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Accept No Limitations

Breaking free from the limitations other place on you.The next time someone tells you that your idea is stupid and will never work, that the business idea you have can’t be done, that you don’t have the knowledge to make happen what you want to happen, you have my permission to tell that person to shove off and crawl back to the cave they live in.

Accept no limitations.

I’ve seen people come out of the ghettoes of the U.S. and amass great fortunes.

I’ve seen people be the only ones to leave their tiny towns and cross the sea to live in an entirely new and opposite culture, and thrive.

I’ve seen people buy in to the crap that they are endlessly fed and never get anywhere in life, blaming others for their own lack of responsibility and success.

When I was in AA I was taught the Serenity prayer. It’s a non-religious thing so bear with me as it’s relevant to this post. It goes like this:

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Let’s break it down.

Accept The Things I Cannot Change

If being a father has taught me anything yet it’s that I cannot control someone else. It’s not going to happen. Yes I can influence my daughters actions but ultimately my little girl is a completely separate human being and has her own mind. And she lets me know that on a regular basis.

Being a parent is simultaneously the most awesome and most frustrating thing ever. Still if you can afford it and will accept the major responsibility it’s really the best thing in the world. But I digress.

When I was in AA I learned that a lot of the frustration I had when drinking was that I would continuously try to control that which I could not – pretty much everything outside of myself.

So today when I get frustrated I turn to the second part of the serenity prayer:

Courage To Change The Things I Can

What I have full control over, the one thing that I can change is my world, the world I create by the decisions I make. Outside of that all bets are off.

I’ve found that there are a lot more things you can remove from your life if you are willing to do so.

Here are a few:

People that won’t pay your rates.

You might not hear this often but here’s a fact – there are more potential clients out there than there are you. It’s a matter of finding the right ones. That can take some time. But I’ve found through building 3 service-based businesses that one wrong client can sink your ship. I’ve fired clients for being disrespectful to me and my team.

If someone doesn’t have the money to pay for your products or services that isn’t a value judgement, it’s a fact. It’s also a fact that you deliver a certain level of value that you put a price on. It’s a waste of your time and there’s communicating if they cannot afford or won’t pay what you’re asking.

Again, there are more potential clients out there than you, it’s just a matter of finding and attracting them.

Negative people

Get rid of these people as quickly as possible. There’s already enough negative crap going on in the world and you don’t need someone bringing any more into your world as you need a hole in your head. Miserly loves company, but don’t be that company.

Now every day is peachy keen and we all have bad days. So before telling someone to get an attitude adjustment and come back after they do so, determine if this is an isolated incident or part of a pattern that shows no signs of stopping.

Anyone that doesn’t respect you or your time, whether they are paying you or not.

In my web development business I fired a client for being disrespectful to my team. A year before I started that business I quit an IT job because my employer claimed that he had control over me and could say whatever the hell he wanted and I had to deal with it.

Whether someone is paying you or not, there is no need to be rude and disrespectful. Again, there are more potential clients than there are you.

And for me, ff they are paying you it’s even more disrespectful that they believe they can treat you like crap merely because they’re paying you. I don’t live in that world and neither do you. Don’t think for a second that you have to put up with that crap.

The Wisdom To Know The Difference

This is the key to it all and sometimes difficult to discern. Basically it comes down to knowing yourself and being able to step back from a situation and see if you are reacting or responding. If you’re reacting then the situation may be controlling your emotions. It is then time to take a step back and take a deep breath before taking action.

I’m not going to tell you that this is easy. We’re all human after all, and emotions are strong. Our lizard brain takes over and triggers a flight or fight response. But if we can recognize that and take a step back, we can respond rather than react, making a positive rather than a negative change.

Accept No Limitations

So the next time someone tells you you can’t do something don’t listen. Ceaseless forward motion and learning will always get you ahead. Let them stay behind in their sad little world.

There’s no need for you to stay with them. And you deserve much better.

Comments

  1. Hi Robert,
    How kind of strange to see the Serenity Prayer here. But that was brilliant, that you were able to relate it to business and to life in general.
    I’ve had this prayer with me for years written in a little notebook. Whenever I read it, I’m always confronted with the question of, how will I know the difference? Well, I guess it’s an ongoing process. With practice, we may get better at it.
    We cannot control people and things but we can control how we respond to them.
    Thanks for sharing your insight. Have a nice day!

  2. Totally agree. I once had an IT idea of which the it-support people said: “completely impossible”. 1 year later it was in production.

  3. The Serenity prayer is a wonderful prayer. And powerful wisdom to live by.

    It is worth repeating.

    Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

    Robert is right to insist on moving out of relationships that don’t give. But for every bad apple that you toss, make three new friends. You may have to connect with 100 people to find those three, but the opportunity is there thanks to Facebook, Twitter, etc.

    How many people did you connect with today through Facebook comments, blog comments, Twitter, or email?

    Recently on my blog: Do you ignore the road signs too? And other social media DOHs. http://wp.me/pbg0R-rq

  4. Life is too short to let people drag you down. Unfortunately more than a few will do so- doesn’t matter what the reason is- too little time to let them hurt us.

  5. How I love that great prayer, thanks for your post, I could not agree more.
    Just the other day I was quoting it to my mother who is 87 and cannot accept getting older and frailer, not being able to do some things any longer and taking ages for others. Sometimes she vents her frustration at those closest and honestly it takes a lot of respect not to blow up!
    So, maybe I was using the quote more for myself: I cannot change her situation, but I can try to make her life more pleasurable, (take her on a road trip to Italy), respect myself (know my limitations, not so easy) and have the wisdom to keep quiet (very hard).
    So, next time I will take your advice and “step back from a situation and see if you are reacting or responding. If you’re reacting then the situation may be controlling your emotions. It is then time to take a step back and take a deep breath before taking action.”
    Thanks again and have a wonderful day, Barbara

  6. Well done Robert, only took me 10 thousand gallons of bourbon to figure out I couldn’t change people, places or things…all I could change…..was me. Great post, makes me proud and grateful all at the same time.

  7. Nicely done Robert. I relate to this post as you know already. ;) I have been working on cutting out unhealthy people from my life, so this post is very timely for me.

    I cannot control or change anyone but myself. I change constantly.

    I left a job where i felt I was not only not valued but being blatantly disrespected. I do not need that in my life. I now have a new job, and am continuing to freelance.

    I am also working on an e-book for women in abusive relationships to show them that they can leave. I have already done it. It is scary but it is possible.

    I could go on, but I won’t. Have a great day Robert.

    • Thank you for your comment Nancy. When abusive relationships, be they at work or in our personal lives, become the norm and we adjust our lives to them they become extremely hard to leave. As you say though it’s possible. From what I’ve seen though it requires help. Thankfully I have people in my life that help me to see these relationships for what they are and make a hasty exit. I’m very happy to hear the same is true for you and that you are turning that into a positive experience and helping others. That’s awesome.

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