When is the last time you thought, "I can't do that", or "that's too hard", or "too far", or "too heavy", or "too______". Also, when is the last time you did more than you thought you were capable of?
Whether it's academic achievement, extracurriculars, communication, confidence, personal development, or relationships, we naturally create limitations for ourselves (and for others). Unfortunately, this gets worse as we get older. When we were younger, our imagination and beautiful ignorance to the limitations society led us to believe that eating lunch on the moon, riding off in the sunset with cowboys, and being a princess rescued from a dragon were all well within the realm of possibility. Now, something as trivial as "not being smart enough" or "a bad teacher" might prevent us from seeing how getting an 'A' in a certain class is even possible. And this type of limiting thinking can continue into the real world and well into our lives as adults.
OR... or we can stop for a second and think... is that really my limit? Did I give that everything I had, or did I have something left in the tank? Did I dig as deep as I possibly could to get that done? Did I do everything within my power?
One of my favorite activities that I did for my students in my first leadership camp is what I call simply, "the push-up demonstration." I would actually get down on the ground in front of my middle school students and start doing push-ups while talking them through my mental thinking process and self-talk. When I got to about 20, I would tell them that before I started football, this is where I thought I was about to max out- approaching 30 push-ups. Then I would be in the 30's going slower, telling them how badly it burned and that there is no way I could do any more. I would do this for every push up in the 40's, and eventually the students got out of their chairs and started cheering for me. "You can do it!" "One more!" I think I maxed out between 55-58 push ups, but the point was those students could identify with the tired burning feeling in my arms and the mental limitations and self-talk that was going on in my head. They were thinking about times when they had these feelings in their own lives, and then the momentum became contagious as they started rooting for me. I think they loved seeing and helping someone do something that seemed very difficult or almost impossible. It was live evidence that just past our comfort zone, or our perceived limitations, there are some amazing possibilities.
The takeaway is, we are always capable of more then we think we are. If you don't believe me, check out these two videos below. The one on the left is one of my all-time favorite scenes, and the one on the right is a crazy concept that really makes you question your own "limitations."
What did you think of this post? What did you think of the videos? Let us know in the comments!
Want to read another post about shattering your limitations? Check out our post on why your comfort zone should be sore every single day.