The Power of Limits

Why do we need limits?  Limits are the things that directly and indirectly affect our lives either positively or negatively. They encompass your values, attitudes, behaviours and thoughts.  They provide guidance as to what you will and will not accept or put up with as it relates to yourself and others. In this article, I will …

The brain and tongue are more than just organs in the human body.  They have the power to make you feel like a million dollars or make you feel invisible.  Together they are lethal weapons for either positivity  or negativity.   These organs create  what I call ‘limits’ in our lives.

Some limits we learn from our parents growing up; others we tell ourselves based on experiences we’ve had and the rest come from people who we consider to be near and dear to us like family, friends and a spouse. These ‘limits’ encompass our values, attitudes, behaviours and thoughts.  They are the seeds that are planted by us as well as others that can directly and indirectly affect our lives either positively or negatively.

In this article, I will try to show you the pros and cons of limits so that you can use them to improve your life.   I believe that limits can be classified into two main types that is, the one we set for ourselves and the other, is the one set for us by others.  Both have their advantages and disadvantages since both have positive and negative limits within them.

Some examples of positive and negative limits we set for ourselves are:


  • “I will strive to be positive in my thoughts and behaviour.”
  • “I will not be excessive in my shopping buying things I do not need.”


  • Using the words “I can’t …” as a justification for not doing something.
  • Negatively stereotyping yourself.  “I’m too old.” or “I’m not pretty enough.”

Advantages of Positive Limits (set by ourselves)

  • They can provide guidance for various situations such as what you will and will not tolerate from yourself and others – for example, negativity, abuse and self- pity just to name a few.
  • They give a sense of power and control over our lives.  We ideally determine what, who and how we feed and nurture our mind, body and spirit.
  • They tend to attract similar minded people to you.

Disadvantage of Negative Limits (set by ourselves)

  • They can damage your self-esteem.
  • They can leave us feeling broken and helpless, open to all the negative energies of the world.  Note, I use ‘feeling’, not because you feel a certain way means that you’re stuck that way.  You can choose to ‘feel’ differently.
  • Unforgiveness of yourself or others.  This can stunt your mental and spiritual growth and healing.  Practicing forgiveness will break the shackles that have been holding you down for so long.  This process is for YOUR betterment no one else.
  • They negatively affect how we see and treat others.

Such negative limits only encourage negativity.  They tend to shut people out and act as a barrier to attracting positivity in your life.  I suggest reviewing your thinking and behaviour to ensure that it is fair and objective in how you see yourself and others.

Some examples of positive and negative limits set for us by others are:

POSITIVE                                                                            NEGATIVE

  • “You are an amazing friend.”                              “You will never aspire to anything.”
  • “You are a good parent.”                                       “You can’t do anything right.”
  • “You are an excellent lover.”                                “You are such a failure.”

Advantages of Positive Limits (set for us by others) – positive people

  • They tend to be positive and uplifting often encouraging us to be better.
  • They are motivating and thought provoking.  They make us stop and think about how we are behaving.
  • They tend to strengthen and reinforce a positive self-image.

If you have people like this in your life keep them close.  Let them know how much you appreciate and value having them in your life.  They are true assets to have and cherish.  Try to reciprocate in their lives as well.  Be an asset in someone’s life today. Don’t always make everything about you. Be a giver and not a taker.  Try and strike a balance.

Disadvantages of Limits (set for us by others) – Negative People

  • They tend to create or maintain a false picture of who you really are and often label you as weak, foolish and unworthy.
  • These people want to hurt you by their words and actions and tend to be consistent in their efforts to break you down every opportunity they get.
  • They use these limits as a way to control various aspects of your life – relationships, finances, emotions and how you feel and see yourself.

Many of us often underestimate the power of the spoken word.   Hopefully, if not before, now you do see that words have the power to not only build and strengthen but also damage and destroy  your self-esteem, self-worth and self-image, if you let it.  The power that the spoken word has comes from the meaning and value we put in the words and the person or persons using them.

Do not allow yourself to be anyone’s punching bag emotionally or physically.  They have their own issues to fix.    If you are guilty of this, it is not too late.  You need to reclaim the reigns of your life.  For too long, you have relinquished control to negativity.

I want to encourage you to take corrective action immediately.  If you are guilty of  negativity within yourself, then be quiet! Look for positive things such as inspirational and motivational books, uplifting music, talk to someone about it and surround yourself with positive people. This process requires a reconditioning of the mind, body and spirit and thus it would not be done overnight.

Start by identifying what and where your problem areas are and TAKE ACTION to improve and in some instances remove them. YOU are in CONTROL.  BE CAREFUL of WHO and WHAT you are listening to.  What you ultimately BELIEVE about YOURSELF is what will MAKE or BREAK YOU.

I hope that this article was useful. Thanks for reading.

Author: Cherylene

Cherylene, is an aspiring writer whose desire is to help people nurture and develop the best version of themselves. Through her writing she hopes to encourage her readers to dig deep both spiritually and mentally to heal and enlighten the mind, body and spirit.

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