The Psychology of Upper Limits

Whether we’re aware of it or not, most of us are limited by what we think is possible in our lives. The vision we have of what is possible often comes from the families we grew up in or the environments by which we’re surrounded. These unconscious upper limits can prevent us from maximizing our potential. For many of us, it’s hard to imagine a life not bound by what we think is possible (or what we think is impossible).

When I think of not being bound by upper limits, I think of my friend Joe. Joe and I attended college and graduate school together. We went to a major Southern “football school” and Joe played for the varsity team, not because he was a superstar athlete, but because no one ever told him he couldn’t play. By the time we were 30, Joe had acted in several movies and TV series (Love Potion No. 9, starring a young Sandra Bullock, In the Heat of the Night, with Carroll O’Connor); he had owned, operated and sold a restaurant and bar; and he had lived in Atlanta, L.A. and Wilmington, NC. Joe later became a high school football coach and a dad, not because that is what he settled for, but because he had tasted all that life had to offer, done the things he wanted to do, and then determined that being a teacher and coach and a dad was what meant the most to him.

What are the upper limits that hold you back and keep you from being all you can be? Are you even aware of the limitations placed on you by what you think is possible?

Here’s the good news. Your unconscious upper limits are not your destiny. Norman Vincent Peale famously used quotes from the Bible to spur others toward positive thinking. One such verse is Romans 12:2, “…be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” It is ancient wisdom and it holds true today. How we think and what we believe has a great influence on what we achieve.

If you need help identifying and overcoming your upper limits, contact Dr. Vance at BreakForth Counseling today.

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