A Coaching Power Tool Created by Jessica Mackie
(Transformational Coach, NEW ZEALAND)
This power tool uses the terms Limited and Unlimited to describe a viewpoint or way of seeing things. At any given point we may perceive what is unfolding through different lenses. This power tool refers to that “lens” or perspective as being somewhere on a continuum of Limited to Unlimited. At one end exists an all-encompassing, expansive or “Unlimited” view in which many aspects are perceived and anything is possible. At the opposite end is a fragmented, contracted or “Limited” view where only one aspect or possibility is currently perceived.
Imagine viewing the world through just one window where you could see only a slither of sky. On a cloudy day you might only be able to see grey. What you would not see, is the blue sky coming from a direction just out of view. Furthermore you might not realise that the blue sky you see one day is in fact still intact behind the grey you see the next. You may not realise that the descent and ascent of the sun is what causes the changes from day to night. You mightn’t even know there is a sun. This is because you are unable to see each of these elements in relation to the full context.
It is important to reiterate that the state of Limited vs. Unlimited exists on a continuum and there is no known end point. Even those of us who go outside daily, or even study astrology, do not know the full extent of our galaxy.
To further illustrate this idea and how it may show up in coaching, imagine two people. The first person seeing every experience as a multi-faceted opportunity for learning and growth vs. the second person who only sees undesirable happenings as being caused by and as validation of their failings. If the exact same event happened to these two people, we can assume they would have very different interpretations of it. The first would likely respond with energy, curiosity and some sort of movement or change. The second would likely feel disheartened and gradually become more stuck and frustrated with their situation.
When we consider the sheer number of individuals on this earth, the example of these two individuals indicates that there are potentially unlimited possibilities for the way life can be seen. We can also consider that it is possible to see more than one, or perhaps many, perspectives or possibilities at once.
Defining the states
A Limited view occurs when the current perception is restricted in size, number or extent. An Unlimited view is when there is no constraint to the number of possibilities that exist. These views can occur in relation to past perception as well as future possibility.
Such views can show up in countless scenarios. However, some common scenarios might include relationships and interactions with other people, business ventures, brainstorming or planning the way forward, finding acceptance for things that have happened in the past.