Five Ways To Cope With Limitations

As I wrote about earlier this week, it’s been a very interesting road to coming to terms with some of my limitations. Identifying my limitations (whether they’re physical, mental, emotional, etc.) is an important part of growth I’m coming to terms with. But the next step is more challenging: how do I cope with these limitations? How do I manage my feelings around them so they don’t make me upset, annoyed or depressed? I found five things I’m going to start trying in an effort to cope with some of my limitations, and I hope these offer some help to anyone looking to do the same!

Name the fact that we all have limitations.

When I get stuck in my head, I tend to forget how similar humans can be. I instinctually embrace cognitive distortions that separate me from every other person in the world, and prop up my challenges as if no one’s ever dealt with them. But that’s not true, is it? Though they might be different, we all have our limitations; it’s part of what makes us human. And even though it might have to become part of my daily routine, saying that fact over and over is one way I can get comfortable with even having limitations.

Recognize how we hold ourselves back.

I don’t always lean into the *inspirational* here on my blog about living with mental illness, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that our minds play a big role in holding us back. This isn’t to say that once you recognize this, everything will change; it’s just to remember that there are added hurdles to coming to terms with our limitations and sometimes, we make create those hurdles ourselves.

Remember that we’re on our own unique timelines.

It’s hard to admit, but I get mad at myself for my limitations. But what I conveniently forget to remember in those moments is that all of my goals, everything I want to do and be, is just for me. I am on my own timeline, and I will get to where I’m going on my own time and in my own way. You might be reading this as don’t compare yourself to others but let’s be honest, it’s human nature to compare. What I’m saying is that there is no comparison to your journey because there is no one like you. And there is power in that.

Set your own standards and goals.

I’m terrible at setting realistic goals, and I’m hoping that by acknowledging this I can start to get to work on changing my attitude toward goal-setting. I find myself getting frustrated for not meeting a vague goal that isn’t rooted in my experience or personality, and that’s because I’m not setting my own standards. Whether I rise to my challenges or fail, I need to make sure they are MY challenges and no one else’s.

Being okay with the fact that you’re not always ready.

Time for the ugly truth, friends: sometimes we’re not ready. Sometimes we know our limits, and we try to push ourselves past that and fall flat on our face. I’ve been working on improving my communication skills in therapy for almost a year, and I am nowhere close to where I want to be – but I’ve made so much progress from where I was. Not every bird is ready to fly the first time they try; not every baby can walk when they try to take their first steps. And that’s okay. Because we can continue to try and continue to grow, and in that way, we are unlimited in the ways we can grow.

These are just a few of the things I found in my research, but I want to hear from you! Are there ways you’ve been able to cope with your limitations, or manage your feelings when you feel limited? Let me know in the comment section!


3 thoughts on “Five Ways To Cope With Limitations

  1. jessymunch826 July 14, 2022 / 11:01 am

    Some things that truly helped me were doing group events like a 3 night 4 day paddle board trip in Utah all with people who did not have a TBI but every persons journey is unique. I struggled some but others struggled more and didn’t have a TBI and been through what I went through. It made me really aware that you can do anything and everyone has struggles and that my TBI did not define me and that I was not holding others back due to my injury.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nathan Smith July 14, 2022 / 3:26 pm

      Sounds like a really cool trip! It’s hard for me to remember that there are areas where people might struggle that come easier to me, I usually think about it in the opposite way (that I can’t do what others can). A good reminder that we’re not always holding people back the way our minds can make us think!

      Liked by 1 person

      • jessymunch826 July 14, 2022 / 4:17 pm

        Totally. That trip made me realize that and think differently. I don’t know until I try

        Liked by 1 person

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