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By Alana Gregg, MA

I feel like we all struggle with having physical limits. It is a humbling thing to admit that we can’t do it all or that we have flaws. It feels like we’re admitting that we are incompetent or broken somehow. So we hide it. We pretend that we are ok and take on more, all while hiding the fact that we are drowning. 

It seems like our culture pushes this need to be strong and have it all together too. We so often compare ourselves to others (especially on social media) that it perpetuates this need to be perfect and digs us in even deeper. We only ever post pictures of us looking good or doing well. Very rarely do we see people admit that they are struggling. So we assume that we must be the only ones who feel overwhelmed sometimes.

What would happen if we all started to admit that we are human and accept our physical limits? Here are 8 ways that embracing your physical limits can benefit your life:

1. It will decrease your anxiety

Think about how much stress and anxiety we add to our lives when we believe we have to be super human to have value or worth. That means I have to constantly be “productive” and add more to my plate. I can certainly never say no or take time to rest because that means that I am failing or falling short in some way. Imagine being able to accept that I have limits and only take on things that I have the time and energy for.

2. It will improve your relationships

If I can accept that I have limits then that will help me accept that others have limits too. It might make me less judgmental because I will be able to consider what someone else might be experiencing that impacted their mistake or bad choice. I will have a lot more grace and understanding for the people in my world because I will remember that they may be struggling too. I may also be more willing to accept responsibility for my part in a conflict instead of being quick to blame the other person. This does not mean that we are excusing patterns of harmful behavior but it does mean that we can give people the benefit of the doubt. We would want to be shown that same grace.

3. You will be able to ask for help

If I can accept that I have physical limits then I will be more likely to ask for help because it will feel more like sharing my load than it would weakness. As a culture, we praise being self-sufficient, but in reality we are all dependent on someone for something. No human being grew themselves. As one author said, we all have belly buttons!

4. It will help you be kinder to yourself

It is a lot easier to show ourselves grace when we set realistic expectations for ourselves. If we expect ourselves to be the perfect parent or be perfect at our jobs, then we set ourselves up for disappointment. But if we expect ourselves to do the best we can and learn from our mistakes, then we have a lot more room for self-compassion. 

5. It will help you be more present

If I don’t need to constantly prove myself by being productive, then I will have more time to live in the present. I can focus on the things and people that are in front of me instead of being distracted by the things that are on the to-do list that didn’t get done. It will make it easier to turn off the work phone or emails because I know that all that work will be waiting there for me tomorrow, but I only have this moment today. I can’t change the past and I can’t control the future, but I can control what I do right now. 

6. You will compare yourself to others less

Teddy Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” And even though we know this, we all do it. There is always going to be someone better looking or someone that does it better. But when I focus on myself and my own journey then I won’t be robbed of the joy that contentment brings.

7. Your identity will be more than your problems

It is so easy to be consumed by the things we are struggling with that they become part of our identity. But our problems or disorders should be more like a description of a part of us than a label. For instance, instead of saying, “I am an anxious person”, I can say, “I struggle with anxiety” because anxiety does not define who you are.

8. You will find joy in the process

So often we want to skip right to the end of the story where we become good at a new skill or we know how things play out. It would be easier that way, for sure. I think it’s because we want to avoid the fear and insecurity of not knowing. But life does not work that way. We did not learn how to walk and talk in a day so why would we expect ourselves to automatically be good at anything else? 

In reality, we are human beings that need to eat, sleep, drink, rest, and connection. Why do we expect our bodies to run like machines? We have physical limits not because we are flawed but because that’s how we were made. 


Get Help

If you are struggling with letting go of the need to be superhuman, our trained counselors at Lime Tree Counseling want to help you find more balance and peace. Maybe you need help setting more boundaries or maybe you need help letting go of beliefs that are no longer serving you. We would love to provide a safe space for you to process what you need. We provide grief counseling, anxiety counseling, and trauma counseling. We provide online counseling in Pennsylvania or North Carolina as well as in-person counseling to the Lower Gwynedd area of PA. Contact us today to schedule a session or a free 15-minute phone consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!