In this post, I will share the 2 By 2 Steps to Knowing Your Limits including the practical ways to align them to your daily life.
Knowing your limits is more than just quitting why you are ahead, it also means asking for guidance especially when you think you do not need it (and when you think you don’t).
The first time I watched my 2-year-old wear my shoes, she stumbled a few times and then came to me and told me to “wear this”. Now she would ask me to “remove shoes” so she could wear them and then return them to me and say “wear mummy shoes” and then ask me again to “remove shoes” and then wear them again. All the while improving on her walk.
Now, my little girl, could continue wearing my shoes and keep stumbling but somehow she knew that by asking me to wear them and watching me, she could learn how to walk in them better.
2 Steps To Knowing Your Limits
- Stretch Yourself. The only way to know your limits is by doing something that is beyond the norm for you. How else would you know you are unable to lift 50lbs if you haven’t attempted to pick something weighing that much?
- Push Yourself. By stretching yourself you push yourself. The only way to know is by doing. The first time you try to lift 50lbs weight, it would come off as an impossible task. But when you try picking it up time and time again, you will realize that your ability can go beyond 50lbs.
2 Steps To Strengthening Your Limits
- Use / Have a Guide. Having a guide could mean relying on someone or something to show you how to achieve your set goal and there are several kinds of guides you can employ to instruct and influence you intellectually or morally. Strengthening your limits implies that you know what those limits are and you are willing to push past them. A guide will serve as a tool to increase your productivity and help you in achieving your goals much easier. Having a mentor is one of such guides to rely on for encouragement and support towards self-improvement and growth (personal or professional).
- Quit. Yes, quit. Most times quitting does not mean failure, it could mean you recognize just how far your abilities or realities can take you. Sometimes, you may need to quit an ineffective strategy in other to re-strategize and devise a new plan toward an existing/ new goal. People tend to weigh the amount of time invested towards a goal as a reason to keep pushing. Similar to the sunk cost effect which “is the general tendency for people to continue an endeavour, or continue consuming or pursuing an option, if they’ve invested time or money or some resource in it,” says Christopher Olivola, an assistant professor of marketing at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business and the author of a 2018 paper on the topic published in the journal Psychological Science. “That effect becomes a fallacy if it’s pushing you to do things that are making you unhappy or worse off.” So, if you are on a path to achieving a set goal and you sense you are neither progressing nor regressing, take a bow and move on to better things. The moment you realize that your capacity is maxed out or that your strategy is obsolete and ineffective is the moment to quit.
Aligning These Steps To Your Daily Life
These 2 by 2 steps get down to 1 critical factor: there is a knowing in doing. Meaning the more you do something, the more knowledge you derive from it.
To know if you are good at something, you have to commit yourself to that thing by actively engaging in it.
You cannot fully know what you’re good at if you don’t take steps to discover new things. So do this daily or as often as you can.
- Learn more about the things you thought you couldn’t do. Do some research or connect with people who are experts and let their experience guide you along the way. There is value in asking for help.
- Practice. Always practice what you learn. Whether personally or professionally, every skill requires a process to develop. Nurture it and watch it evolve. Sometimes training is needed to hone a skill. By refining and cultivating a skill, you learn new things and can perform above expectations.
- Reward Yourself. For every limitation you conquer, you deserve a pat on the back. However, whether you choose to continue to push through or quit, count yourself an achiever for discovering your strength and limit.
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