Limitations Keep You Stuck

We all have limitations. That’s just how life works. I will never be a neurosurgeon like my husband, nor will I be an Olympic champion—I know my limitations, and I’m sure you know yours too. But because I know my limitations, there was a time in my life that I would have never even tried something if I believed my limitations would restrict me.

But the older I get, the more I realize that focusing on those things you see as limitations can keep you stuck and stop you from experiencing all the good things life has to offer you. I recently had an experience that solidified this lesson for me.

A few weeks ago, we took a family vacation to Utah and stayed in a rental house just outside of Park City. We travel somewhere in the world almost every year with my best friend from college and her family. It’s always a really fun time.

Since we were going to Utah, I knew there would be hiking, but I wasn’t in the mindset to get myself in shape for it. Coming out of Covid, I just couldn’t get myself motivated to put in the time necessary to make it happen. I reasoned that it was okay because it’s not what I felt like doing, so I didn’t. But when we got to Utah, we still decided to go hiking.

Life Isn’t a Race

One day we took the Bald Mountain hike in Deer Valley, following the Silver Lake Trail. It was only a four-mile hike round trip, but it takes you to an elevation of around 9,000 feet, a gain of 1266 feet over the course of 2 miles.

The hike was hard because I hadn’t trained at all. But I didn’t get frustrated with myself. At the very beginning, we broke up into groups so those who wanted to go faster could go faster and those who wanted to take it slow could take it slow. The plan was to meet up at the end.

Throughout the entire hike, I was just putting one foot in front of the other. I didn’t look at it and tell myself I couldn’t do it because I wasn’t in shape. Instead, I told myself, “I’ll get to the top. It may take me a little bit longer, but I’m just going to put one foot in front of the other until I get there.”

It took me half an hour longer to get to the top than my best friend and her family. And some of my kids even went ahead. And, yes, I was huffing and puffing the entire time. But I was okay with that.

Enjoy a New Perspective

Walking at a slower pace allowed me to see things differently. I enjoyed the incredible views and because I was taking it slower, I could hold onto those views just a little longer. I enjoyed the time—every moment—that was spent getting up that hill. It wasn’t about making it to the top in the fastest way possible. Instead, it was about getting there in whatever amount of time it took. It was about the journey that took me to the top.

As I thought about this experience, it occurred to me that this is a perfect analogy for our lives.

You are Uniquely You

Everyone’s journey up the mountain is going to be a little bit different, and that’s okay.

I’m not trying to run a marathon up a mountain, that’s just not going to be me. Maybe that’s not you either. But I still want to get to the top and enjoy the amazing views that can only be found from that height. The key is to get to the top in the way that works best for you without letting limitations stop you.  

I have learned that with one step in front of the other, we all can get to the top of the mountain following our own path and moving at our own speed.

Of course, when I got to the top that day, I was tired and my muscles hurt because I was out of shape, but I still made it to the top. I had an amazing day, and I was thankful for the experience.

To be honest, a few years ago, if I wasn’t in shape to do something, I wouldn’t have even tried.

But it all goes back to mindset and my mindset is to change the way we see ourselves.

We can do this by focusing on what we want and going after it.

It’s Okay to Do Things Differently

It’s okay if we’re not in shape. It’s okay if we do it differently than others. And it’s okay if we take it slow and move forward at our own pace.

This experience was just another reminder to me of making choices that we feel good about, doing those things we WANT to do without putting limitations on ourselves, spending time with those we love, and really enjoying the amazing views that life gives us.

Above all, never tell yourself you can’t make it to the top because it’s too hard. You can do just about anything you set your mind to.

And the only way to get there—is to climb.

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