Perceived Limitation!

Believing that you can be exceptional is the same as Gilligan believing he could fly. Delbert tells how everyone is different and some people's body can be only pushed so far.
I remember as a kid watching the Gilligan's Island T.V. show and (Mary Ann by the way!) seeing the episode where Gilligan had constructed his own wings and intended to fly off the island. Remember that one? Anyway, he starts to fly when Skipper comes out of the hut and looks up at Gilligan in the air and says, "Gilligan what are you doing?" Gilligan responds, while flapping his wings and hovering in mid-air, by saying, "Skipper, I'm going to fly for help." The Skipper then says, "Gilligan you can't fly!" Gilligan says, with an astonished look, "I can't?" After which, he plummets to the ground! Funny as hell to me! Anyway the lines may not be exact but the meaning behind that episode was that Gilligan's perception that a human could fly by merely constructing bird-like wings was possible until the Skipper made him believe otherwise. It became a perceived limitation to Gilligan and prevented him from realizing his potential. We all have experienced a perceived limitation to some degree in our lives and have probably missed out on opportunities because of it. I would like to discuss some of these limitations in relation to building your body and ask if any of these hits home at all.

"Genetically Gifted"

This is probably the one perceived limitation that is the most overlooked. Many people who see someone who has attained a level of development or success that is exceptional in terms of the average person, assumes in many cases that it is mostly or partly due to that person's genetic make-up. Even though they may not have a clue about the science of genetics at all, they still make the assumption. In doing so, they then have limited themselves to mediocrity. They have lost the belief that they to can reach some level of success that is considered exceptional in relation to their own personal make-up. I agree that a person's genetic make-up has much to do with how well they develop, although, I also believe that each of us are unique and have the ability to be exceptional in relation to our own genetics. Believing that you can be exceptional is the same as Gilligan believing he could fly. Like him taking the initiative to construct a set of wings and flapping them as hard as possible until he actually flew, you too can take the initiative to set a realistic and achievable goal and pursue it until you succeed. Yeah, you may not look like the man or woman in the magazine with the "ripped" body but whose to say someday you couldn't? Don't let the perceived limitation of genetics cause you to lose site. Also, this same perceived limitation can negatively affect a person who is truly gifted. How? Well, some that are truly gifted and realize it may decide not to work as hard. They accept the fact that with little effort they can remain exceptional. This causes them to miss the opportunity to find out how much more exceptional and better they could be. They fail to raise the bar and set higher goals. They coast through and rely on their genetics to pull them through. Although sad but true!

"Inaccurate Feedback"

Many of us rely on the opinion of others in order to re-align ourselves. We are constantly in need of some type of feedback regardless of its quality. We use the feedback we receive to measure our progression or successes. Think about it. If you work for a living, you are usually subject to annual performance reviews where you are given feedback on how well you are progressing. It is an opportunity to be evaluated by someone other than yourself. You hope that that "someone" is a person who you trust and value their opinion of you. Many bodybuilders must rely on a similar type of feedback. Although an objective feedback has great value, it can also, at times, result in perceived limits. As I mentioned, "trust" is the most important criteria to be considered when garnering feedback. Trusting that the person knows enough to give valuable feedback, trusting that the person has your goals in mind when giving feedback, and trusting that the person really cares to see you achieve your goals is paramount. Invaluable and inaccurate feedback, for whatever reason, can be disastrous. Feedback can be the difference between doing that extra cardio session or calorie reduction and skipping cardio for the day or increasing calories. As a bodybuilder, you know the impact and how it can affect your success. Inaccurate feedback can cause you to limit yourself and how hard you work to obtain your goal. Since it is so subjective, it is therefore important to trust the person without hesitation or question. With that "trust," you can be sure that you will not limit yourself.

"Testing Your Limits"

A limit is defined as "The point, edge, or line beyond which something cannot or may not proceed." Question, "Do you know what your limit or limits are?" If you don't know, then the limits you perceive might be unreasonable. In a bodybuilding frame of mind, if I were to decide I was going to train chest hard but had no idea what my limit on the bench was, the limit I may perceive could be greater or lesser than I could achieve. I may believe in my mind that a 315-pound bench for 5 reps is my limit when actually 350 pounds for 5 reps is my "real" limit. The only way to discover or realize my limited perception is to actually put my bench to the test. Testing the limits we place on ourselves will enable us to avoid becoming stagnant or missing an opportunity to progress. It will undoubtedly allow you to make definite, substantial and important gains. Without testing our own limits, we can never expect to be better than we are. Taking a realistic approach to testing limits is important to realize as well. For safety concerns primarily. Some have unrealistic limits on the higher-end. Instead of 315 pounds as a limit, they may have 405 pounds as a limit. We have seen it or even experienced it ourselves at one time or another. The unexpected and heart-stopping scene of a barbell crashing down onto someone's chest due to that persons higher than reasonable perceived limit. However important, testing limits must be performed with caution and reasonable thinking.

Perceived limits have stifled many from reaching that ultimate self-actualization that we all desire to achieve. Remember that in every situation that you have not been able to progress, you must realize any limits that you have perceived and determine how they can be overcome!

Well another wrap and I will return soon. Thanks for reading and supporting this site! Delbert

"The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it."
-By Moliere