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Don’t Be Like the Bird Who Was Afraid of Heights

Only human beings have self-imposed limitations. Our perception can sometimes get caught up in a mental roadmap that was drawn by an imaginary cartographer.

Think about this - use your imagination.  You are a bird and you are afraid of heights.  Flying any higher than five or six feet off the ground is out of the question.  Think about the self-imposed limitations.  You cannot fly over the houses to get food you must fly around them.  You cannot sit high up in a tree when the neighborhood cat comes along; you must keep moving from fence post to fence post to stay out of harm’s way.  You cannot have long-term relationships with other birds because you cannot play high in the sky.  All and all your life
is miserable because you are afraid of heights. Of course in reality, birds are
not afraid of heights as it is against the essence of what and who they are. Birds
do not have self-imposed limitations.

Only human beings have self-imposed limitations; and many times those limitations are imagined or exaggerated and are in no way connected to reality. Our perception can sometimes get caught up in a mental roadmap that was drawn by an imaginary cartographer.  Can we actually have physical limitations?  The answer is yes. Can we actually have intellectual limitations?  Again, the answer is
yes.  But, when we look at the world around us we see people with remarkable physical and intellectual capabilities whose performance is truly amazing!  Do
they have limitations?  Of course they do. The difference is they are not self-imposed.

How do we get started on the road to personal growth so we can rid ourselves of self-imposed limitations?  How do we differentiate real limitations from
imagined limitations?  How do we eliminate fear from our emotional library? 
The answer to those questions starts with a personal vision statement.  

Step #1: Write Your Personal Vision Statement

A conventional dream list covers areas of life like family, spiritual, mental, physical, career, social, and financial.  A personal vision statement
is different.  A personal vision statement is strategic in nature.  It is
a word picture of what you want to become at some point in the future.  A personal vision statement is driven by purpose and values and the idea of legacy. A personal vision statement is an exciting and engaging quest, as in the pursuit of something you really want to achieve.  Keep this in mind; a personal vision statement can take months or years or a lifetime to achieve.  The more challenging the vision, the more time it takes to achieve the vision. One closing thought.  Make sure your personal vision statement clearly defines the rewards and benefits you will obtain by making your vision a reality.  If the rewards and benefits are not personally motivating, not strong enough, you will not spend the time required to work on your plan of action. 

Step #2: Write Your Plan of Action  

After you complete your personal vision statement, brainstorm the short and long-term goals that must be achieved in order to make your vision a reality.  As
you do this step, do not think about resources, or obstacles, or what you have
or have not done in the past.  Think this way.  If I write it down, I can do it!

This is an ongoing process.  Setting time aside to work on your personal
development plan is in your hands and your hands only.  And, age is not a criterion for starting. Sixteen or eighty-seven it does not matter, what matters is attitude!  Once you have listed your goals do this for each goal:

  1. Set a target date for achievement of the goal. If you do not achieve the goal by that target date, set a new target date. Never give up on the goal! 
  2. Indentify the obstacles that will prevent you from achieving the goal.
  3. Brainstorm at least three different solutions for each obstacle.
  4. Pick one solution and implement that solution.  If that solution does not
    work, implement the next solution.

The world we live in does in fact impose real limitations on each and every one of us.  As human beings we have plenty of real limitations to cope with on a daily basis. So be like a bird, fly high in the sky and do not inflict imagined limitations on yourself that limit your personal growth and the achievement of your personal vision statement. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Howard Dion August 08, 2012 at 10:37 AM
Thanks, Vic.
Pondeli Hajioannou August 13, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Howard, I like what you have to say. It has been at least in my eyes that we are born fearless. First time we are told NO by our parents starts us down a patch of second guessing ourselves. We follow rules are parents set for us, rules are teachers and schools set for us and rule society sets for us. I cannot tell you in my years as a personal trainer how many people come to me because they want to feel better and have a better body but just really have no idea. Or when I started the Bensalem Business Association and was told my goals where way to ambitios. To me it would seem find the cause of your thinking and good or bad and acknowledge it is the best place to start. Just my two cents.
Howard Dion August 13, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Thanks for reading the article, and thanks for the comment. Much appreciated. Regards, Howard
Fred Birnbaum,DPM August 14, 2012 at 10:34 PM
In my opinion, elimination of fear is just as illusory as one's self-imposed limitations. They are 2 sides of the same coin. I think one must hold both the fear and the fearlessness at the same time, and arrive in a new place doing that. I believe it is one's intention to grow and perserverance in the face of repeated failure that leads to inner change. Fred Birnbaum, DPM, Integrative kabbalistic healer
Howard Dion August 15, 2012 at 10:39 AM
Fred, thank you for the in-depth comment. Personal experience counts! Regards, Howard

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