• Akhila Balasubramaniam

Breaking the invisible upper limit

Photo by Jázon Kováts on Unsplash

Ever accomplish something that you're proud of and then get this thought, "It can't get better any than this!"?

So instead of aiming higher the next time, you strive to "maintain" this level. The idea of creating something better than what you've done is crazy.

We create an invisible upper limit for ourselves.

For instance, if I've exceeded my expectations in a dance performance, I feel as if that was a miracle and that's my new limit. I know that this is not "the maximum", but I tell myself that it's "my maximum".

We hold certain beliefs about our calibre and when we surpass those, we can't fathom that there is any more space for growth. It's as though we've climbed a ladder and now our heads are bumping against the ceiling.

Of course, I see other dancers who are floors above me. My justification is "They are amazing but that’s out of my league".

This ceiling manifests in so many aspects of our life. Maybe to you, it is "I can’t expect to earn more than this for my level. This is the limit".

And my favourite and the most furtive barrier is in relationships. "I can’t meet someone better than him/her. Nothing can better than what we had!"

No, that's not me. I overheard someone talk 😇

Why do we feel this way?

When we've reached a certain level of competence, that becomes our home ground.

We've seen what we're capable of and it assures us to continue at this level. The familiarity of home is comforting. When you aim higher, you expose yourself to growth. And that is uncomfortable as hell.

Sometimes we get extremely uneasy and perhaps lonely, and we want to step down a level. We question ourselves if we’ve aimed for something more than what we're capable of.

The discomfort will tell you that you’ve been an idiot for leaving your safety net. It’s going to taunt you by showing others who didn't leave the safety net and are perfectly content. Wherein, you, the arrogant fool thought you’re too cool for that.

But that’s the whole point of growth. Initially, it's not meant to be within your capacity, you have to grow to its capacity.

Is it worth the struggle?

Without question, yes!

This mental block only has as much power as we give it. The opportunities in the universe are boundless. We're blessed to see people breaking records all the time, it's only a matter of conceiving that it can be you.

This invisible upper limit does nothing but block any means of progress in your life. Holding on this belief will make you underperform and seek for mediocrity.

Progress is not a scarce resource. In any aspect of your life and wherever you are in the journey, there is no ceiling. It's all open sky. The pain of growth is uncomfortable but is undoubtedly more preferable to the pain of stagnation.

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