When You Venture To The Edge Of Your Limits, Your Limits Will Expand

Published on: May 3, 2018

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It Is In Losing You Succeed

“If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” — Bruce Lee

How will discover your potential if you don’t venture to the edge of your limits? Your comfort zone is a place where you feel secure, though it is not where you will discover your potential. People believe they must venture out of their comfort zone often, and I caution them against it. Primarily because you become a thrill seeker, if you push your limits without integrating the lessons.

Human beings are wired for growth; an essential component to life. You need only interact with those with little growth to see how they perceive life through a narrow filter. Venturing to the edge of your limits is frightening because it involves stepping into the unknown where you risk failure and defeat and compromise your self-esteem. This is one way of looking at it, what you aim to lose instead of what you have to gain. Even though terrifying, what you will gain is far more valuable to your personal growth and what you’re likely to accomplish.

Even if you fail. Even if you hurt your self-esteem, you will have pushed yourself to the edge of your limits and expanded your possibilities. It is in losing where you succeed. You literally fail your way to success, despite what many people assume. Even the most talented amongst us fail more often than they succeed. Similarly, it is unnecessary to go to the edge of your limits from your current position. It requires gradually extending yourself and pushing past your limitations.

How I Ventured To The Edge Of My Limits

“The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.” — Arthur C. Clarke

For example, I recall when I first spoke on stage in front of a live audience. The fear and anxiety paralysed me and I forgot what I rehearsed. I stuttered and lost my train of thought during the presentation. It was difficult, and I wanted to give up, since I feared I wasn’t good enough as other accomplished speakers. However, I was comparing myself to those in the business for decades. Therefore, it wasn’t indicative of my true abilities. With time, commitment, and dedication, I honed my skills. I gathered feedback from those I trusted because not all feedback is good feedback.

I hired a speaking coach who prompted me to film my speaking engagements and helped me be mindful whilst speaking. She taught me how to become a performer instead of reciting phrases, which made less of an impact. She showed me how to speak from the heart and command presence on stage, whilst interacting with the audience. Her guidance was invaluable, yet without practice and commitment, I might have remained a mediocre speaker or given up altogether.

I was willing to venture to the edge of my limits because I wasn’t aware of my capabilities. For example, I recall a time being an audience member to hear the key speaker for the evening. He was running late from flying in from interstate. I was approached by the organiser to see whether I could fill in for thirty minutes until he arrived. To say it frightened me is an understatement. I was about to speak in front of hundreds of people without a script or rehearsing the topic. Until then, every seminar I spoke at involved meticulous preparation and rehearsal. This time I had to step out of my comfort zone.

It is interesting because practice makes perfect, since something magical happened that evening. Words came forth easily during the thirty-minute presentation, which felt like five minutes in hindsight. When I got offstage, I couldn’t remember the presentation because I had improvised it. However, given my earlier years of practice and recording videos, it must have slipped its way into my subconscious mind. Had I not been in the audience that day, I might have missed the opportunity to practise my skills and venture to the edge of my limits. Was it frightening? Absolutely. It was sweat and tears for the first five minutes, until I moved around on stage and practised the speaking skills I was taught.

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

“You only know yourself when you go beyond your limits.” — Paulo Coelho

There’s a message from author Greg McKeown on his LinkedIn page which reads: “I just talked to someone who is really afraid of public speaking. I told him I am too! I speak all around the world but I am ALWAYS nervous. Always. And I don’t ever expect or want to change that. The fear fuels preparation.” Greg strikes at the heart of people’s greatest fear when he says: the fear fuels preparation. It is what author Susan Jeffers calls: Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway.

So, are you venturing to the edge of your limits? If not, what is stopping you? Are you willing to confront your fears? These are questions to ask yourself if you want to live purposefully. Nothing changes until you take the first step, which needn’t be a monumental one either. It can be a move to overcome your fears and doubts. The rest will follow as you push past your limits and your journey on the path of greatness unfolds.

I don’t know about you, but I want to explore my potential and leave nothing to chance. I want to know what I’m capable of. I want to live fearlessly. I want to live boldly while daring greatly, even when I don’t have the answers. The strange thing is, I don’t know how it will happen, but that doesn’t matter because my resolve is more important than the details. The details have a way of revealing themselves as you explore your potential and venture to the edge of your limits.

Sometimes, you must go on blind faith and be guided by determination alone. I want you to venture to the edge of your limits at least once a month for the next six months. Imagine what you can achieve by the end of the year? Do something daring. Publish an article on a topic completely outside your comfort zone. Create a piece of music, art or software program that defies industry standards. Be the Elon Musk of your world, but don’t expect it to go viral because that is not the purpose. The purpose is to get accustomed to venturing to the edge of your limits. The purpose is to get comfortable being uncomfortable. It is then will your limits expand and infinite possibilities will be known.

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