The only thing that can stop you is you.
So don’t let yourself.
Like most things, that is much easier said than done. We can sometimes be our own biggest enemy, and the obstacles we let slow or stop us, are more imaginary in our mind than physically in front of us.
All great goals are always met with resistance. Many of us meet this resistance – fear, doubt, & more – and either retreat or stand paralyzed. Our society is convinced that great things should be achieved 1. without struggle and 2. overnight. These lies are believed daily by millions, and worse, promoted over and over and over again on countless social media feeds. After hearing that numerous times, we tend to believe it, so when our own pursuits grow difficult, we slow, stop, or quit altogether. We believe we did something wrong or that this is the wrong path. We fail to understand that the struggle is required for success and the journey takes many nights, sometimes years, to reach the victory. We begin to live within the limits and beliefs that others have taken for themselves. We allow their limited beliefs and dreams to impact how we pursue ours.
In other words, we allow their limitations to become our own and we stop ourselves short of what greatness could be.
Like an athlete, we must train ourselves to hit our “limits” over and over until we break through. We must press onward through failures, through brick walls, and through fear to raise our standard of success, our quality of relationships, and the strength our life requires. An olympic lifter does not set new personal records by staying within the confines of what she “thinks” she can lift. No, she trains hard. She pushes her body to the point of “too heavy.” She attempts a weight just above her previous “limit.” Sometimes she fails. But sometimes, she wins. She hits a personal best and raises the standard yet again by which she trains. You cannot set a personal record in weightlifting or running by staying with the same weight or running at the same speed you’ve always done.
So how do you train yourself to push beyond your limits? Here are six ways that have helped me break through my own “limits” on my journey:
1. Study how others have done what you desire to
The best way to understand how to reach your goal is to find someone who has done what you desire to and learn from them. Most of you can find all the information on your desired task online. Follow that person, study what they do, ask questions, and take notes. See how they perform, how they train, or how they build their business. If you have the opportunity to learn from a mentor, seize it. This person has been down the path similar to yours and can help you cut the learning curve and avoid the setbacks they themselves experienced.
2. Create accountability
Iron sharpens iron. If you want to achieve BIG goals, understand that you will need help. An accountability partner – best friend, spouse, coach, training partner – will be essential. Their support will help you during the tough days, but more importantly, they will love you enough to push you beyond where you want to go.
Our accountability partners care about us enough to not let us live within our comfort zones. They push us farther than we think we can go, and hold us to the standard that we’ve set for ourselves – a life without limits.
3. Understand failure is part of the process – not the final stop
You will fail. It will inevitably happen in the pursuit of breaking limits. The sooner we come to accept that, the sooner we can use that failure as the setup we need to win. You have to be willing to fail – and understand that failure is part of the process – to break through the limits in your life. The extra weight on your front squat may drop you this time, but a competitor understands that they need to push themselves to failure to see where the current line is set, so they can surpass it soon enough.
4. Take on more than you’re comfortable with
A marathoner does not PR their best race time by sticking to the same speed they had all previous races. No, to reach that new best, they push themselves past the point of their lungs burning and legs aching. The runner pushes themselves harder & faster, and in the last 800m, when it feels like there’s not much left, you realize the end is near and run harder, willing to run to the point of collapsing – but only after you cross that finish line. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
5. Daily remind yourself of the end goal
Always remember why you started. The end goal should be written in your heart. It will be your north star when the days get hard and the failures mount. Reminding yourself of why you started and where you’re going will keep the fire lit in the darkest of trials. I have notecards listed in my office with daily goals and my whiteboard above my computer is full of my 1-3-5 year goals, so that without a doubt, I will know where I’m going and maintain my motivation to get there. It’s the purest reminder that where I am now isn’t where I want to be – and the current “limits” I’m battling within, won’t hold me for long.
6. Be your own motivation
You are your own best motivation. Your accountability partner mentioned in #2 will keep you going and push you, but at the end of the day, you must do this for you. It comes down to a simple, yet powerful mindset shift that you desire more than what is currently available. That your life IS and ALWAYS HAS BEEN worth competing for. Find the thing – song, quote, book – that reminds you that you ARE capable, you ARE powerful, and you deserve MORE than a life with limits. Write it on your bathroom mirror so you see it daily. Wear it on your wrist. Etch it into your heart. And keep competing.
This is your own & only life, live without limits.
Comment below & let us know what limits you’ve allowed to restrain you this far – but that you are going to break through this year!