While I’m still looking for that darn time stealing goblin from last week, here’s the rest of my list on how to transform a limitation into an opportunity.
Write your goals down! Otherwise they’re just wishes. Then go into the creative process: research, experiment, refine. Check your goal list regularly, this will ensure you’re on target. Plus this will allow you to measure progress and celebrate the small stuff.
Seeing progress is essential when making proactive changes in your life. Change isn’t easy. We need reminders of what motivates all this hard work.
Play to your strengths
It’s highly unlikely you’re going to overcome a limitation by concentrating on what you can’t do. Instead focus on what you can do. What are you good at?
*If you said nothing, you’re wrong. Everyone is good at something.
Maybe it’s reading or researching. Maybe you’re really good at loving others or being a good friend. Maybe you’re a great listener, or nurturer. When you work on developing new skills and talents use a skill you already have to help yourself learn.
For example, I first started gymnastics with our junior high team and I was terrible at it. I had no idea where my body was in space, especially upside down. In fact the first time I tried to vault I got so excited I put my hands on the spring board instead of the horse!
So I didn’t have the best spatial relations or my coordination quite down, ahem ahem. You know what I did have? Guts, determination, speed, a good work ethic, hard headed stubbornness, attention for detail and coach-ability.
How did that help me? Determination and stubbornness meant I had the self-discipline to not give up at the beginning. Despite the embarrassment, I had the guts to keep going and try new stunts with my body. My being coach-able meant I would listen with attention to detail, allowing me to improve every time I vaulted. This may not sound like much, but it led to my becoming the first seventh grader (without prior gymnastics experience) to make the varsity gymnastics team. I learned how to do a handspring vault in a week. That’s huge in my book.
Playing to your strengths allows you to work from a position of power when most people would see you as powerless. You use what you’ve got until the limitation is overcome and you’ll excel at it out of habit. Nothing better than that!
Limitations often spur us to grow. They already build in the first step of the creative process into our lives. They bring focus. If we embrace the limitation many times we can gain great value from it.
We can learn a new skill, make new friends, or share a message. The keynote speaker at the BYBB conference this year was a quadriplegic. Her limitation might not help her to be the best athlete but it has become a strength and opportunity for her to share a message of hope. She has met so many more people and it has fueled a glow of positivity in her life.
Limitations becoming an opportunity—examples
Physical-Many actors used to have a stutter-including the hubster. Speech used to be difficult and now it’s a strength, they think more about how words are formed and sound. This is a major asset to actors.
Emotional-Many writers suffer from depression, they use it to fuel their writing and move others at a deeper level.
Financial-Dave Ramsey became a millionaire and lost it all in bankruptcy. Following what he learned in college led to a lot of debt which was his downfall. He used that experience to create his own financial program that not only helped himself but thousands of others get out of debt and accrue wealth debt free, worry free.
Celebrate what you can do and look to your strengths when faced with weakness. Eventually you can count that weakness as part of your strength and use it to push forward, overcoming anything life hits you with. When you give yourself permission to be awesome you can do anything, overcome any difficulty, and help others along the way.
Be the awesome inside you-I believe in you!
This is the second half of my how to transform a limitation into an opportunity post. Click through if you missed the first half.