Resolutions of a different kind: question 4

4. How do I limit myself, and how can I stop? All of us entertain limiting beliefs about who we are and what we can or cannot do. Identify a limiting belief you carry (perhaps one related to an area of challenge identified above), and then try expressing that attitude as a positive personal statement. For example, if one of your limiting beliefs is “I’m not athletic,” your new statement might be: “I really enjoy training, and I look forward to getting stronger each week.”

This is actually I a hard one to recognize. Because my attitude is fundamentally “I can do anything I want to do,” but I have to want it enough to work to achieve it. And that includes sacrifices. For example, if I want to become much stronger and more athletic, I have to sacrifice the time and effort to achieve it, and that would cut into other things that I want to do.

Plus, I do believe that statements like “I’m not athletic” are — or can be — actually an expression of those wants. For me, I could honestly say that very phrase, and not mean anything truly limiting, but rather express the idea that I don’t get my “high” from exercise. I gain pleasure from some forms of exercise and I value the results, but playing athletic games has never appealed to me and many athletic activities I enjoy because of what goes with them more than because of the activity itself. Hiking, for example, which is sadly something I don’t do often enough: I enjoy being outdoors and seeing the beauty of nature, I enjoy being with other people who enjoy the same things, but I don’t do it because it’s a great way to get exercise. That’s just a side benefit. On the other side of the coin, I don’t rank it so high on my list of pleasures that I make big efforts to get it done when my pleasures go elsewhere. As you have already seen on this blog, one of my top pleasures is making things, and I can’t do that at the same time that I exercise or go hiking. So it’s a matter of balancing priorities within the very real limits of how much energy and time I have.

On the other hand, I do have goals, and some of these goals are limited by my own likes and dislikes, so I have to work around them. Exercise for its own sake is not one of my top pleasures, but I do want the results of greater health and energy for the long term. So I do find exercises I enjoy within the limits of the time and energy I am willing to commit. So for this question, my idea is more to reframe the necessary steps of a goal within a mindset that allows me to enjoy it and get it done. When I do my yearly review of goals (NOT New Year’s resolutions, just ongoing goals that I look at and update once a year), I’ll create positive statements for the parts I don’t relish, and maybe that will help get them done faster.

1 Comment

  1. Cathy said,

    February 4, 2006 at 5:59 pm

    Absolutely true – to “see” that you are limiting yourself then to “learn” how to open the doors. How to mentor yourself.

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