Embrace The Limitations of Your Thinking


Embrace The Limitations of Your Thinking:

In a few weeks I leave for Dover England to attempt the greatest athletic feat of my life, a solo swim across the English Channel.  I would love to be able to say; “I swam to France”! How cool would that be!

There is only one BIG challenge.

At 60, my mind continually plays tricks on me, filling me with self-doubt and fear. Taunting me with; “Dude, you are too old for this” or “You’re NOT even a swimmer” or “Seriously, what could you possibly be thinking?”

I recognize each one of those thoughts for what they are. They are simply limitations of my thinking.   Limiting thoughts and beliefs are traits common to many, perhaps to most of us. They are simply part of the human condition; in many cases they are there to protect us.

The question is not whether we each have limiting thoughts. The question is what to do with those thoughts. There was a time when I wished my limiting thoughts weren’t there. A time I pretended they didn’t exist.  The more I lived in that world of make-believe the more power I gave to those limiting thoughts and the more they governed my actions and defined me.

Over the years I have learned the best way to manage my imperfect thinking is to simply embrace it!



Once we begin to embrace the limits of our thinking, embrace our imperfections, and embrace our character flaws the more we take ownership of who we are. As we embrace even the things we like least about ourselves we begin to render them powerless.  I believe when we truly embrace even the things we like least about ourselves that is the beginning of self-acceptance and self-love.

I am NOT saying that we shouldn’t work on the things that will make each of us a better person. Quite to the contrary! What I am saying is to self-accept where you are today as you begin to forge the person you aspire to be.  It is a journey not a destination.

I am writing this today because one month ago I lost a friend.  The burden of his journey had become too difficult for him to any longer navigate. I wish I had taken the time to tell him what a great man he was, tell him how much he was loved, tell him how much he had given to so many others.  Although the world saw him as I did, my fear is that he defined himself by his addiction.  That is a hard place to be.  All of this has been difficult for me to process; wondering, wishing I could have done more.

The reason why I wanted to write today is because you might be struggling through your own set of really difficult challenges. You may feel at this moment that your darkest demons define you.  They don’t!

Take a deep breath, get help, forge ahead and embrace your limitations regardless of what they may be.  You are a gift! The world needs you!

As for me, I know when I am swimming the Channel next month some of my limiting thoughts will creep into my mind like; “Dude you’re a senior citizen, you shouldn’t be out here”.  I will embrace each one of them if only for a moment, chuckle a bit and keep on swimming.


  1. Such an inspiring goal that you've set for yourself, Doug! I am sure the training and preparation, by itself, was an incredible feat! I think many of us (Me) are afraid to set such high expectations because of those demons you speak of. Things such as past failures and the habitual negative conversations we have with ourselves are great examples. I feel so fortunate to know someone like yourself who moves forward despite the demons. Hopefully I can convince myself that those demons are only consultants, not decision-makers;)
  2. Steve, I am confident that big things are about to happen for you this year. I look forward to watching you grow in your greatness. My best brother.

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