I was just talking about this with my daughter (who turned 14 the other day, and who was concerned about starting high school in the fall), and she scoffed at me when I asked if she thought birds could be afraid of heights. My coach reminds me that I can reframe fear into excitement, and that helps when I'm going into new situations. I really liked the depth of your advice while keeping it simple, and hope others write out their vision on index cards and read it twice daily.
Don’t Be Like the Bird Who Was Afraid of Heights
Only human beings have self-imposed limitations; and many times those limitations are imagined and are in no way connected to reality. Our perception can sometimes get caught up in a mental road-map 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:
- 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!
- Indentify the obstacles that will prevent you from achieving the goal.
- Brainstorm at least three different solutions for each obstacle.
- 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.
Learn more about the author, Howard Dion.
Comment on this article
Posted by Lara Fabans, Los Gatos, California |
Jun 15, 2012
Posted by Howard Dion, Bensalem, Pennsylvania |
Jun 15, 2012
Lara, I am glad that you found the article helpful. I also just had a similar conversation with my granddaughter, who is 17 years old.
I suggest you talk about goal setting. Maybe have her start a dream list in writing. From my experience the education system does not teach goal setting. It is up to us!
- plan of action
- self-imposed limitations
- self- motivation