The limits of limitations: Take stock of the rules you set for yourself

Think about the limitations you imagine you have. Do they really exist, or have you set them for yourself? In this article, new dentist Jason Watts describes how he defied expectations and achieved success by ignoring naysayers and pushing himself to new limits.

Society enforces its power through the limitations individuals set for themselves. If these limits did not exist, what would a person be able to achieve? Who established these limits to begin with, and why are they so restricting to most individuals?

Has anyone ever told you, “Just take your time—it will all come together.” Why is it that people always feel the need to tell an individual trying to achieve his or her vision to always slow down? Is it because they couldn’t do it themselves or they never had the drive? How about if you could find that drive... would you?

It was not until I realized my limits that I was able to push past them. The way I discovered my limits was by attempting something I never dreamed possible . . . an Ironman, a triple-sport race encompassing 140.6 miles of swimming, biking, and running. I am not racing to achieve an award—I am racing to achieve the ability to condition my mind past the limit I set for myself.

I have taken this and translated it to my practice too. Two years out of school, I started my own office from the ground up. Against all advice from the bank and many others, I built a practice that scared me. I started with a few more employees than I was advised to, built a space that in no way was recommended, and took out a loan before even attempting to resolve my debt. Nine months later, I have an associate running eight of the ten operatories and tripled my staff to 14 employees. The best part of it all is that I just signed the lease and started construction on office number two . . . yet I am still told to slow down.

Individuals have their own limits they set for themselves. They spend life not challenging them and always seeking an easy alternative. They are right that it is easy to not try, just like it is easy to be pessimistic or lazy. Success is not meant to be a glorious road. Just like in becoming a dentist, there is a weeding-out process. Failure becomes your best friend and sacrifice is the daily routine. The wall you hit—and the way you push through it—is what separates those that can’t and those that must achieve their version of success.

In the end, no one can force you to make the right or wrong decision. No one can slow you down or speed you up. When all the excuses are pushed aside (and trust me, I have made many), you only have yourself to blame or thank. Don’t listen to the naysayers. Write your vision, set your goals, and push your limits.

“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.”—popularly attributed to Henry Ford

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