a disservice to yourself as well as others in your life and the world. Limiting your dreams could mean that others can’t benefit from your ideas and talents, and it certainly means that you are not achieving your true passions in this world.
You are the one who is limiting yourself. Your fears, uncertainties, and weaknesses are limiting how big you think, how hard you try, and how well you solve problems. And when we expand our thinking, it becomes possible to achieve important and treasured goals that we never would have imagined before. Stop limiting yourself and start reaching beyond your boundaries today.
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