I am looking forward to the day I will run on my favorite trail.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this phrase as I recover from heel surgery. The good news is that my recovery is going well, and, my doctor assures me that I will be able to run and do all the other fun things I like to do.

So why am I contemplating the words, “you are getting older?” As I encounter people along this recovery journey, some of them not-so-helpfully like to tell me that I can’t (or shouldn’t) run anymore, because, well, “you are getting older.”

This is a limiting belief.  Or to put it another way, this is a way of seeing that limits the possibilities of what we think we can do. In my case the limiting belief is being imposed by others. Should I begin to believe them, I would be limiting my own options of performance.

Some might say they are just being realistic. It’s not. Approaching life from the lens of “you are getting older,” narrows our choices.

A more realistic approach to a challenge would be to ask the question, “recognizing the real limitations, what can I do now to get to my goal?” Or, one could ask, “if my goal is far off, what steps can I take today to get closer?” Or, “I have this (specific) limitation, so what else can I do?” And always good to ask, “what am I learning about myself in this situation?”

Answering these questions can help us recognize the opportunities we have before us. They can help us re-frame what might be frustrating (in my case recovery from surgery) so that we approach the challenges before us with the ability to see opportunities and options.

What limiting beliefs have you noticed in your own life or work? A good coach will help you talk through them.

Meanwhile, I invite you to spend a bit of time contemplating these questions. And please, let’s not be the people who try to put limits on what those around us can do!