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Focussing on your limitations encourages limitation

I’m in the business of creating options for myself or those I deliver solutions to and I have found that the more options I can figure out or provide the easier I find it to adjust to the constantly changing environments I’m in.

The reason I mention limitation is that I am quite focused on removing my limitations which is not to say I’m expert at everything but I can do something basic in most areas. The idea being if I can achieve some thing then I am less nervous doing it than I originally was. which means that I won’t shy away from it and over time as the relevant skill is practiced I become good at it and may even excel.

I focus so much on removing my limitations because I learned at a young age that the thing I feared or hated the most became my favourite thing once I committed to getting good at it. It is a continuation of the most basic process of the things we did when we were really young like learning to walk and talk. We were really bad at and kept failing, falling over and maybe even getting hurt but we persevered and then it clicked and we took our first steps. From then on we stopped crawling to get anywhere and walked or even ran to get places forgetting that we were ever bad at walking.

I was always encouraged to see life like learning to walk so I approach weaknesses and limitations the same way like learning to catch a ball with my left hand when I was five. I still remember that I first learnt to catch with my right just before I learned to catch equally well with my left hand. I was lucky that nobody told me that I should not be able to do much with my left hand so from a young age I was always about to catch as well with my left as I could with my right hand. So I learnt early on that my left hand is perfectly capable if I give it the same training and support as my right hand but like any one else I was heavily right hand dominant in everything except catching.a ball because catching balls was the only thing I tried to do with either hand.

The point here is that you get good at what you do regularly because your body is adapting to the demands you put on it. So it was years later in my twenties and thirties that I dedicated my time to redressing this balance and becoming fully ambidextrous. I have to admit that it took a looong time which highlighted just how much attention gets paid to your dominant side over the years but now I am in my forties I regularly use my left hand in place of my right without thinking and it’s become something I really enjoy.

This same approach to reducing your limitations and overcoming your fears can be incredibly useful in other aspects of your life like work because it reduces fear and complements your existing strengths by making you more rounded.

I work as a software developer and the philosophy is essentially a limited developer creates limited applications. I mean a limited developer in terms of limited skills, depth of experience, vision, creativity, ability to communicate and collaborate. Limited applications only work on the device and for the people they were intended for and are difficult to adapt to other situations and people.

I feel the same can be said of teachers or any other profession (or craft as I see them). A limited teacher can only teach limited things. That’s some thing I  feel makes sense. I mean that what they teach will always be limited by their experience, point of view, subject knowledge and knowledge of their audience. They may also be limited in their ability to express themselves.

Ok, I’m assuming things here but I don’t have the time to prove anything. And in truth it’s just an opinion. I’m not saying I’m right I just feel it’s a useful point to make as it explains why I’m always looking to learn. By constantly improving myself as a teacher, developer and other things I’m reducing my limitations. By progressively reducing my limitations the things I do and say become less limited and so I go from limits leading to limitations to strengths creating more strengths.

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