Our Limitless Limitations
Joel Eschenbach • February 18, 2017
Our culture idolizes productivity, success, hard work, and heroically overcoming all obstacles. Most of us have been trained to strive for perfection by willpower and determination. From inspiring Instagram quotes to Entrepreneurs I work with on a regular basis, the message is the same… “Be Limitless!”
Now, don’t get me wrong, I want to become the kind of person who successfully overcomes my limitations and can someday look back at my past feeble self with pity. And, I’m actually a huge fan of setting goals, being more productive, working hard, and constantly improving. The problem is, I just keep running up against my own damn limitations! It’s funny how that works… Sometimes the harder we try, the worse we get. No matter how successful we may be in certain areas of our lives, we all have those things that we just can’t seem to get right.
Here’s the thing: Our limitations are what truly transform us.
Let’s say you want to become a more generous person. So, you tell yourself that you’re going to be more generous, you read books on generosity, you may even know very giving people that inspire you to be more generous. But then a friend nees help and asks you for money. Maybe you forget that you want to be generous or you quickly remember how low your bank account is. For whatever reason, you say that you wish you could help them, but don’t have the money right now.
What happens when you leave that interaction? If you are like me, you probably feel like crap, because the thing that you really wanted to be better at is exactly where you failed. You might say, “I did it again, I wanted to be generous, but I wasn’t”.
You hit a limitation, a shortcoming.
Let it sink in, because it’s actually that limitation and the feeling that it brings deep within you that creates the space, desire, and momentum, to grow and stretch you in ways that information about being generous could never do. If we take the time to embrace and admit our weaknesses, our powerlessness to change, and the ways our actions affect others, then the next time we are in that situation, we may find that our heart is changing and that actions will follow.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” In other words, those who realize their limitations and need for help are the ones who are the most fulfilled and experience divine presence in their lives. They're the ones who are transformed and their limitations become their glory! That doesn’t mean it’s easy or that it doesn’t feel humiliating at times.
What happens when we don’t admit our limitations and shortcomings? We either tend ignore them, project our own weaknesses onto others and become more convinced of our own superiority, or we have huge blindspots in our lives that eventually come back to haunt us.
So, let’s embrace our limitations, let them sink in. Then, ask for help, be honest, and stop trying to hide them. And even though it does not feel heroic at all, accept love and grace from others and God.
Let your limitations truly transform you. There’s limitless opportunities.