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Why You Should Care About the Difference Between Your Limitations and Devotion

The river doesn’t try to grow beyond its banks just to prove it can be bigger.

The tree doesn’t feed the leaves with nutrients and fluids until it breaks down under the effort of over-giving.

The rose doesn’t give up its thorns when its velvety petals are wide open just to make sure no one feels intimidated by its beauty.

But we humans are always denying our limitations. We’re perpetually trying to prove that we can take it, that we are strong[er], that we have what it takes to be referred to as the one who’s done the impossible.

I had some time to burn until my next train connection from Oerlikon Station, so I took the stairs down to a newly-built underground passage. There were a big supermarket, a coffee shop, a flower shop and a bookstore — guess where I headed…

Perhaps it was the bright orange cover or the provocative title that made me read the blurb that transformed me in moments into an avid seeker of my limitations:

“Manson makes the argument that human beings are flawed and limited. As he writes, “not everybody can be extraordinary—there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault”. Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them—this, he says, is the real source of empowerment.”*

It struck me that I couldn’t name my limitations. I could say “well, I’m not good at … but that’s not a limitation, it’s because I’m not interested in that,” making the case that if only I wanted it enough, I could do it.

This. is. tiring!

Ignoring our limitations to avoid blame and shame.

Denying our limitations so we won’t have to face our fears and wounds.

Rejecting our limitations so we don’t have to expose ourselves to the vulnerability that awaits outside our comfort zone.

The poetry of recognising and naming your limitations

begets your ability to ask for help so you won’t feel alone,

grows a sturdy body of confidence to take rest in when you need it,

lilts your resistance into ease and joy

so you can feed more energy into what you’re good at.

If we focus on denying our limitations we’re fretted into painful pieces by the effort, and perhaps end up drowning in complaining about a reality that should have been.

But if we’re devoted to what matters most moment-to-moment we allow it to shape itself into truthfulness in the physical reality, to hold us in a yearned-for safety, to unfold and show us unexpected landscapes that will satiate our heart.

Devotion is not just a practice of faith. It’s giving yourself to cultivating a discernment that helps you wake up from the thinking that only through more effort you can crack this one.

I often help my clients recognise their limitations — for example in accepting what they can’t accept or the fact that they are trying to be someone who is only an idealised image of the mind — guiding them instead to open up to what is empowering, nourishing and expansive.

I have 2 spots coming free in my Life Alignment coaching — is this for you?

If you are hesitating or are not sure whether this can help you come out of stuckness, feel at ease in your own skin and deepen your self-trust — get in touch.

I offer a free call to help you understand how Life Alignment can work for you. Not everyone needs coaching but sometimes you do and you’re not even aware that this can speed up your process or help you where everything else failed. The free call is an opportunity to see if we have a heart-to-heart connection and for you to get a sense how you can reawaken your capacity to be where you want to be in your life.


Shelly's helping women who live a connected & engaged life to heal old wounds, deepen their self-trust so they can be an authentic expression of themselves.

Learn more about Life Alignment

Photo by Joe deSousa on Unsplash


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