KNOW YOUR LIMITS

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Nothing in life is as important as knowing your limits, knowing which goals you can achieve, and which goals you can’t achieve.  You will never know your limits if you don’t know who you are, and what you really want in life.

WHO ARE YOU?

Many people, myself included, have difficulty in answering this simple question for different reasons.  Our answers begin with the name, followed by what we do for a living, and then our status, like married or single with children, or sometimes followed by personality traits, like “I like people.”. This doesn’t give your identity. If you were to ask me why I always describe myself in this fashion, I would say it’s because internal validation is more important to me than an external validation, I know myself, but I don’t have to convince people about who I am.

If you don’t know who you are, how can you do justice to yourself?  People often reduce themselves to a name or a sentence.  You are everything that makes you, both inside and out.  Your identity goes far beyond your name and appearance.  It includes your values, beliefs, and character.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

The only way to determine what you can do is by analyzing your strengths, your weaknesses, and your convictions.  Know what talents and skills you have.  Know what your strong points are, like punctuality, self controlled, hard working, or generous.  Know what aspects of your personality need to improve, those that need more work.

When are you susceptible to temptations?  In what areas could you exercise greater control?  What moral code do you follow, and why? Do you believe in God? What has he done for you? Do you believe in ancestors?  What evidence convinced you of their existence and power?  Or do you believe in both, why?  What convictions do you have about the future?

WHAT DO YOU WANT?

What is your purpose in life, or the meaning of life?  In trying to find the answer don’t attempt to find the larger meaning of life, you will be wasting your time as you may not be able to define the larger meaning of life.  The smaller meaning of life is about your personal goals, your ambitions, and your mission.

BE REALISTIC

Make sure that your goals are realistic.  You can’t have a goal to be a professional basketball player when you’re short.  Setting goals that are difficult to attain may lead to a dissatisfaction about your life.  Make sure that your goals are not subject to various things that have to happen beyond your control.  Nobody knows everything, but each and everyone of us has his or her own areas where he or she excels.

Skills don’t transfer from one arena to another.   A powerful business man is not going to be automatically be a good President.  A good surgeon isn’t automatically a good hospital manager, and being a good economist isn’t automatically going to make you a good bank manager.

You must turn down an offer if it demands skills that you do not possess.  Don’t allow anyone to convince you otherwise.  Say you don’t know.  There’s no shame in saying so, and this doesn’t make you less intelligent.  Do what you can, not what you wish you could.  If you can’t cook just drop the idea of becoming a chef.  Why would you have a goal of owning a restaurant if you can’t stand your neighbor or friend visit, or open a creche when you can’t cope with your own two children?

SUSCEPTABILITY TO TEMPTATIONS

Nothing is as good as a car salesman in convincing people to buy what they don’t need or can’t afford.  Do not succumb to this pressure.  If you go to a motor dealership to buy a second hand vehicle, make sure you buy one.  Why would you buy a Mercedes Benz if you were always behind with your VW golf instalments?  Why would you buy a manual car if you have never driven one before? Don’t listen to a salesman telling you that you can afford it, he doesn’t know all your responsibilities.  Don’t allow him to convince you that with few training lessons you will be able to drive the manual car.  You will damage your car, and you will be frustrated.  Just tell him you can’t.

NO COMMENT

A “no comment” response is not bad at all.  Don’t let people dictate what’s on your mind.  Journalists are very good in pressurizing people to give opinion on subjects that have nothing to do with their expertise.  If you find yourself under pressure to give an opinion on something outside your speciality just say you don’t have an opinion on the matter, rather than embarrassing yourself by pretending you know something when you don’t.  Not having an opinion is not a sign of intellectual weakness.

FOCUS ON WHAT YOU KNOW

Don’t worry yourself with things that are complicated for you.  Focus on what you know best, let all your efforts be directed to something that you good at.  If you don’t have goals you will achieve nothing.  If you don’t know your limits you will follow every advice, set yourself goals that will be difficult to achieve, and achieve nothing.  This may lead to anxiety and depression, as you will begin to see yourself worthless.

YOU CAN CHANGE YOURSELF, BUT NOT OTHER PEOPLE

Our personalities, characters, temperament, values, and predilections change over time.  The reality is that we’ll change almost as much in the future as we have in past.  You can exercise some influence over changes in your personality, but you can’t change other people, not even your partner or your child.  So, avoid goals in which you have to change other people, like a goal to build a business empire with your family.  Your partner or children may not have an interest in that particular business, or any business for that matter.  You can’t force them to change.  Instead this may cause conflicts within your family, and you will achieve nothing, but you will be frustrated.

18 Comments

  1. Most people d not know who they are; true. Unfortunately most of society tries to copy other people because of this reason; even people who don’t know who they are either. This is seen a lo in people who take selfies. I found out who I was the moment I began my relationship with God. He placed s many obstacles in my life, so many trials and lessons I learned that brought me closer to him and most importantly, I foundmy confidence in Him.

    1. Hi Linda,

      Thank you for stopping by.  I highly appreciate your time and comments.  We learn by experience.  I am glad you found and love God – you are fully equipped.

      Have a great weekend.

      Sandikazi

  2. Wow! This us an excellent post that is worthy of being commended. First thing I love most about this post is the fact it is precise and tackles a very alarming issue in our society. Most people fail because they failed to identify their strength s and capitalise on it. Being realistic is a high point for me in this post. It will help reduce unnecessary demands about oneself and as such, there would be freedom to explore our strengths.

    1. Hey there,

      Thank you for stopping by.  I highly appreciate your time and comments.  It gives me great pleasure to realize my little contribution in changing the mindset of our society.

      Have a great weekend.

      Sandikazi

  3. I agree that you cannot change people. Maybe a little you can manipulate their character but fundamentally they will always be the same. With self-awareness it’s easier to know what you can do and what you cannot and this way it’s easier to set goals that will push your limits without being totally unreachable. I like your article because it gives a lot of food for thought and makes you think a lot about yourself and what you are capable of.

    1. Hi there,

      Thank you for stopping by.  I highly appreciate your time and comments.  I’m glad you liked this topic, we do need to look at things from a different point of view.

      Have a great weekend.

      Sandikazi

  4. Great article!

    You have given good points on answering questions about one`s self.  It is funny, sometimes when someone asks who you are, you`re right, you give your name.  But actually, there`s more to it.  We just answer what we can, we cannot answer for others. 

    Knowing one`s purpose is the best thing ever.  I think if you are confident to know who you really are and your purpose, you must really be a happy person.

    Thank you for sharing. All the best!

    1. Thank you Hanna for stopping by.  I highly appreciate your time and comments.  You can be surprised to know how people fail because of not knowing themselves, sometimes competing in areas where they don’t have the required skills – creating unnecessary stress for themselves.

      Have a great weekend.

      Sandikazi

  5. Hi! This was an interesting article. I liked the example of the car salesman. His only goal is to make you buy a car. And we know that before hand. But we still listen to him. We pay attention to what he says because in the midst of his sales pitch he also offers valuable information about the car. But it’s hard to only take the facts and omit the sales pitch. Once he sold the car, do you think he’ll be worried if you damage your car? Politely expressing this may help us not give into pressure. Or the “no comment” option may also be a valid way out. 

    Knowing our capacities may help us make better decisions and not give into pressure. Thanks for the post.   

    1. Hi Henry,

      Thank you for stopping by.  I appreciate your time and comments.  It may be difficult indeed to decide under pressure, but knowing what you really want and what you can afford can save you.  

      Have a great weekend.

      Sandikazi

  6. Dear Sandikazi,

    Thanks for the Great inspiring article! This has to be motivating, not only for me but also for many others.

    Great information on our identity and it’s an eye-opener so it’s not about what others think of me but it’s about what I think of myself is very important. 

    You have asked many important questions in this article and the best thing is you helped me to find out the answers to those questions as well, which is amazing.

    Indeed, sometimes “No Comments” is the best and wise answer we can give. Knowing our limits is a must for everyone and it will help to lead a peaceful & great life.

    This article helped me to do a self analysis and made me to think more on the subject.

    Be the Change,

    Paul

    1. Thank you Paul for reading.  I highly appreciate your time and comments.  I’m glad I could help you.  We do need something to trigger our thoughts from time to time.

      Have a great weekend.

      Sandikazi

  7. Really a great article and I really like the topic, This is definitely a life-changing article and I feel more motivated to reach my goal. Every person should have a purpose and they need to find themselves and I hope this brings more happiness in life. I enjoyed reading the article and it has more valuable tips. It is worthy of reading this article.

    Thank you for sharing such valuable information.

    1. Hi there,

      Thank you for stopping by.   I highly appreciate your time and comments.  It gives me great pleasure to realize the little contribution I make to someone’s life through my writing.

      Be blessed.

      Sandikazi

  8. A friend of mine shared this post with me seeing how I was trying to help her with some personal problems she was having. This is a very well written article with a lot of good information that I can relate to and was trying to explain to my friend. Knowing who you are can determine your outcome in social areas.

    I personally never set lofty goals for myself because smaller ones are easier to obtain. The more goals I reach the easier it is to go after the next one. If I were to answer the question, who are you, I would say that I am a person who loves to learn new things that can help people and then go and help them.

    I have learned a lot of things in my life but not all are things that people could benefit from. However things like how to write website content using SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and then freelancing this knowledge to help small business owners is one of the ways I like to give back.

    Another way is to take my knowledge in natural health and teach people that there is a much better way to vibrant health that does not require prescription drugs. This is an area other than my love of God, that I am really passionate in. Helping people and not expecting something in return is what I am about.

    1. Thank you Robert for your comment.  It really makes me feel good to read comments like yours, knowing that there are still people who care about others, who do things not only for personal gain, but to uplift the next person.  This world needs more people like you.  I hope and pray for your friend to find a solution to his/her problem.

      Keep doing the good work – be blessed.

      Have a great day,

      Ssndikazi

  9. I feel like I do not know myself very much, have always felt that way really. I still don’t know what I actually want to do with my life. It can be depressing to feel like you don’t know yourself and in turn do not know your limits or have your inner voice hold you back telling you your limits are already reached. Sometimes I feel stuck in life like I can’t take any more steps and have hit a wall.

    1. Hi Digger,

      It’s common to feel like that.  What you need to  do is ask a person you trust to tell you what your strengths are, and then develop them.  You must have a passion in something, combine your strengths with it.  There is something in you, of you, that no one have.  That is what you need to find out, and develop it.  There is something special about you – your purpose in life.

      Be blessed more.

      Sandikazi

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