The Art of Strengths Coaching

L is for Feeling Liberated By Limits

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Looking back on your life, when have you felt liberated by having limits?

You may have had only a few materials to work with, but used these as the springboard for being creative. You may have only had a little food, but tasted it fully. You may have appreciated the joy of seeing the world in a grain of sand.

Peak performers choose to build on their strengths, rather than be good at everything. They keep developing what they do best, whilst also managing the consequences of any weaknesses.

Such people aim to become the best they can be. They recognise that a rose can become a better rose, but it cannot become a daffodil.

Creative people often do their best work when dealing with limits. Belle Beth Cooper wrote an excellent article on this topic for Fast Company called Proof That Constraints Can Actually Make You More Creative. You can discover more via the following link.

http://goo.gl/LCRoCn

People obviously need to have enough resources to live healthy and happy lives. Saying that people can be creative within limits is not an excuse for starving them of the basic materials for life.

Some gardeners prefer to do creative work within the confines of a small garden, however, rather than in a big field. Some writers prefer to be given a topic to write about, rather than given a blank page.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe a specific situation in the past when you chose to feel liberated by having limits.

Describe the specific things you did then to make use of choosing to feel liberated by limits.

Describe the specific things that happened as a result of choosing to feel liberated by limits.

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People have a limited time to live. Recognising this fact can spur some people to spur them to make their best contribution to the planet.

During the past half-century many gurus have urged people to focus on their so-called Limiting Beliefs. But this sometimes reinforces people’s self doubt.

Another approach is to invite people to focus on their Liberating Beliefs. They can do this by recalling the times when they have tackled challenges and been successful.

What did they do right then? What were the beliefs they followed? How can they follow these principles in the future?

Paradoxically, one liberating belief can be that we have limits. We can then each aim to become the best person, gardener, counsellor, engineer, artist or whatever we can be. There are certain things that each of us will never be good at.

One teacher explained this to me in the following way. He encouraged me to focus on what I had, rather than worry about what I didn’t have. He said:

“You are lucky, because you are only good at a couple of things. You can focus on making full use of these talents.

“People who are good at many things can sometimes feel split. They fail to commit and don’t make use of their talents.”

Looking to the future, how can you make use of your limits? You may want to do certain things with your talents and the time you have to live.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe a specific situation in the future when you may choose to feel liberated by having limits.

Describe the specific things you can do then to make use of choosing to feel liberated by limits. 

Describe the specific things that may happen a result of choosing to feel liberated by limits.

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