A Coaching Power Tool Created by Christina Rauska
(Personal Coach, CANADA)
The garden of the world has no limits, except in your mind.― Rumi
Every person has dreams or aspirations which they would love to see come into fruition. We all crave growth and achievement. However, we are often the obstacle blocking the path; the victims of our own persuasion. We create limits in our lives and fall victim to the negative ‘stories’ that we author.
Limit as defined by the Oxford Dictionary
A point or level beyond which something does not or may not extend or pass.
Many of us have dreams or desires that are waiting to be achieved or received. We go about our days ruminating on them, desiring them and even fantasizing about them. Too many of us tell ourselves that these dreams cannot be had by us; that they are for other, ‘better’ people. We make up excuses for why we can’t have them or how they are unattainable and outside the scope of our abilities. We put limits on our aspirations and mentally reiterate the story of failure that is sure to unfold if we pursue them. We constantly create stories and project negative consequences onto a future that we do not allow to exist.
Our internal narratives make it acceptable for us to settle. They give us cast-iron justifications for why we are right to desist seeking more, gaining more or becoming more. They keep us stranded in a static, acceptable space. We tell ourselves that if we attempt to move past this space, we will be harmed, we will fail, that we will be worse off. So we stay rooted in a position where we remain safe but unsatisfied.
For many people, striding beyond these stories, beyond the limits they have wilfully created brings up thoughts of disruption, unknown territory, discomfort or uncertainty. However, moving past our self-imposed limits is a process in which possibilities are created, where accomplishments are realized, where dreams are set free. Embracing the free movement of ideas is the only platform from which genuine positive change can occur. Having a sense of limitlessness brings empowerment, opportunity, excitement and ultimately growth.
When you read, hear or consider the words; ‘There are limits to your achievements/ dreams/ the money you’ll make in this lifetime/love you will receive etc…’ what feelings arise? What kind of energy surrounds the word ‘limit’? Is it a place of growth or a place of inertia?
Next, when you read, hear or consider the words; ‘Your achievements/
desires/ love/ successes/ money in this lifetime is limitless.’ What kinds of feelings arise? What energy surrounds the idea of breaking through the self-imposed boundaries?
Limitless as defined by the Oxford Dictionary
Without end, limit, or boundary
People often use fear as a way to distinguish what is realistically attainable and what is not. However, if they used fear as a barometer of ‘possibility’ –what could follow on from that? Fear could act as a catalyst, or a ‘good sign’ that you are moving in the right direction.
Case Study 1
Sarah really wants to relocate from the country she is currently living in. She believes her dissatisfaction stems from her feeling of being stuck in this country. In her current location, she has a job in which she earns good money and she has a full and varied social life. However the country in question lacks greenery, has a high level of pollution, and is densely populated. She does not look forward to returning to her home in this country at the conclusion of each vacation and when people ask her if she likes living in that country, she answers, ‘It’s alright, but not amazing.’
In an ideal world she envisions herself living in a place where the same question elicits the response, ‘It is wonderful’. She yearns to be excited about the environment she has chosen to live in.
She has a choice to make and as the years pass, she continues to think about moving. One thing is stopping her. She is fearfull. She tells herself that she could not earn as much money in her dream country, she is scared of not making the same number of good friends, that her lifestyle will change for the worse. She is frightened that after the big move, she will end up ruing her decision. So she remains in her mediocre living environment. She creates firm limits to what she can have as a negative outcome would be disastrous.
Case Study 2
Curtis is a 31 year old male. He came to me for coaching when he decided he wanted to tell his mother and other family members that he is gay. He lives abroad and visits his family only once a year. He has ‘tried’ to tell his family members about his sexuality for a number of years, however, every time he goes home, armed with the intention to tell them, the words jam in his throat.
He worries that his mother will be disappointed in him, that he will hurt her and that he will cause her pain. He also fears that his family will not accept who he really is or even be angry that he has hidden this from them for so long. After each visit, he leaves with his secret.
How are both of these case studies similar?
Both of these clients have placed limits on their happiness. They have both created stories for what awful truth is lay in wait for them if they push through their fears.
Our self-imposed beliefs about how things will pan out end up impeding us from even trying, let alone considering success.
When goals are believed to be unattainable and we remain in a static space, they can only be set free and achieved if there is flow, if the boundaries are lifted, and space is cleared.
The sky is not my limit…I am- T.F. Hodge
When we start to look at our lives as the conduits for our dreams, we can start to see that life is a place of limitless opportunity, as a place that brings our goals into fruition, and the fear of stepping into a new reality dissipates as we learn to use fear as an indicator of how to proactively proceed; we learn to step out of our comfort zone and begin to make dreams a reality.
By selecting a path lined with limitations, we are choosing to live in fear of the unknown; the fear of possibility.
- What is your happiness worth to you?
- If you knew your life was to remain the same as it currently is for the rest of your time here, how would that make you feel?
- If your future self were to give you advice, what do you think they say?
- Consider a time that you took a risk and you benefitted from it. Consider another time.
- Recall a time where your expectations of a situation was exceeded far beyond what you imagined. Recall another.
- What is the BEST possible result/scenario of what could happen if you pushed through this fear?
- If you chose to go through this fear, how would your life change for the better?
Coaches bring limitlessness to a session by being open to where the coaching goes and without placing expectations within the session. We go with the ‘flow’, we open doors for our clients to walk through, partnering them along the way. Attaining new heights, and taking each step together, we embody limitlessness with our in-depth questioning, our caring attitudes, and our encouraging and accepting tones. We envelop our clients in a safe nurturing way so that limitlessness is naturally the next phase.
If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.- Bruce Lee
Eloise had always wanted to be on stage. She dreamed of making people laugh and getting paid to do so. She would secretly practice funny skits in front of the mirror and imagine making audiences roar with appreciation. However, she feared she would fail, that she would run out of material, people wouldn’t laugh at her jokes, and that ultimately her dreams would be a disaster.
She came to coaching with the intention of getting her goals realized. We discovered that because she put limitations on her dreams, she put limitations on everything she could achieve. She decided, after realizing that she did not want her life to remain the same that she needed to get on a stage; she needed to break the boundaries.
Eloise started with an ‘Open Mic’ event at her local beer house. She went with a prepared comedy routine and got many laughs. She felt exhilarated. She signed up for the following week. She started to see where she could adjust things and what she could eliminate within her material and performance technique. She was fine tuning her craft and she was enjoying the fact that she was breaking the boundaries that she herself had created.
Currently, Eloise has appeared onstage twice a week for the last eight months. She has been asked to open for a well-known comedian on a regional tour, and has many plans for her future success. She tells me she has never felt happier or more alive. She can’t believe the position she was in eight months ago.
She tells me that the thought of having a limitless amount of material for her comedy gigs motivates her to keep on living her dream.
- Think of a time when you created stories of limitation. How did that effect what you did next?
- Conversely, think of another time where you felt like your opportunities were limitless?
- How could you consistently remind yourself that the negative stories you project onto your future, limit your current route of your goals?