Sunday, 20 November 2011

Pushing your limits and respecting your limits

Well hello again! It's been a while! Let's just say I've been busy trying to fit everything into my schedule. I keep adding stuff to my schedule and sometimes it's difficult to drop things to make sure I have sufficient time to relax, but I'll get there...

I have become a great fan of pushing my limits, of not letting my fears define me. In the last few years, I have made it a point of doing things that I have avoided out of fear: fear of being judged, fear of not being capable of doing it, fear of not fitting in, fear of failing. I always get a thrill out of doing something that I never thought I could do, just to name a few : being in a play, accepting to be myself even if it means that I am different, allowing myself to be vulnerable rather than trying to be perfect, doing interviews and, of course, running! This quest to conquer my fears is not over, because there are still quite a few out there.

That being said, wanting to overcome your fears sometimes means that you want to do a lot of things and that you need to find time, you need to organise your time around new goals, new priorities, and it is not always easy, which is where another principle comes into play, respecting your limits. I have always been a great believer in that principle, sometimes it has played tricks on me because it has made me put limits on things that I was avoiding out of fear rather than because they were real limits. It means that I avoided going swimming out of fear of being judged because I was fat (and made myself believe that being too fat was a limit), it means that I dropped a class once because there was an oral presentation to do (my "limit" was that I was too shy), it get the point.

These days I'm continuing to overcome my fears with the following goals : to run a half-marathon at the end of April, to do a triathlon in August, to do courses related to intervention in criminology and to get clinical experience next year. Among the fears I need to overcome to reach those goals : running in colder weather, buying a bike and learn to take care of it, swimming in open water and of course to doing face to face interviews.

To achieve these goals I need to follow the plan, but I need to respect my limits. It means I have to drop volunteering (this will be done at the end of December) to get some more free time, it means I need to say NO at work when the schedule doesn't fit with my plans (this week would have been a good time to do that), it means I need to stay sane by making time to be with friends (whether they call me or not), it means I need to take time to just relax and do nothing (I find this very hard to do), it means I need to forget about having a perfectly neat and organized appartment (this...not so hard!) and it means I have to respect the limits set by my budget (I'm still in denial about the loss of salary caused by my being part-time to go back to school). All of those have been very hard to do lately, and hopefully it will help to write about them.

Finally, to achieve my goals, I need to remember the why's  I need to remember that I'm doing all of this because it allows me to grow, it allows me to enjoy successes and it allows me to just be myself. So there! In the end, I believe it's all worth it and I encourage you to push your limits, but to respect your limits as well.

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