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What’s the circumference of your life?

The other day I was on a graphic facilitation project, when someone shared this quote with the group:
“Man is the center of a circle that has no circumference except the limitations he sets upon himself.” -Mahatma Gandhi

This got me thinking about the circumference of my own circle.

Time and again, I find that the limits I run into are the ones I simply believe are there:

  • “I’m not supposed to. . . “

  • “I can’t. . .”

  • “I shouldn’t. . .”

  • “I won’t. . .”
    These thoughts and limitations we set upon ourselves establish the borders of our own comfort zone.

    But how comfortable is it, really?

    Like the walls of our house or the borders of our town, these are the things that keep us in safe and familiar territory.
    They are also the things that keep us small. Predictable. Boring. Complacent. Mediocre.
    I don’t know about you, but these are not the words I want to use when I think about my own life!

    I don’t want to be mediocre: I want to be miraculous!

    Right now, I’m running into this quandary head-on: I’m shopping for a new car. Looking at model after model, I’ve been noticing an interesting theme: there’s the car that I really want, and yet I’m not allowing myself to look at this car seriously because I think I should look at lesser, lower-cost cars. Keep in mind, there’s no actual reason I need to do this. I can afford the car I want. Dealers have the car I want. And yet, I keep taking myself away from this car and steering myself towards ones I would have selected back in my nonprofit management days nearly a decade ago.
    On one level, it’s kind of silly to see this dance I’m doing with my new car decision. But on a deeper level, it really pisses me off because I can see my own thoughts behind the assumptions I’d been making about the car I should buy. . . and what they are saying about what I believe is possible for myself:

  • “I’m not supposed to. . . drive a nicer car.” I’m not supposed to, because I don’t deserve to have nice things.

  • “I can’t . . . afford the type of car I want.” I can’t, because I can’t trust myself to maintain and grow my successful business. Sure, you’re doing well now, but you’re going to be a failure. That’s who you really are.

  • “I shouldn’t. . . spend the money on a nicer car.” I shouldn’t, because I’m not supposed to be able to afford these things. I’m supposed to be a failure, remember?

  • “I won’t. . . be able to be comfortable owning the car I want.” I won’t be able to, because I’ll know I’m a fraud driving around in a too-nice car. Because I’m supposed to be a failure.
    That’s some insidious, messed-up stuff right there.
    It’s also a carload of crap.

    I’m not taking that crap from anybody. . .least of all my own thoughts!

    I mean, come on! If I were a plant, these thoughts would be akin to keeping me in a thimble-sized pot when what I really need is a five gallon one! My thoughts are doing their level best to keep me root-bound.
    If I were saying these things to a child, I’d want to call child protective services on myself for psychological abuse!
    I know that I am bigger, brighter, bolder, braver, and more beautiful than these limiting thoughts want to let on. I know this because when I let go of my own limiting beliefs — when I catch myself thinking them and release these thoughts to the wind, suddenly I’m accomplishing things I never knew were possible. I’m experiencing things I never dreamed could even be on my horizon! The circle in which I stand expands, ring by ring, as my own thinking expands for what I am truly meant to have, do, and BE.

    We are capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for.

    And it all comes down to how we view the circumference of our lives.
    It can either be a border behind which we must remain, or a threshold over which we must cross, again and again, to experience the miraculous.
    Today, mine is going to be a threshold for test driving the brand new car I really want!
    What’s yours going to be?
    I cannot wait to see what you draw forth,

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    • Posted by Jeannel
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