Test your limits

Limits vs Boundaries and the Secret to the Universe

Wow, now at the risk of over-promising in this blog post I want to tackle a few things close to my heart… For long time followers of my blog (firstly, thank you for reading my blog!), you may have noticed I inspire you to consider new concepts, try new things and test your limits. I strongly believe that our limits are only created in our minds and we should challenge ourselves daily in order to grow – we are indeed more capable than we think. And I’m sure you get that. We don’t always test our limits. Sometimes, we seek comfort in the known, the safe, the certain. Writing about the 6 Core Needs in my coaching blog prompted me to think that sometimes I get my need to test my limits mixed up with my need to set boundaries. Let me explain…

Other’s Limits vs your Boundaries

I recently had a colleague try and convince me that it would be great if we got together and went running at a very early hour on the other side of the city from where I live. If I did, I would run my “best 10k ever”. When I showed reluctance, he said “come one! Where’s your dedication? Time to test your limits!” And it made me kind of defensive. You see, I totally agree we should test our limits, but this specific activity did not appeal. The idea of an ex-marine yelling at me to run faster after I had traveled across town at 5.30am did not gel. I told him I wasn’t sure, and indecisively changed the conversation, all the time feeling a little guilty for semi-rejecting him. Nice one, Emma. Later, I heard him encouraging another friend to do it, and she simply replied with “I walk my dog every morning at that time, and it’s something I love to do. Thanks, but no thanks”.

It’s that time of the year when New Years Resolutions are starting to fade, and you are likely being inundated with so called “experts” telling you what you should do to make this year extraordinary. Their (well meaning, I’m sure) advice comes with reasonably priced programs you can join. These programs will help you unlock your potential and achieve everything you could ever want. And these programs work. If they are right for you. This is the time of the year, where it is easy to get your need to test your limits confused with your need to know your boundaries.

Some definitions:

Your limits: Limits YOU have placed on yourself due to prior experiences. They should be challenged by you whenever possible in a way that works for you (running an extra kilometre, trying a new recipe, taking on a new and challenging role at work).

Other’s limits: Limits OTHERS have placed on themselves and they are (hopefully) working at challenging. In a way they think is best for them (all of the above but probably different to you). They may wish to share these with you.

Your boundaries: The things you have decided are right for you, your goals, needs and values. For example, you may have decided this is the year you are going to run your best 10km. You may even have a training plan worked out, when someone suggests you should run a half-marathon. Deciding to stick to your goal of your best 10km is NOT limiting yourself. It is setting a clear boundary. Of course, the person wanting to run a half-marathon is stretching their own limits, and they should go do that. Your reluctance to be part of that is your decision. YOUR boundaries.

In summary: Test your Limits – Set your Boundaries

By this stage, you have probably set, and are well on your way for, your goals for this year. Are they achievable? Are they right for YOU?

The Secret to the Universe

Now you have set your goals and are working toward them, take stock. How are they going? Are you still clear on why you are working to achieve them. And now, the “secret sauce”…

Who do you need to be to achieve them?

How might YOU need to change that will ensure your goals will stay on track? It might be a small change. It might be big. What sort of person do you need to become to fulfill your dreams?

Go on, and be that person. Right now.

How is your year going? Are you sticking to your goals? Is there something that needs tweaking? Need some help? Feel free to contact me for a free 30 minute consultation. I look forward to hearing from you.



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About Emma Sharrock

Emma is the author of The Agile Project Manager: Thrive in Change with Agile. An experienced change leader, Emma is passionate about working with people to facilitate successful change. Emma utilises Agile techniques, coupled with the Agile mindset to coach leaders and teams to achieve their business goals.