How Limitations Can Help you Achieve your Goal!

How Limitations Can Help you Achieve your Goal!

In his book, Release from Your Problems, David Seabury, a shoot-from-the-hip clinical psychologist, masters the art of simplification. In it he proposes practical methods to deal with challenge. I particularly liked his technique for dealing with limitation. (Limitation is something I have generally found disagreeable.)

Limitation has traditionally received a bad rap in that it is seen as negative as opposed to being positive. Yet, you cannot conveniently carry water to your mouth without the containing (limiting) factor of a glass. Or, if you made boxes without tops, American business would collapse.

Taken further, rules (laws) have a containing quality. A rebel might interpret a rule as offensive and limiting, yet if you were to look for the purpose of the rule, you might discover that the rule has a positive element. Of course, this may be allowing the benefit of the doubt as there are potentially rules that don’t have purposes other than to gratify the rule maker’s need for control. At the same time, if you come across such a rule/law and are required to live within its limitation, it might be good practice to come up your own reason for honoring it. That would be a creative practice.

Years ago, I was working in a corporation and was required to have monthly on-site meetings with my work team, even though I spoke with them daily. Rather than resent the extra time organizing these meetings, I decided to create my own purpose for them and that was to build a strong bond among the team members. These gatherings also provided an opportunity to singularly suggest points of interest that the individuals could take on as their own and bring to the table for the whole team to resolve. Thus, the ideas were presented without my involvement and the interaction further strengthened my goal for the team to work as a positive unit. It worked! My team was the top producing group in the organization.

Another example of the positive side to limitation is the national speed limit of 55 mph. Sometimes, depending on road conditions, this limit seems pointless. That is when you need to create your own reason for respecting it. Perhaps you can feel good traveling 55 by considering the peaceful, unpressured state you inwardly evoke when journeying at a moderate speed. Peace, calm and moderation become your purpose for respecting the law. That puts YOU in charge of your action – not the government.

Goals are limiting too. They state a specific objective, thereby committing the goal setter to a limitation. Yet it is through the acceptance of this limitation that one progresses in life. Scattered attention outside the boundaries of the goal is wasteful. This could mean completing your education, rising in rank in the military, buying a house, learning how to take care of a pet, etcetera.

Personal involvement is also limiting. A job, relationship, home ownership or completing a project are commitments. However, by following through to completion you learn, grow, mature, and develop self-trust. Dealing with limitation as a positive is how we understand the extend of our capabilities and function as free individuals knowing no limitation except the ones we choose.

Jean Walters is an award winning Transformational Coach, Akashic Reader, and best selling author. You can reach her at her website: or 314 991 8439

Posted on