Enjoy my blog here, looking to have other coaches/athletes blog on here soon so stay tuned for that! Today I talk about limits, and how if we can remove them, we can allow ourselves to take more chances and do things that are beyond normal. Having no limits also allows us to be happy with decisions and understand mistakes mean we are learning and getting better.
Live A 'No' Limit Life
Limits are formed through the ways we communicate with ourselves, and our interactions and comparisons with others. These limits don't actually exist, but pushing through these artificial limits can be difficult. Like anything, being able to overcome these limits requires daily commitment. In this case, it requires your realizations of poor self-talk, and the ability to overcome it with a more positive and open approach. That's why it's so important that as teammates and coaches, we communicate with each other in a way that does not limit any individual. Every time one person feels inadequate, the entire group suffers. As a coach, I have looked to improve on limits that I may not have realized I was setting in years past. My philosophy has definitely formed around allowing athletes to have more control and ability to make decisions. Only in this way can we explore our true desires and talk about ways to overcome any personal limiters.
Comparing is a limit.
In a previous blog, I talked about the dangers and limits of comparing to others, especially with it now being much easier with Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms. It is also something that happens often in conversation. An athlete may say, "That guy ran x time, I want to run that fast too!" This statement is a limit. It is definitely a much more pleasing message for a coach to hear rather than him saying, "He's fast, I'll never be that fast". But the athlete is now using comparison as a limiter. I will tell the athlete how excited I am for them to desire to improve, but also remind them not to set a standard based on someone else. Be inspired by others' performances and definitely use it to motivate you to improve yourself, just be careful not to believe that is the standard to set for yourself. Know you have no standard or limit.
At first this athlete may admire or be in awe of a performance, but down the road, the athlete surpasses that mark and is the one being awed at. It happens all the time in this sport; consistency and work can pay off in ways you can't currently imagine, so why aim for a restrictive goal? We are all human and the outcomes you see from others come from the same types of unseen work ethic you put in behind the scenes. It's unlikely a performance just happens out of nowhere.
The other way it is limiting is the athlete could be thinking they aren't improving fast enough, and keeps getting caught up on the standard he set for himself based on another runner. It doesn't mean this athlete can't run that fast, it may just be this athlete just needs a bit more time to develop. When we lose focus on our own improvements and what we can control, we start living based on someone else's standards instead. This can give us a feeling that we are inadequate, when in fact we are just going through the normal ups and downs of progress. Rather than making steady and healthy progress, we get mad that we aren't seeing an immediate jump in performance.
Thus, our goal should be to maximize our own efforts, and with that, motivate and encourage each other to push beyond our own limitations. Don't create a limit based on someone else, and don't let outcomes be more important than process. The "doing" of improving yourself is more amazing than the "doing" of performance. Embrace each day and opportunity.
It's not just running, it's everything we do.
This philosophy goes way beyond running. We as humans have a tendency to create limitations. It's important to stay aware of things you say and think. I think of all the people who have overcome dire situations, physical limitations, homelessness, or sickness. It puts in perspective how useless it is to make excuses. Everyone is going to have limitations out of their control, so it's important not to add your own mental limitations. Be confident in yourself, overcome the limits that you maybe can't control, and show grit when things get tough.
This goes for those around you too. Let people dream big, let them be adventurous, let them make mistakes and fail (means they are trying to do big things!). Be happy for other's accomplishments, and never be jealous. Jealousy is a limit in itself, and creates a self-talk that communicates you can't do something. You control your thoughts. We all work as a team either at school, athletics or at work. Don't make limits on you or anyone around you, and you'll be able to witness some amazing and seemingly impossible things happen!
Make the unknown become known. Get rid of limits.