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May
04

Defending Your Limitations?

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Argue for Your Limitations, and they’re Yours! – Richard Bach

limitationsI was 15 years old when I read Richard Bach’s Illusions for the first time and it has played a huge part in shaping my beliefs and as a result, my life. This one is one of my favourite quotes.

I really believe that once we start defending our lack of resources whether spiritual, physical, emotional, mental or financial ….we actually create more of that lack.

For example if we keep saying, I am not smart enough because I did not get an education, we remain stupid. If we say, we cannot afford it, we remain poor.

It is time to stop this Universal Illusion of Self imposed limitation and start reaching out to embrace the concept that we are Abundantly Resourced and Behold! That begins to happen.

It’s like Magic!! But it takes work to shake off the paradigms of the past…

I remember years ago I was sent by my company to Paris to open an office there. now I had no previous experience of doing this, but I knew our industry well, had lived in Paris as a student for two years and best of all I spoke the language fluently. So the President had complete Faith in my ability to pull this off.

On the other, hand, I was extremely unsure as I had (at that time) no sales experience, had never started an overseas office and while I spoke the language, did not know any of the technical language of the trade. Moreover, I knew no one in the industry in that country. Talk about Big Time Limitations! They surrounded me and cornered me at every corner…but while I dithered about the opportunity, I began to remember other experiences that had been similar.

The time when I arrived in Paris on a scholarship (as a student) with nothing more than$500 dollars in my pocket as that was all the foreign exchange our Government used to allow us to take out of the country per person in those days. I had no overseas relatives or friends of my parents in that country who would keep an eye out for me and ensure my economic and physical safety.

It had been my first time at independence, away from the relatively sheltered life I had lived as a student prior to that.

And yet, I made friendships with fellow students from different countries that have lasted a lifetime, I made top grades at my school in Paris and I was able to find several part time student jobs in the city that helped fund my needs beyond bed and board and travel.

In fact I was also able to make one of my early childhood dreams of visiting greece come true, took part in archaelogical digs in the city as part of a student initiative, be part of a drama festival with a significant role in one of Moliere’s plays, stay at Picasso’s old studio (thanks to a painter friend who rented his studio) along with another friend during some really lean times and generally have a lot of fun, while acquiring some strong language skills!

At the end of my stay I returned home with that $500 intact and unspent because my own stubborn spirit wanted to make it on my own. And I happily offered it back to my loving parents who were proud of me but insisted I keep it. But more about that later!

So, armed with the courage and belief in how that previous experience had panned out, I accepted the position in Paris, learned about leases and made friends with people of influence who were able to refer me to people I might hire, reneted a small apartment and made connections and friendships even with our competitors! Some of them even refered business to me in the early days!

Before I had left to go to Paris, the Presidenta nd Senior Executives had reassured me that they did not expect any results in the first two years I would be based there, as they understood that it takes time to develop a presence in a new country.  With that Pressure lifted off my shoulders, I was slightly more relaxed, but as is my wont, the feeling of responsibility and need to reward them loyally for their trust in me, I did put every effort to get to know the local agents and start building relationships.

Within the first six months I had generated over 3 million in revenue business for my company and I was astounded!

Clearly, the secret was I had put no self imposed limitations on myself as I swam in the unknown waters, just taking each opportunity as it came and remaining completely present to the situation on hand. And honestly, I was probably more surprised than anyone else at the results.

Subsequently, I hired more local people for our office there, learned how to lead a team …on the job…and conducted several workshops, held cocktail parties and started hosting familiarization Trips for Decision makers with the ease of a long time Pro!

I believe this liberation from Limitations really worked. I had no old patterns of thought or expectations as my entire environment (physical and professional) was unknown territory. I would never have discovered the extent of my ability or potential had I allowed myself to remain shacked by what I lacked, instead of leaning on what I did have in my favour!

It does take work, its not always easy. My wise and wonderful father often says everytime you catch yourself saying a  “lack statement” of any kind, such as “I cannot afford it” as the word YET to it…so we would say, I cannot afford it…YET! This changes the entire limitation of financial resources and projects us into a situation of anticipating a  time when we will be able to get what ever it is that we want.  That we are in the process of being able to afford it.

Let’s just keep taking small baby steps confidently in the direction of our dreams, and we will steadily lift that ceiling of impossibility that limits us from being all that we can be, do all that we would like to do, and having everything we deserve!

So, please do yourself a favour and break free of any thought that you can’t do, be or have something…because believe me, if I could do it, so can you!
What Limitations are you holding on to and defending…and Why?

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Categories : Productivity

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