Lessons from Limits and Boundaries

One of the keys to success is not chasing the every bouncing ball. There are constantly shiny things, bouncing balls, or other distractions, opportunities or attractions that you could follow, but you have to consciously choose to focus on those things and people that are going to get you where you want to go. Part of the shiny-object-syndrome, as it’s known, is knowing your limits and boundaries and sticking to them.

I recently saw a commercial for a TV show about under-the-sea exploration including doing scuba diving and going down in a submersible and it took me back to a vacation I took as a kid where we did some snorkeling and I had a really poor experience. I find the world of the sea fascinating, I love reading and watching about shipwrecks and the cool creatures of the sea, but I have less than zero interest in going under the sea to experience any of it myself. I know my limit is seeing the undersea world from behind glass or through virtual means, and I am comfortable with that.

Limits and boundaries are knowing how far you want to or are willing to go with something, but you have to be aware when your limits and boundaries are truly hindering you and your success. My success is in no way limited by my disinterest in going under the sea, but if, to use a really extreme example, I said I didn’t ever want to talk to anyone again, that would limit my success. If my current limits or boundaries are hindering my success, they’re things I have to change, or reconsider how I define success.

This can be applied to all aspects of our lives, from our careers to parenting to our relationships. It’s healthy to have limits and boundaries, but only to the extend that they keep us on the path we want to go and keep us healthy. When they start to block us or hurt us or others, it’s time to reconsider them and work on moving past them. If you find that your limits and boundaries are still ones you want to keep, then it may be time for a new definition of and plan for success.

How are your limits and boundaries helping or hurting you?

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