Have you ever been physically challenged by your own choice or put up to a challenge by someone else and immediately felt like "I can't do that...I'm too.....?
Have you ever wanted to participate in an activity but have been injured and unable to perform even the modified version of that activity?
My purpose today is to teach you the difference between limited beliefs we place on ourselves and physical limitations that are placed upon us.
Limited Beliefs: a set of ideas that we place upon ourselves simply from lack of knowledge, experience or fear of the unknown reaction/response to or expected result.
We do this ALL the time. Someone invites us to join them in a dance fitness class and we say "I can't dance." Someone invites us to run a 5k (3 mile distance race) without a goal time to achieve and we say "I can't run longer than 3 houses". Someone invites us to try something new and exciting and we say "I've never done that before, therefore, no."
We give into the fear of the unexpected. Will I actually be that bad at dancing? Will I actually not be able to run longer than 3 houses? Will I even enjoy it? The only way to know for sure is to.......TRY! Limiting ourselves based off of limitations we set upon ourselves doesn't serve us. In fact it normally leaves us wondering if we really could have done the thing.
I have had many experiences recently where I have prematurely judged a situation/person/activity simply because I didn't know and it was easier to pull out from any commitment by coming up with a limiting belief. "I don't know them that well to hang out with them for 3 days, that sounds too hard, I'm not really into that kind of stuff, etc." And when I stepped back and realized what I was doing, I was setting limitations/excuses to help me feel better about not getting to know that person, participate in an activity or embrace that situation that I was uncomfortable with at first.
A specific example for me is off-roading (trail driving), running in the mountains and mountain biking. I've always loved the outdoors and the mountains, but I never thought I would be okay off-roading near steep edges (which I'm still not, but at least I tried), running up and down mountains for hours and signing up for a mountain biking clinic (yeah I'm still getting used to that idea!). But life isn't meant to live with regrets and in fear simply because you don't know. There is obviously a difference between safety and stupidity and sometimes a very fine line, but most of us know the difference when we encounter such choices.
Getting past our limitations is definitely not an easy task, but a process to learn and enjoy from. We must step outside of our limited beliefs that make us think we can't physically achieve something! We must understand that when we have physical bodies without physical limitations, we can achieve so much!
Physical limitations: permanent, semi-permanent or temporary limitations that affect our ability to participate fully in any given activity.
I hope I come across as sensitive as possible with this section of my influencing/encouraging. There are those who are born with physical inabilities yet seem to have the best mental attitude amongst anyone I know. There are those who go through a season of physical limitations that are semi-permanent but with extensive physical or occupational therapy can move past such restrictions. Then there are those who have had an accident or acute illness that cause a temporary inhibition.
I want us to be able to truly define in our lives if we are experiencing any of these physical restraints as we answer in the negative towards the opportunity to move our physical bodies. If we are in a place of physical limitations, please be mindful and adapt to those, yet still strive for mental strength.
For example, my husbands cousin has a protein deficiency disease that leaves him confined to a hospital bed in his house or a wheel chair that must be operated by others. His muscles are in a constant state of contraction and he physically is unable to move most of his own appendages, yet he has such a positive desire to move and experience life. Thankfully he was blessed with an angelic mother who has always been there to ensure his interactions in different activities. While he will never be able to physically move on his own, he mentally moves others with his strength. Can't we find strength from someone who we "feel bad" for always smiling and lifting us to higher thoughts?
Watching a video the other day made me grateful for those who find a way to move even when they're not "supposed" to according to doctors, science, logic, etc. Watch how this man does some AWESOME half pipes, flips and spins in a wheelchair!
Whether such physical restraints are permanent, semi-permanent or temporary, the desire can always be there, and often be stronger than for those of us without such limitations.
If the desire is there for them, can't we push past our limited beliefs of such activities whether you're overweight, slow, uncoordinated, weak, or simply fearful?
My plea and challenge to all of my readers, and please pass on it to those you know who might struggle with knowing the difference between physical inabilities and limited beliefs, is to start with the desire to physically move your bodies. Allow the movement of blood flow to create energy, strength and endurance to handle all of life's challenges and excitements.
We need to move daily so that our limited beliefs about activity don't turn into a physical limitation due to muscle atrophy (weakness) or decreased bone density. Make a plan to be active every day! It doesn't have to be running marathons or bench pressing your spouse; it just has to be something.
If you're lost and don't know where to begin, I can help! I'm a certified Personal Trainer and I have extensively studied the effects of exercise on the body and the brain. I can help you learn how to move in a way that is effective for your skill level, goals and desired outcomes.
The main objective is to learn to love movement and step out of your comfort zone and try something new, even if you have no idea if you'll like it or succeed at it.