Limits or Mere Obstacles?

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As I was cruising around the blogs of the Ultimate Blog Challenge this month, I found this post by Teresa Beeman.  She talks about 7 powerful strategies for success.  It was a great post for sure, but the last strategy that really caught my eye.

Here is what Teresa had to say:

Know Your Limits
There is a difference between obstacles and limits. Obstacles can be overcome; limits cannot. There are many obstacles, but few real limits. Look at it this way: a person who is blind cannot drive a car. That is a true limit that cannot be overcome. Knowing what your real limits are will save you from disappointment because you won’t go after that which you will never be able to attain. But once you know and recognize your limits, everything else is a possibility.

Limit or mere obstacleThat got me thinking…

How do you really know your limits?  Too many times, what we think of as limits aren’t true limits.  For instance, although a blind person cannot drive a car, there are many things they CAN do that many thought were limited.  Blind people couldn’t read, so Braille was invented.

Limits Are Self Imposed

Last night, as I was watching a Splash/Dancing with the Stars double header, I was reminded that what are limits to some people are mere obstacles to others.  Doesn’t that mean that limits are truly self imposed?

On Dancing with the Stars, legally blind Brilyn Rakes danced beautifully with Derek Hough. To some, her blindness would be a limit to what she could achieve.  After all, dancers rely on their sight and look in the mirror to make sure that their moves are beautiful and to make corrections.  To Brilyn, her blindness is a mere obstacle.

Here is Brilyn’s beautiful performance:

On Splash, my favorite diving show, there are also participants with limitations.  Trust me, as an Olympic diver, I can truly say that being 7 foot tall like Kareem Abdul Jabbar limits your diving capabilities.  Great for basketball, not for diving.  Kareem cannot change his height.  And weighing 400 lbs like Louie Anderson limits your ability to flip of a diving board without getting hurt.

Yet neither of these fabulous participants let that limit their enthusiasm for flipping of the diving board.  Kareem did a forward one and a half somersaults of 3 meter, while Louie did a rolling back flip.

Limits?  No.  Merely obstacles.

Don’t be so quick to assign yourself a limit.  It may be just an obstacle.  Before we know it, blind people will be self steering driving Google cars and yet another limit bites the dust.

Do just once what others say you can’t do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again.” -James R. Cook

So my question to you and Teresa is:  How do you know if you have a limit or an obstacle?

Let me know in the comments and maybe Teresa can write another blog post about this!

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Daphne Bousquet, CMP

Daphne Bousquet, CMP

For more strategies to make your workshops and seminars more profitable, you’ll want to pick up a copy of the free report "Three Simple Secrets To Making 10K In A Day With Small Workshops." Daphne Bousquet uses her 20+ years of event industry experience to create profitable event strategies and marketing for coaches, entrepreneurs, speakers and self employed professionals that want to grow their businesses with workshops and seminars. She is the creator of the Butts In Seats Virtual Boot Camp, a unique digital course that teaches you how to fill your events with your ideal audience.
Daphne Bousquet, CMP
Daphne Bousquet, CMP
Daphne Bousquet, CMP


  1. As I began reading your post that was exactly the question I was asking myself. How do I know what my limits are. Mostly it is my fear that holds me back not my limits. Thanks for providing this very interesting post and important question. Best Regards, Wendy UBC
    Wendy Bottrell recently posted..Going Gluten Free

    • Daphne Bousquet, CMP says:

      Thanks for chiming in Wendy! I agree, fear is usually the culprit. It is one of the reasons I like Splash so much. I know how scary it is and I love to see them conquer it.

  2. Obstacles! Yuck! They get in the way, become excuses and time wasters but are often just a lack of knowledge or experience about how to do something. Your reference to diving reminded me of my SCUBA experience – I can’t swim, but I did get certified as a SCUBA diver – I do just fine with those flippers and the buoyancy vest! So the instructor and I agreed not to let the obstacle of not being a good swimmer get in the way of an AMAZING set of experiences.

    Liked your article and Teresa Beeman is always good, isn’t she?

    • Daphne Bousquet, CMP says:

      Great example, Christine! I love the fact that you didn’t let the obstacle of not being a good swimmer stand in your way. We can do a LOT more than we think! Congrats!

  3. Kate says:

    oh I cant see the video, im out of the US, but I wanted to say I found a new way to write an article here. I like the way you took an article off someone elses site and referenced it, thats a great way to do it.
    Kate recently posted..Are You Looking For Power Outside Of Yourself?

    • Daphne Bousquet, CMP says:

      Kate, it’s a YouTube video, so it should work everywhere. Glad I could give you some ideas!

  4. Kate says:

    its a US show, that will be why I cant see it 🙂
    Kate recently posted..Are You Looking For Power Outside Of Yourself?

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