Since childhood our relatives and educators have told us that the world is ours for the taking. They have convinced us that simply by setting our mind to something, we can achieve what we desire. The fact of the matter is that this is not reality. We, as humans, are limited in what we can achieve. No matter how hard I try I can never grow wings and learn to fly. No matter how dedicated I am, if I am tone deaf I will never be a famous singer. We are not these malleable creatures that can be molded to meet our dreams and expectations for the future. We are limited.
So what are we really teaching children by convincing them of this? We are teaching them about failure. We are teaching them to put themselves out there and try without preparing them for the potential fallout. In the future, when they fail and are broken because of it, we tell them the truth about life. We tell them to try their best. We say that life is not fair. We begin to rebuild them to be prepared for failure at every turn.
when I was a little girl, my father told me I was smart and told me to always try my best. I knew I wasn’t perfect and couldn’t go very far. I knew my family was not wealthy and I couldn’t have a pony if I wanted one. I was realistic in my expectations about my future and how far I could go in this world.
Coming into the age I am now, I begin to see the world ahead of me. I see possible jobs and careers and what it would take to get there. I understand requirements and per-requisites for the opportunities I am looking into. I understand that for every position only one person can get it and that I am one of many trying to get it. I am realistic in which jobs I am suitable for and which steps I am capable of taking. I am limited.
The world is limited. Opportunities are limited.
No one should expect you to go out into the world and be everything or to succeed at everything. Instead, they should expect that you try your best and know your limits and potential. The people who have those expectations of you are the people you should keep close to you. And the people who expect the world from you are those you should keep at arms length because those are the ones who will make you feel like a failure for being limited. You are not a failure simply because you are limited! It is in accepting our limits that we can better prepare ourselves for the world.
The limit does exist and we need to know that.