“Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination: never limit others because of your limited imagination”
Dr. Mae Jemison
A few nights ago, I was watching the NBC show the “Titans Games”. It’s a game show hosted by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson where each week, male and female athletes push through a series of challenges testing their strength, endurance and mental fortitude with the hopes of competing for the chance to earn the coveted title of Titan. On this particular episode, a competitor-Chris Ruden was born with one arm shorter than the other and his fingers were fused together resembling a claw. During his introduction video, Chris indicated that he had never shown anyone his arm. He stated that his girlfriend of a few years had just recently seen it when he removed the cover from his arm to encourage and inspire others with disabilities.
Chris’ video was evidence that he was determined to NOT let his disability stop him from accomplishing anything. Instead, as a child, he became active in all kinds of sports, especially weightlifting where he competed and won several competitions. Although an inspiration, Chris didn’t win the competition and was eliminated in the first round. However, his departing words resonated with me. He said, “limitations are self-imposed”. Let that marinate for a minute. “Limitations ARE self-imposed”.
After thinking about this statement, I realized that we DO place unnecessary limitations on ourselves. We develop a defeatist attitude. We doubt ourselves. We talk ourselves out of doing things because we expect to fail. We hide behind excuses that limit our abilities without even trying. So, I agree with Chris Ruden-Limitations ARE self-imposed.
Limitations are mental jail cells that we build and FORCE our minds to live in and while there, we serve out our sentence by clouding our thoughts with doubts of can’ts, and won’ts. I won’t get the job. I can’t lose weight. I won’t be debt free. l won’t graduate. I can’t find love. I won’t get married. I can’t win. These kinds of statements are limiting because they rob us of the power to take control of our lives. We have to free our mind of limited thinking. But, how? How do we rid ourselves of the negative thinking that we’ve come to believe?
We start by simply changing our can’t into CANS, won’t into WILLS, don’ts into DO’s, and shouldn’t into SHOULDS. It’s just that simple. Reprogramming our mind won’t feel natural at first because we’ve self-sabotaged our thinking for so long, processing positive information will feel strange. But, each time we emphasize the positives, we tear away at those limiting thoughts. When a negative thought or a defeatist statement pops up in our mind, simply usher it out. Don’t argue with it, don’t validate it, just immediately usher it out and replace it with a positive “I CAN” statement declaring your ability to do.
Since we created these mental jail cells and we can unlock them whenever we want because, within us, we possess the power to remove, renew, and transform our limiting thoughts. But, we have to want to FREE OUR MIND. and then we need to be like NIKE-and JUST DO IT!! All we have to do is use our key to unlock our cells because if we allow our minds to live beyond our limitations, WE WILL SOAR!
SHIP TALK: Do you agree that limitations are self-imposed? If no why? Have you imposed limitations on yourself? How did you overcome those thoughts?