I was chatting with a friend a few days ago and she kept saying things such as, “I can’t wear that—I’m too….” During our conversation, she repeated the “I can’t” phrase several times. “I can’t do that—I’m too….” Or “I don’t like that shirt—I don’t look good in that color.” It occurred to me that she has a lot of limits in place for herself. She “can’t do” lots of things. That’s so unfortunate. It’s so unfortunate that she has decided on those limits.
I thought about this a little bit and started to wonder about the limits I’ve set for myself. A while back, I heard myself saying, “I used to…” quite often. You know the question: “Do you like to ‘abc, xyz?’” “Oh, yeah”, I’d respond. “I used to do that all the time.” Well, what happened? I could come up with lots of reasons why I used to go hiking (or whatever ‘abc, xyz’ was) all the time. I’d become boring, old, sedentary, stagnant, stuck. Well, I decided to stop saying, “used to” and I started doing. Turns out I’m pretty fearless and it’s awesome.
I still wonder, though, what limits have I set for myself, what limits are in my way? And, back to my friend and the point…. We all have these things that we won’t try because we think that we know ourselves, our limits, and our boundaries. As for my friend—try on the dang shirt. It’s a shirt. Step out of your comfort zone. You may have a new favorite shirt hanging in your closet.
As for me, here’s a pretty simple example. I don’t like mushrooms. I really don’t. I’m a long-time vegetarian and hate that mushroom dishes are the standard vegetarian option on menus. Ugh. A few weeks ago, I was out at one of my favorite little spots in town and, against my never-eat-mushrooms rule, I tried mushroom pate the other night. This was one of the best things I have ever put in my face in ages. Oh, my. This was so good… I’m now trying to replicate this tasty little dish at home because it was so good. I know this is a pretty “safe” example, but it makes the point: I decided ages ago that mushrooms were never to be on my plate, but I tried this dish anyway and I loved it.
I’m making plans to jump out of an airplane. For real. Who is with me? I’m serious. See that photo over there? Those are my feet. I’m wearing a parachute there but there was no airplane. This time there will be free fall.
What limits have you set for yourself? Why? Maybe it’s time to reexamine them. Step out of your comfort zone. Get un-stuck. Stop getting in your own way. Try something new. Challenge yourself. Taste it. Wear it. Jump.
I dare you.
(p.s. I still always wear my sunscreen and seat belt. Jump, but don’t be stupid, OK?)