Wisdom//

What’s Your Limiting Factor? How to Unlock New Levels of Capacity in 2017

The single most powerful way to grow in 2017 is to identify what your limiting factor is and focus every ounce of your being on…


The single most powerful way to grow in 2017 is to identify what your limiting factor is and focus every ounce of your being on deactivating it.

My favorite workout ever was something my trainer Bryan put together a thousand years ago. He called it the Construction and Destruction of Western Civilization. Suffice it to say that many a sandbag was hauled and many a monkey bar traversed.

Anyhow, one of the stations involved a run from the parking lot to what we used to call the rainbow sherbet house down the street from the studio. That station was the time limiting factor for the rest of us: all of us would keep sledgehammering, flipping tires, swinging kettlebells until the person on the run would go to that house and back.

No pressure.

Anyhow, there was a woman there that day who had never worked out with us before. As she took off on the run, we swung and hauled and carried. And swung and hauled and carried. And swung and hauled and carried. At one point, Bryan actually went out to find her, and she was nowhere to be seen. He returned, and gave us permission to move on. Maybe 15 minutes later, she huffed her way back into the lot, explaining that she thought she’d known where the rainbow sherbet house was. The house she was thinking of was about a mile and a half away (easily a 20 minute run there and back for a fit non-runner). The actual rainbow sherbet house was less than a half mile away; it took most of us 5 minutes to get there and back.

That chick was the limiting factor. The surprise was that it wasn’t in fact her speed or fitness that was the ultimate limitation on the system, which was usually the case. It was her knowledge, her understanding, of where she was actually headed and when to turn back that ultimately limited our ability to move onto the next round, until Bryan intervened and broke the system.

Catch this principle guys: every system, including you and your life, has a limiting factor — one resource or trait that most limits how much the system can grow. If you want to push your life and your leadership to new levels in 2017, the single most powerful way to do that is to accurately identify what your limiting factor is, and focus every ounce of your being on deactivating it.

When you do this, you expand your capacity versus changing your conditions. This is super critical. Most of what we do when we set goals is make lists of conditions we want to change. I want to launch this business. Grow this business. Get a new job. Get a new boss. A new mate. I want my kid to stop acting up. I want to lose 15 pounds.

Here’s the truth: cnditions are never the things that really limit your happiness. Think about it: millions of people already have the conditions you think would make your life better. And they’re still unhappy.

When you focus on limiting factors you grow your capacity to do two things: (1) to master the ability to change whatever conditions you want, whenever you want, and (2) to experience limitless love, joy, enthusiasm, ease and flow right now, where you’re at, regardless of conditions.

These two things will change your life. They definitely changed mine.

Writing/Feeling/Thinking Prompt: What are your top 3 limiting factors? I’ve listed some examples below, to get your mental juices flowing. As you visioncast your 2017, think about what SINGLE limiting factor you could explore releasing next year that would create the biggest change in the way you feel, think and show up in your life and your work? Which single factor would expand your capacity the most?

12 Common Limiting Factors

  1. Inconsistency
  2. Low levels of physical energy/exhaustion
  3. Shame
  4. Fearful thinking habits
  5. Overextended calendar
  6. Apologizing for taking up space
  7. Scarcity beliefs/don’t believe big things are possible
  8. Procrastination
  9. Poor boundaries
  10. Depleting relationship patterns
  11. Inability to speak up for yourself/speak your truth
  12. Inability to ask for what you need

P.S. That day, I made note of the actual address of the sherbet house. Anytime we had a new workout friend, I made sure to whisper it to them, just in case.


Tara-Nicholle Nelson helps people find their shifts and breakthroughs, and challenges conscious leaders to grow. She is the former VP, Marketing for MyFitnessPal and Under Armour Connected Fitness. To get clear on your purpose, set vision for 2017 or start your own book or blog, join Tara’s 30 Day Writing Challenge for Conscious Leaders, free, at www.taranicholle.com/30-day-writing-challenge.

Originally published at medium.com

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