Push the Limits

Reach for the stars
And if you don’t grab ’em,
At least you’ll fall on top of the world
– Pitbull

My toddlers are almost 2 and almost 3 years old right now. So I can probably write a book on why they would be called the terrible twos. I could tell you story after story of a time when one or both of my kids acted “terrible.” I’d rather not though. I prefer to think of it as the tenacious twos, and that’s a quality I can really admire in them. As frustrating as it can feel sometimes when my toddler refuses to listen to anything I ask; I need to remind myself, that they are pushing the limits and trying to figure things out. That’s far from terrible, it’s friggen fantastic.

Imagine we did that. Imagine as an adult with all our knowledge and experience that we’ve gained in life, we too pushed the limits. A lot of us have built a box around ourselves and allowed the world and our minds to set these imaginary restrictions for ourselves.

  • I’m not cut out for that
  • I’ll never make that much money
  • No matter what I try, I’ll never loose/gain weight
  • There’s just no one out there for me
  • I just don’t have the time
  • I’m too old for that now
  • I don’t have enough experience
  • I’m not good enough for that
  • I am not worthy of it
  • I wasn’t meant to be happy

The list can go on and on and on with all these limiting beliefs we’ve allowed to box us in. When you’re two, there’s no box, there’s no ceiling. You truly believe that anything is possible, you are invincible and nothing will stop you from getting what you want.

What would you try if weren’t afraid to fail? Can you picture having no idea how to do something, but you REALLY wanted it, so you gave it a go anyway. What if it went totally wrong and was nothing like you expected, but instead of stopping there, you tried again, and again and again. You took what you learned from the failed attempt, tweaked your method and kept going until you got the result you wanted. Imagine that what you wanted most in life was attainable, that there was no doubt at all in your mind that YOU will get what you want. Children think like this almost every day, and guess what, they continuously achieve success.

Have you ever seen a one year old try to jump? They just figured out how to walk, so now one of the next new things to try out is jumping. Well, it starts out as just stomping their feet. They don’t get any air at all. As time goes on it’s kind of a high knee marching motion, still no air. Eventually one leg goes up and the other kind of pushes off for just a split second and a few millimetres off the ground. They will hold onto things and use their arms to really jump with two feet off the ground at the same time and practice what they want to achieve without using the arms. They know it’s possible, they see other people doing it, they can feel themselves almost doing it too. Right now, my almost two year old can do this adorable little jump where his feet leave the ground at separate times and he catches just a little bit of air time. It’s super cute, and not really a jump.

“Jumping” on the bed

Luckily no one has told him that he can’t jump, not that he would care to stop trying if anyone did. When I laugh at his cuteness, he’s not embarrassed. When I clap at his efforts, he only sees how much he’s improved from the time before, and isn’t focused on the fact that he’s not jumping as high as his sister. If he falls, he might sook and sulk for a minute, but he’s still going to try it again. Even if it hurt a little bit, every time he sees someone jump, he’s going to try and jump. Even though he’s never jumped before, hes going to try to jump.

And of course, the same thing goes for the less desirable behaviour like tantrums. The same tenacity, determination, and driving force that allows our toddlers to grow and learn without boundaries is what brings out what the worlds calls the “terrible twos.” When they want something, they NEED to have it, there’s no other option to them. If they are being prevented from getting that, their big emotions in their little minds do not know how to handle that that. (You can read more about my thoughts on tantrums here) They will grow and learn and develop, and that label on their past behaviour wont effect their confidence at their age.

Busting out of the Box

The awesome news for us is that our minds ARE developed. We DO have the gift of using logic and common sense. We can apply knowledge and past experience to consider situations without being completely over taken by emotion. This is a gift, however it can also be a downfall if we are limiting ourselves or making ourselves small. BUT we have the ability to CHANGE OUR MINDS and change our mindset. We have the ability to choose how we act and react.

So let’s be a little more tenacious, even if people think its “terrible”.

  • Don’t be afraid to fall
  • Don’t be afraid of what people will think of you
  • Don’t be embarrassed if you fail
  • Don’t be too embarrassed to even try
  • Let your feelings out
  • Cry, get up and try again
  • Do not let anyone tell you that YOU can’t do something
  • Dream big
  • Know that what’s possible for someone else IS possible for you too
  • Dare to dream for the impossible too
  • Don’t let ANYTHING hold you back

Push your limits

And Be Friggen Fantastic.

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