Removing the Clouds of Limitation

If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you’d like to win but think you can’t,
It’s almost certain you won’t.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But sooner or later, the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can. - C. W. Longenecker.

Pic credit: flickr.com/photos/hamed

(This is a post by Janet Robinson. Pic credit: Pic credit: flickr.com/photos/hamed)

Looking back, it’s been a great year of celebration for Britain. We had the Queen’s jubilee and the 2012 Olympic Games but it seemed like it was the Paralympics that stole the show. 

Why was that?

Is it because we saw in these paralympic sportsmen and women our own desire to reach the untapped potential within us?

Is it because we long to live beyond our own self imposed limitations and are inspired by those who do?

One participant of the games was asked “What has taking part in the Paralympics meant for you?”.

I found the reply that it had meant “the removing of the cloud of limitation” to be particularly poignant.

That’s when two things struck me: 

  1. It was the participation in the event that was responsible for the removal of the cloud, not the level of achievement or outcome attained.
  2. Our limitations are merely clouds that obscure our true potential. When the clouds are removed we find the sun is there still shining as brightly as ever!

What are you afraid of?

How many times do you choose not to do something because you think you will fail or not be very good at it? Is it success of failure that you are frightened of? Or is it your thoughts about how others will react to your success/failure that keeps you playing safe and staying small? 

Negative thoughts are like clouds obscuring the LIGHT of our SUN but, like clouds, there is no real substance to them.

What you think about you attract into your life, right?

How many times have you heard that one! When you think small you stay small; when you think you can’t, you can’t; when you think you won’t, you won’t.

And yet…

You were born for much more than this.

You were born to let your light shine but to do this you must remove the clouds that obscure the sun! You must harness the energy of doing to help you blow your cloudy thinking away. 

What do your clouds look like? 

For me, clouds took the form of believing that for my writing to have any worth it had to have the approval of others. 

For as long as I can remember I have loved to write but the fear of not being good enough kept me from going public with my work. When I did eventually dare to enter some of my poems into a poetry competition the fact that I didn’t even make the runners up category plummeted me into a pool of self doubt and inertia that I almost never wrote again. 

Big, black clouds.

Thinking that my poetry didn’t stand up to the scrutiny of the literary elite flooded my mind with accusations: “You’re no good! You never were and you never will be; there’s no point in even trying?” was my constant refrain. (sound familiar?).

Withdrawing into a world of smallness and safety seemed the best option, far better, at least than subjecting myself to the humiliation of failing to write well enough to be acclaimed by others. 

OUCH! There’s nothing like the pain of a bruised ego! 

That is UNTIL..

Until the pain of settling for a life of smallness becomes even greater and the urge to LIVE becomes too strong to ignore – then it is time to blow the clouds away and change the nagging voice in your head from “I won’t” to “I will.”

Remember the great book title from Susan Jeffers ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’? 

It is OKAY to feel trepidation, to feel anxiety, to feel panic – these are natural feelings when you step out of your comfort zone. What is not okay, if you want to live a vibrant, passionate life, is to let these feelings define your life and use them as an excuse to stop living.

It is the DOING that helps you rise above your ‘limited’ thinking.

This is how you blow the clouds away.

When you experience life as opposed to thinking about life, then your thought patterns change and what you attract into your life changes too.

It is the power of doing that helps you see and experience yourself differently. It is by doing that the bright light at the heart of who you are is revealed, and you are no longer just who you thought yourself to be. 

Never mind the outcome, never mind what others think. This is YOUR life. No one is going to live it for you. And even if they could they’d never live it as well as you.

Just go for it! 

What the heck! I am passionate about writing so I will write. 

You are passionate about ______ and so you will _________  (fill in the gap!).

It is your ability to participate in the action that brings in the fresh energy needed for change to occur.

Doing is the wind of change that blows the clouds away.

It has nothing to do with how your actions are received by others. I become a writer by writing not by what someone else says about my writing. And it is the same for you. No matter what your desire is you fulfil it by doing it. 

This is how creative people live. It is how you create your own living realities. So get to it! 

Ask yourself:

  • In what ways do you keep yourself small?
  • In what ways do your clouds obscure the vibrant life within you?
  • What do you want to participate in but haven’t dared to yet?

Then identify one small step you can take towards making your dreams a living reality for yourself.

Please let me know how you get on blowing those clouds away. I’d love to hear your response to the questions!

Janet Robinson is a poet who loves the power of words to heal and transform lives. After facing a series of major losses in her life she now embraces with joy the process of re-discovering her true self and celebrating the wonder of being alive.

She is passionate about helping others turn their own experiences of loss into celebrations of living. Find her at www.jannietta.com.

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  1. Jackie says

    Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.

    The clouds we have are our self beliefs. Most often our self beliefs are subtle and artfully mask themselves from discovery. I have found when I am sad, or distraught, or scared or anything other than joyful and loving, those feelings are symptoms of destructive and untrue beliefs I have of me!

    Whether you believe in God, a higher power, or nothing at all – you are valuable because you exist.

    • says

      Thank you Jackie I appreciate your comment- what you say is so true. Our value is in who we are and when we forget that then we become prone to listening and believing our untrue thoughts about ourselves. When we feel secure in our own worth – then we feel, as you say, joyful and loving and our ‘doing’ will naturally reflect that. Wishing you a joyful and loving 2013.

  2. says

    I agree that you should never under estimate yourself, this leads to de-motivation. If you set the right goals and have a positive attitude, life is simple and easy. Your points are very helpful and motivating. Thanks for sharing.

    • says

      Thanks Sharin and I agree with you that it is important that we don’t underestimate ourselves. We all have something important to contribute to the world and staying motivated is important if we are to share our gifts with each other. Your comments have helped me to stay motivated today. Thank you.

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