Fail, fail, fail, fail, succeed

Acknowledging Your Limitations

This is difficult for even the most self-aware among us – in part because it’s hard to see our limitations. But we all have them, and as painful as it is, it’s good for us to face them.

Understanding what they are not only helps us understand our weaknesses, it also helps us recognize our strengths. But first let’s unpack what a limitation is.

It seems to me that there are two kinds of limitations – the first is the kind you can’t change, the second is the kind you can. For example, there are intellectual and cognitive limitations for all of us beyond which we can’t go. It’s important to realize that, for the most part, this is something you can’t change.

Then there are limitations in your ability to do something or perform a task. Often, this is something you can change. Perhaps you have a language limitation – studying and practice can overcome this, at least to a point.

But there’s a third perspective, which is this: sometimes falling short just means you have spread yourself too thin. Even though we might like to think we can be effective at whatever we get involved in, the reality is our time and energy are finite resources. You can’t excel without putting in the time and effort.

My point here is this: none of us are perfect and it’s good to understand our limitations so that we can maximize our contributions to life. Don’t beat yourself up – figure out what went wrong, fix it, learn and move on.