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Blake Beattie


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Real V Imagined Limitations  23.09.2008

In the plains of Africa, a lion waits. It knows that soon its prey will be moving south. Over long distances, the so-called king of the jungle knows he stands little chance of catching a zebra. He understands that camouflage, stealth, silence and explosive speed over short distances are his greatest weapon in gaining food for his family.

He accepts his limitations and works with his strengths – something we should all do too. Now, I’m not talking about giving up on dreams and goals we are passionate about because things get a bit hard. Oh contrare….Our dreams and goals fuel us enabling us to move forward in directions we want to go.

 

I am talking about working with what we’ve got and accepting certain limitations.

 

For example, I know that I will never be an Olympic gymnast – an old injury to my wrist and lack of flexibility mean that it is not a viable goal to work towards. Sure, I could improve….but I am aware of certain limitations I might have.

 

The Message:

Accept real limitations and forget the rest. Remember that many limitations are not real and only exist within our minds. So how does this happen?

1. People say it can’t be done and we believe them

2. We tell ourselves it can’t be done, or its too hard, or we misjudge ourselves based on past performances.

 

Therefore a major key to success is utilising your core strengths and accepting real (not imagined) limitations.

 

Eg. John knows that he’s a great salesperson and this is where his passion lies. He gets offered a sales manager position where he gets to manage a team of sales people and subsequently gets paid a lot more money as a result. The temptation of course is for John to take the position and learn how to be a sales manager. There is one big problem though: John tried management once and really does not enjoy dealing in human resources. He also knows that he could become a better manager, but his major strength lies in selling – not in management. So what does John do about this situation?

 

Option 1: Take the position - receive greater pay, but risk less future rewards and lower job satisfaction

Option 2: Turn down the opportunity and keep doing what he enjoys and what he does best.

Option 3: Convince supervisors that maybe there is a new position that could be created where he gets to utilise his major strengths and the company gains maximum benefit as well. Perhaps it might be a senior sales role that involves some training, some management (more procedural) in combination with someone who enjoys the management side of things.

 

Remember, awareness is critical. If something doesn’t feel quite right – it usually isn’t. Accept real limitations but work to your strengths.

 

Enjoy the journey…

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