The Cloak of Limitations
By definition, limitations are circumstances and restrictions that cause a condition of limited ability to do something. Most often than not, as individuals, we do not know that we possess or how we possess these limitations at a cognitive level.
As humans we came into the world with no idea what limitations were and without any. We only knew what the world was about based on the environment that was presented to us within the family unit. Limitations were introduced to us as children in the form of learning what was right from wrong, good or bad and we were either rewarded or had some form of consequences or repercussion placed upon us to understand in basic terms; what restrictions were in on our life. From there we went out into the world as young adults exploring what life had to offer unconsciously inheriting more limitations as we continued living life’s journey.
Clients often voice their frustrations to me on why they cannot achieve a particular goal; such as, their inability to change their leadership style, or how they can better communicate with their partner or co-workers. As we work through these issues and frustrations in our sessions they gain an understanding that fears and doubts (limitations) were placed in their life at various points that stopped them from having the clarity, self acceptance and trust of their inner wisdom to handle the situation from a place of presence.
Living in presence is one the hardest things we as humans have difficulty doing. Being in presence means living where your feet are planted on a daily basis and not living in the past or the future. By living in presence we are able to be open to receive what life has to offer without prejudice or judgement.
I am sure you are thinking–the only souls on the planet that live in presence are monks and dogs! I don’t know much about monks—but I do know lots about dogs. Dogs are a great example to us as humans about the benefits and rewards about living in presence. Dogs epitomize and I believe are here on the planet to teach us the value of living in presence. Have you ever seen a dog who was judgemental, looked in a mirror and was ashamed of being a dog, or plain decided they were not happy to see you when you came back from going to the store. Seriously though–dogs live in the moment and because of that; live life without judgements or conditions. Ask anyone who owns a dog; they will tell you that the gift they give them on a daily basis is unconditional love.
On my continuing journey towards self-acceptance, I have described the process of uncovering your limitations like peeling an onion–there are many layers. In my years of talk therapy of trying to understand why I behaved and reacted in certain ways I felt like I was pulling on the string of a big ball of yarn trying to unravel the pieces. Fortunately through that process; I gained a lot of understanding of the “why” and the “how”, unfortunately I did not do the most important thing until much later in life; which was to actually remove the limitations and get on the other side of them so they no longer affected me emotionally or physically.
So how does one start to know if they are living with limitations? Well the first step is, being honest with one’s self about how you are living your life and determining if your present reality is really how you want to live. For example, are you trying to quit smoking for the 15th time and not succeeding? Do you keep getting passed over for a promotion at work and don’t understand why? Is your family unhappy with your work/life balance and you keep saying you are going to do something about it but nothing changes? If any of these questions resonate with you or make you think about areas of your life you are not satisfied with–you are living a life where limitations are keeping you from being fully present.
Through the process of coaching and mentoring and specifically working with coaches who understand the process of releasing the emotional charges around limitations–can you truly be free. Free of recurring patterns, addictions and negative behaviours that stop you from being 100% present in your life.