Know Your Limitations-1
The past two years have been an exercise in learning my limitations. What do I mean? I mean literally, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually what I am and am not able to do. I have often heard leaders say that it is as important, or more so, to know one’s weaknesses. We are often taught to focus on our strengths, and as someone who is learning about social work practices I want to encourage everyone to always be “strengths based and solution focused”. But, in order for us to be successful we must have a healthy understanding of exactly what we are and are not capable of. I am not capable of jumping off of a tall building without a support or landing structure and live to tell about it, this is an obvious example. Today I want you to look inside you or around you and discover some of the obvious examples of what you simply cannot do and still continue to thrive.
Look at what you are doing daily that is taking away from your hopes, your dreams, your desires for a prosperous future. Quit trying to do those things, quit trying to accomplish things that are impossible. Admit the limitation. In fact, embrace the limitation, consider it a culling process that will allow you to focus more and more of your energies on what you are capable of doing well. I am, as I’ve mentioned here before, classic Type A-ENTJ Myers-Briggs leader type material. Been that way since as far back as I can remember, so I have had a bad habit of believing that I can do anything and everything. I still think I can, but what I’m learning as I get older is why would I want to? As I am seeing my years pass by (as of Wed last week another one bit the dust) I am considering where my energy needs to be focused. This takes a concerted effort on my part to not put energy where it is wasted.
I was watching “A Beautiful Mind” over the weekend, the tragic yet encouraging story of John Nash, a Nobel prize winner who suffered with schizophrenia. He handled his disorder by ignoring the delusions, at one point he said he’d discovered that our own demise is in putting energy into things that are destroying us. He simply chose to no longer put energy into his delusions. Did they leave? No, but in the film physically they were distanced from him and I would like to think for him metaphorically the delusions were distanced while the reality became closer. That’s what I want you to do today, both in work and personally. In order to do this, you have to identify those things that are taking away from your strength. Look at that today…we’ll be discussing this all week. Today…identify those glaring limitations that for one reason or another you’ve been feeding energy into for no good reason.