The Limits Of The Mind

The Limits Of The MindAs a runner, I deal with physical limitations, physical stress and discomfort. Sure, these limits feel real but are they really? Mostly they are limits of the mind and THAT is what running or any other worthwhile endeavor is truly about… breaking past the limits of the mind.

The Limits Of The Mind

Simply put… our minds prefer to keep us safe. Our minds, when things get hard, like to play tricks on us to not only protect us and keep us safe but also to keep us alive. For the most part our minds are not geared to tolerate prolonged periods of distress in whatever form whether it be physical, emotional, or maybe even financial or career related.

If we were to forever be bound by the limits of the mind we would never venture anywhere voluntarily outside of our comfort zones, and even if we do go beyond that boundary, the mind will do everything that it can (even lie to us) to get right back there as quickly as possible.

But here is the deal… you are always more capable of pushing beyond what your mind thinks (believes) or tells you what is possible. Your mind will tell you things like:

“This hurts too much.”

“You are going to die.”

“This is stupid.”

“You are going to fail.”

“This is pointless.”

“No good will come of this.”

“It’s okay to give up and quit… you tried…”

Lies… all lies…

Being an entrepreneur has been a great challenge for me when it comes to testing the limits of the mind… Trust me, there are days when the idea of giving it all up for a straight (safe) job with a steady (predictable) paycheck is quite alluring… my mind tells me there are easier ways to make a living… it tells me it is okay to give up and quit… it constantly reminds me that failure is STILL an option… It tells me that I am NOT making a difference in my client’s lives or anyone else’s for that matter… It tells me that I am not going to make it…

Again… lies… all lies… I am still here and still going, doing what I love and making a living doing it…

For the past two weeks, I have been playing with a new workout on the track. Two-Mile repeats with a quarter of a mile rest between… Last week I did three of three of them and this week I did four. Of course, there is a warm up and cool down before and afterwards but that part with the repeats… scares me.

Even last night I was thinking about this morning’s workout and the mind was doing it’s thing…  My mind tried to convince me to do a different workout or one I was more comfortable with… it tried to tell me that I really didn’t have to do four repeats as three worked last week just fine.

From a rational point of view, I know that physically this workout is within the realms of reality, meaning I CAN do it… But the mind is whole ‘nother matter as it does not like the “thought” of gutting out four intense sets of two miles at a time. The mind does not want to hurt.

But that is what workouts like this are about… pushing beyond the limits of the mind even though it may be rebelling through the entire thing, to keep pushing so that when it is all over the mind itself is now tricked in believing a new belief about what is possible as opposed to what is not.

You never know what you can do until you actually get out there and do it, and that’s the truth. Sure there will always be limiting factors out there which are external to us that might slow us down or challenge us but never allow the limits of the mind, the one that that you CAN control, be the thing that always keeps your from doing more and reaching your full potential.

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – A Certified Life Coach In Aspen Colorado

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Photo by Andy Wooten 17 May 2016

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