Beyond The Limit Krystal Buettner

What’s your passion and what are your motivations to pursue it? What gets you excited to go beyond the limit, and beyond the standards that society sets for you? What fuels your energy, where does your happiness come from? Do you find it in art, in music, in mathematics or science? Do you find it in teaching others, in Religion, or maybe even in running? Whatever your passion is, fight for it, pursue it, and push yourself further beyond the limit of mediocre every single day. Set goals, reach them, overcome them, and always continue to set more.

There’s only one thing that keeps us from the passions and goals that we set for ourselves, and that is the limits we allow into our minds. You may be questioning, What are my limits? Well, common limits people set for themselves often include fear of failure, fear of success, or fear of the unknown. For every person, their limits may be something different, or it may be a mix of many. To identify your own limit, start by asking yourself, Where do I usually back off when pursuing something I’m interested in? What’s my stopping point in my motivations? Once you can answer those questions, you will find your limits. Push past them–to make yourself uncomfortable, stretch your abilities, and fight to move past the things that are holding you back.

When asked, “Where do you find limits in pursuing your passion?” Kirsten, a Stout student, replied by saying, “In the approval of others.” She explained that sometimes she gets so caught up in what others think that she puts her own ideas on the backburner in order to please those around her. A common tendency in much of today’s society. We often strive to please others so much that we forget to please ourselves and pursue what makes us happy and motivated. Kirsten was then asked, “How have you overcome this limit or how are you working to overcome it?” to which she replied, “I have given all things up to God, realizing I can do none of these in my own power at all.” She continued on to say, that by staying aware of the limit and fighting to not let it limit her is a day by day task. Some days are good and some days are hard but she knows that she can overcome them by letting the Lord renew her heart each day.

You may be wondering, How am I supposed to overcome the limits I have set for myself–the limits that society has placed in front of me? For starters, don’t try to do it alone. Get a friend or a mentor and share your goals and your passions with them. Allow them to hold you accountable and push you further than you would naturally push yourself. Share your passion with them and grow together. As Steve Bloom shares, having someone there as an accountability partner helps you to balance the negative thoughts about pushing beyond your limit with positive, motivating thoughts. Commit to more than you normally would–tell yourself that you are going to do more than you’re even sure you can (Bloom 2017). Set high standards for yourself and strive to meet them; once you do, continue to set them higher and you will always go beyond the limit. It will be hard and frustrating, but if you only ever stick to one goal, you will never go further than the limit. You will become complacent and ultimately your motivation will decline.

Don’t just have an accountability partner or a motivator, but also seek out others who have been where you are and have pushed past the limits to be where you want to be. Look at their progress, take note of their motivations and goals, and set those for yourself. Never stop learning from others. Look at how they failed, how they fell short of their goals and did not meet their limits, and take note of how you can avoid failing in the same ways. When answering the question, “How have you overcome your limits?” Kirsten replied, “God uses the people around me to ask questions at the right time to motivate me to do the things I need to do, the things they know that I fall short in.” Kirsten strongly encouraged staying in constant communication with others and allowing what they have gone through to speak into your life. Allow them to help you with the battle that you are going through, that they have already overcome.

Find your inspiration–the thing that really drives you and gives you energy. It may be a quote, a song, or a certain place. Cling to that and don’t let go. Strive to stay motivated in the challenge to overcome, and the reward will be that much brighter and that much more worth it. Be clear in your goals. Write them down and focus on reaching them. As you look back on the list, it will inspire you to be able to share how you have reached those goals that you set for yourself. Having them written out gives you a tangible way to stick with your dreams, and to see where your passion lies. Success is about having the right attitude–you must persist and persevere in order to stay motivated (Hanna 2012). Don’t allow yourself to fall into believing the lies of those who are against you. There will always be someone who will try to bring you down, but stay encouraged and remember to turn to your accountability partner, and your motivators to stay above the hate and lies.

Find your weaknesses. The things that limit you, that hold you back–the lies that you allow yourself to believe. Without addressing and working on those weaknesses, they will continue to hinder the process of overcoming the limits you have set (Bloom). If you don’t know what your weaknesses are, there are many ways that you can find them and learn how to understand and improve upon them. Start by pausing and reflecting on areas in which you know you would like to grow. These could be some of your areas of weakness. Ask others what areas they feel you could develop in. It will be hard and uncomfortable to admit and overcome your weaknesses, but it will be worth the reward.

Is it really worth the risk, the motivation, the time, and the effort to work towards these goals to go beyond the limit? Well, yes! To show you how, we are going to look at some personal stories of how different people have used one, some, or all of these recommendations to help change their lives and go beyond the limit.

When interviewing with Stout students, Kirsten and Sarah, four questions were asked about their passions, motivations, limits, and weaknesses. The first question was, “What are some of the limits that hold you back from pursuing your passion?” Kirsten answered, “The approval of others, finances, my family, and my tendency as a human being towards comfort and laziness.” She went into detail, explaining that her finances limit her because she desires to finish college. She is paying for it on her own and doesn’t have the means to support herself in this stage of life. She then explained that her family limits her because she has a great desire to reach the world with the Gospel, which they do not support. Sarah, the second interviewee, was asked the same question, to which she responded, “Fear of failure is huge as an art student, being a perfectionist stops you from even trying in the first place.” Sarah also explained that she has a fear of what other people think of her, which limits her from being 100% herself. These fears limit her in expressing herself through her art because she is afraid that others won’t understand the meaning and passion behind her work.

These limits that Kirsten and Sarah have shared are very common among today’s society. The next question asked shines light onto how they have been working to push past them. The question was, “How have you overcome or how are you working to overcome your limits?” Kirsten replied, “All of my limits, I have given up to God and I let Him renew me every day.” She went on to explain that she had tried for many years to overcome her limits in her own strength, and time and time again she failed. When she realized the power of having a relationship with God, she was able to overcome the limits that were set before her. With the limits set by her family, she stated that she has to be open to having hard talks with them, speaking truthfully about how she is feeling, and choosing to love them throughout the process. When asked the same question, Sarah replied, “With each of the limits of fear specifically, surrendering it to God.” Sarah explained that she tried to conquer her fears on her own, but was never able to deal with the root issue of what was stopping her from reaching her full potential. Instead, she gives it up to God in prayer and allows him to work through her to overcome. Lastly she stated, “Don’t quit, if you fail at something once, try again – persevere.”

When asked, “What are some things that motivate you to pursue your passion?” Kirsten replied, “Knowing that in this world right now, all these things will come to pass, the full and true satisfaction that the Lord can give me doesn’t compare to anything temporary here on earth. Knowing that I am truly who I am meant to be when I am closet to the Lord.” Kirsten was very clear in her response that her greatest passion was living her life in the way that God has intended by fully relying on Him for all things. Sarah stated that she has many motivating factors: “I’m passionate about God, my degree in graphic design, friendships, coffee and so much more!” Sarah encourages that if you are passionate about something, it is rewarding to you. She said, “I look back at who I used to be and who I am now, and with God being my greatest passion, it is incredibly rewarding.” The things that you are passionate about are things that you want to continue to learn and grow in, and in the end, that is always rewarding.

The last question was, “Do you know your weaknesses? How have you been able to overcome them?” Kirsten quickly responded with, “Yes! I know some of my weaknesses, for example I am highly indecisive.” She explained that overcoming her weaknesses is a day-to-day process that you have to continue to choose to work at. Being bold and deciding to work on improving your weaknesses is one of the greatest battles that you can overcome. Sarah also quickly responded saying, “Yes I do know my weaknesses! For me, they are being super insecure, overcommitting myself, setting high expectations that I can’t meet, managing time, and being afraid to try.” These are all very relatable weaknesses that many struggle with. She replied that she has been able to overcome her weaknesses by allowing God into them. “He always show up and is able to help me overcome my weaknesses,” said Sarah. It truly depends on how you look at your weaknesses: if you are simply looking at them as weaknesses, then they will seem big and powerful. But, if you look beyond them at the bigger picture, they will seem insignificant because you have something bigger and more powerful to focus on.

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