June 2019 Newsletter
Hello, and a jubilant June to you!
Pushing your limits gently
Welcome, or welcome back, to my newsletter.
Today's issue is about personal limits, and gradually increasing them.
When faced with a limit, are you the type of person who says
"Let me at it!", ready to tackle the challenge with all you have?
Or do you protest "I'm overwhelmed already! Please don't give
me more to do!". Most of us fall somewhere in the middle, or
feel differently in different situations. For example, we may be
very willing to try a new eating plan, yet reluctant to dig
into that ongoing communication problem with our difficult
My pattern tends to be to push myself, often past the point where I need
a break or to rest. I've re-injured myself many times from not letting some
minor running or weight training physical damage heal fully, before I started
working out hard again. I guess I thought I had to make up for lost time, or
was afraid I'd get out of shape. So I lost more time, as I finally
admitted Mother Nature knows best, that I am flesh and bone, not a super-hero,
and I have to rest to heal. Is there somewhere in your life where you're
continuing to push, ignoring the obvious signs telling you to stop?
Years ago I had a sign over my desk in my corporate cubicle saying "Push your limits,
or they'll close in on you". (Yes, I see now how this shows the tendency to
push myself has been with me for a long time.) Yet pushing against our current
limits is how we grow and expand. Who wants to stay a baby crawling on the
floor? So yes, we do want to push ourselves a little, just not excessively.
The child in the picture below is clearly not content to continue crawling as
his main mode of locomotion. He's eager to try this new upright way of moving,
feeling excited because he has plenty of helpful support and encouragement.
I love the focused (but not worried!) expression on his face. Maybe he's wondering
how many steps he can take before he falls. Can he make it all the way to Mom? And
if he does fall, it's no big deal. He'll just laugh, get up, and try again.
This is such a great example of how to approach learning a new skill! I'm
often saying that baby steps are better than no steps. Start small, so you're
not setting yourself up for disappointment, but please start. Otherwise
you'll stay right where you are. And like this child, make sure you have
the support you need, whether it's a teacher or coach or steady friend who
can act as your cheerleader. Having someone else share your minor triumphs can
make them even sweeter.
Most important, have a curious exploring attitude when trying something new.
By definition, this is something you don't know how to do yet, so see if you
can set aside any preconceived notions of which part will be easy, or how you
can depend on something else you already know to help you. Proceed with Beginner's Mind,
like the child. Push yourself when you feel capable and motivated, maybe even
before you feel totally ready, then rest when you need to. Above all, have fun!
To read about me pushing visual limits,
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You're helping many other people!
Enjoy the start of your June.
I'll write again in a couple of weeks. Take care!