Defining Your Own LImits | Teen Ink

Defining Your Own LImits

July 25, 2013
By kenzie_treub DIAMOND, Orlando, Florida
kenzie_treub DIAMOND, Orlando, Florida
60 articles 0 photos 11 comments

When people are children, they have an egocentric mindset. For the most part, they believe those around them are the cause of all their problems. As far as children are concerned, the limits that restrict them are beyond their control; nothing is their fault. Once upon a time, when I was very young, I believed that the bounds that held me back were created by a power beyond my control. In short, I played the blame game. I was perfect; nothing was my fault. Generally, I felt that I was incapable of flaws. Honestly, I held this belief up until several years ago. The parameters that kept me from achieving my goals were never my own creation. These mystical powers kept me from getting on the basketball team, restrained me from being awarded principal researcher, or simply kept me from receiving an A on my exams. None of this was ever my fault. I could never do anything to change my fate; it was out of my hands. I was incapable of achieving my dreams; I had no power against my boundaries.

During my childhood, I believed this idea to be true, but I’ve grown up a great deal since then. I’ve come to realize that my limits are all my own creation, at least to a certain extent. All the objectives that I told myself I couldn’t complete, all the accomplishments that I found myself incapable of achieving due to others’ wrongdoing, these limits were mostly all in my control. I have realized that I had the ability to change my fate. I used to believe that fate was out of my hands, but now I know that this is far from the truth. If I don’t like my life, I can change it. It’s all in my power; I just have to pony up and make a change. My life is in my hands; I have to take charge and deal with my own problems. It is no one else’s responsibility to take care of me and to clear an even path for me either. I don’t get to hire a personal assistant to dive into my struggles for me. Life isn’t as simple as that. Ultimately, life isn’t fair

How can you define limits? According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, a limit is “something that bounds, restrains, or confines.” However, a limit is not something that traps. In no way are limits unsurpassable. A new study was published last year on stress in female adolescents. Researchers believe that “girls whose mothers were stressed during their daughters’ infancy grew up to experience more anxiety than others” (Hoffman). In my opinion, this is highly controversial. Is it really fair to say that stressed mothers lead to stressed children?

To be fair, aren’t all mothers stressed during their child’s infancy? Raising a toddler isn’t easy, and it’s ludicrous to believe that this anxiety has any correlation with the child’s happiness. The fact of the matter is that it is in no way the parent’s fault that the child is unhappy due to his or stressed out mother. While there may be contributing extraneous factors to the child’s self-destructive behavior, it is ultimately the teenager’s choice to get better. They have the power to change their life. They can choose to make an effort to be happier. Everyone has the chance to improve his or her life. In this case, they have no right to blame their misfortune on their parent. Their choices led them to where they are, and they have the opportunity to make new choices to lead them away from the mess they’ve gotten themselves into.

My limits are all my own creation. Remember when our elementary school teachers always banned the use of the word, “can’t?” It turns out that this is a surprisingly good rule. Anything I say that I can’t do, I really can. It’s all a matter of perception. If I believe that I can do it, I’m already halfway there. Once you believe that something is doable, the limits that you once imagined miraculously seem to dissipate. As silly as it may seem, I think about past experiences that I had as a child. I “couldn’t” tie my shoes; I “couldn’t” reach the top of the jungle gym. However, astonishingly I accomplished these feats. Astoundingly, all the restrictions that seemed so steadfast and unwavering magically evaporate once they’re deemed feasible.

Perspective is a remarkable thing. What seems impossible to one person might be a simple activity for another. How is it that people like Hoffman find it plausible that a teenager’s mood is directly affected by the mood that his or her mother was in when he was a toddler? These limits are so clearly defined at first glance, but later it becomes clear that the limits one defines are simply mental blocks created due to fear. People are afraid to make the effort to try out for the basketball team, they’re too afraid to apply for principal researcher and they’re too apprehensive to make the effort to study for their exam. Fear and brute laziness restrain people from pushing their limits and accomplishing something truly significant.

Every obstacle in my path is something I can overcome. It may take immeasurable time and effort, but in the end it is possible. It’s worth it. My limits are of my own creation. While it is true that I can’t stop the rain, I can learn to dance in it. That is, I can make the best of the situation and find ways around my limits. Sometimes I just have to wait for a brighter day before I face my newest challenge. The truth is there are limits to life, and many of them aren’t going to be surpassable. You may never grow wings to fly, or gills to breathe underwater, but one thing is inevitable. You will always find the tools to do the things you’ve dreamed of doing.

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