Do you ever feel like your life doesn’t belong to you? Do you find yourself a slave to busy? Running around, from one place to another? The only time you slow down is when your body gets so sick that it literally can’t do anything?
Do you remember back to a time when you had time? Or at least you could dream of all the things you wanted, the desires of you heart? The way you thought life was going to be?
Somewhere along the way we begin to pick up expectations. Expectations of who we should be, how we should behave and what we should be doing. These expectations come from society, family, friends, jobs etc.. Some of these expectations aren’t a bad thing. Some are good.
Expectations become overwhelming, toxic and draining when we don’t know our own limitations.
Knowing your limits, is the best way from letting outside expectations run your life.
We all have things we have to do that we don’t enjoy or that aren’t fulfilling. I am not talking about those things. I am talking about that deep feeling of unfulfillment where you feel that spark for life has gone out. I don’t enjoy changing my sons’ diapers, however that dislike is not draining my life or causing me to feel lost, disconnected or unhappy.
Often times, we don’t stop to think of our own limitations. We pour out for our jobs, our partners, kids, families and a million other things. We can allow busy to run our lives if we don’t stop and get to know our limits.
Why is this important?
Knowing your limits, gives you the freedom to choose what you allow yourself to do and not do. We are humans. We all have needs and desires. When we go without those needs being met, we typically end up resentful, judgmental and miserable. We feel a deep sense of disconnection and going through the motions.
In a time where we are connected to everyone all of the time, we have the some of the highest suicide rates in history, the rates of depression and anxiety are increasing yearly…and we are suppose to be the most connected generation ever.
Here is the deal though, all the busy, all the connection is pulling us away from ourselves. When you feel connected to yourself all those other forms of connection feel good. But when you feel disconnected from yourself, those connections are going to feel like a drain.
The idea of knowing your limits, isn’t to be selfish. The reason to know your limits is so that you can give your best to the people you love, to the hobbies that inspire you, to spend your time and energy where it matters.
Here is an example:
I use to teach yoga classes every Saturday! It was my favorite class of the week. By the time I got home from teaching, it would be after 11a. Which meant lunch time for the boys, nap time routine, nap time, they would wake up for a few hours and then dinner, bedtime routine and bedtime. I was missing out on time with my partner, and family time for all four of us.
Eventually, I had to look at what was really important, and evaluate my time and limits and I realized that I want to enjoy these young years and weekends with Evan and the boys.
So I stopped teaching on Saturdays. Do I miss that class, yes. Do I feel like I made the right decision, yes!
I could give you so many examples of where I create a limit…another quick one is sleep. I very rarely sacrifice sleep for anything or anyone. I have prioritized sleep (I mean as much as you can with two toddlers). I prioritized sleep even when I didn’t have kids. I know that I am not a fun, creative or enjoyable person when I don’t have sleep. I can’t make decisions from a good place. So I have set a limit to the times that I will hang out with people.
Our limits all look different, they also change and evolve as we change and evolve. I have limits around my job, even limits on my phone (I will share more about this in a later post), I have limits on how often I hang out with people, who I hang out with.
How will this help me?
Limits help us make better decision from a place of love, abundance and clarity. When we are always feeling behind, overwhelmed and tired we are unable to make good decisions.
Having limits in place may feel a bit awkward and foreign at first, that is totally normal. If you can ride the wave of awkward and trust that you are making the limits in love, you will get to the other side and feel the freedom of your limitations.
It feels so good, when someone asks me to do something and I say “I am unable to do that.” It feels awkward for a second, but then I don’t end up feeling mad or irritated that I am doing something that is not worth my time. On the flip side, I feel so happy and free when someone asks me to do something that I would really love to do and I can say “I’m in!” That’s is the whole thing, you end up creating limits so you can enjoy the things you love.
Your life is yours. Although we have obligations and other people that pull at us, we have the ability to say yes or no to things. We have the control on how much we allow them pull/push. We can’t control others, but we can control ourselves.
It takes practice, learning to honor your limits. It takes feeling awkward and uncomfortable. Overtime those fade and you realize how good life can feel and how free you can be.
Download this worksheet to take this concept a little further!
Freedom is coming for you!