I joined in the On Being a Writer online discussion for the last six weeks and gained a lot from it. [The series, hosted by Kate Motaung, was based on Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig’s book On being a writer: 12 simple steps for a writing life that lasts]
One of the topics that left me thinking was that of ‘Limit’.
Before the issue was raised via this series, I was acting like a spoilt child, asking ‘Why does this have to be my life?”…”Why me?”…
I was seeing, feeling, assimilating the limits that are imposed on me as being debilitating, spirit-crushing, life-sapping.
Then I pondered the prompt, read the responses of the other lovely ladies who joined in and had a major lightbulb moment…
Limits are actually useful for our creativity if we come at them from the right frame of mind.
Now, instead of thinking ‘Oh woe is me, I only have one hour to write”, with this shift in perspective, I’m all “Yay! I have one hour to write! What can I get done in this one hour?”.
I’ve come to relish the challenge and to see exactly how productive I can be in this hour.
The part of me that needs a challenge and some degree of external motivation is excited by this new frame of mind.
I’ve come to my writing hour afresh, with new eyes and more vigour and am loving seeing what I can produce/do in my whole hour.
This fresh perspective on the external limits on my time have kick-started my creativity.
These limits have made me more determined and, because of this new-found determination, they’ve made me more creative.
I’m working with what I have, starting from where I am, instead of kicking myself that nothing is ideal.
It’s been a major wake-up call not only for my creativity but also in other areas of my life. When abundance doesn’t flow, it’s easy to get down, discouraged. But, instead of letting ourselves get discouraged, why don’t we turn it on it’s head?
Think you’re not enough? You don’t have enough?
Start to name the things you do have that you should be thankful for. Start to think how you can maximise the money/time you do have available.
Thinking in ‘haves’ and not ‘have nots’, thinking of limits as challenges, it’ll open up a whole new world of possibility.
What’s the worse thing about limits?
We think they block our realm of possibility. This certainly is the case sometimes, but that doesn’t mean we can’t actively seek – and make the best of – the possibilities that are available to us.
This possibility-based thinking will – through unleashing our innate creativity – lead us out of the walls we build for ourselves.
And the best thing?
Once we’ve tasted what we can do when we’re limited, we won’t seek happiness, contentment elsewhere, we’ll find that we’re happy where we are with what we have, doing what we can do.
We’ll be expressing ourselves – our rich, inner, selves – despite the limits (whether this be time or disbelief in ourselves or or or…). And this full deliverance of our self expression will make us happy (may even, in the process, remove some of the limits we place on ourselves).
We’re not going to produce our best work unless we put the practice in and what better practice than creating within the boundaries imposed by the limits we face?
Can the limits we face push us to eventually become limitless….push us towards realising our best work? Can pushing up against our limits help us to develop – and flex – our creative muscles?
Would really love to hear what you think!