“Limitations” is a word that we don’t use much around here at Community Living. We focus on strengths, positive attributes, skills, talents, ‘can do’, abilities, and successes. We sometimes are so reactive to the false stereotype that a person with disabilities can do very little, we overcompensate and act as though everyone can do anything – no limits. Neither one of these extreme beliefs is helpful.
We ALL have talents/strengths. Some things just come more naturally or easily than others to each of us. And, we ALL have limitations. Part of the process of achieving success and happiness is learning what we are good at and what we are not good at. It’s important to identify not only the talents and strengths, but also the limitations.
Knowing one’s limitations helps to identify where assistance is needed…or partnership…or collaboration…or support…or adaptations. When we recognize that our goals (get a specific job, make new friends, learn a new sport, become more independent) require skills and/or attributes that we don’t have, we can identify where and what type of help is needed to succeed. Being objective about one’s abilities, as well as limitations, is important to achieving desired success and happiness. It is always easier and more rewarding to build on one’s strengths…success breeds success. By also recognizing and acknowledging one’s limitations, a practical plan can be implemented that will identify the types of supports needed to achieve those successes of which we are capable.
Note: These thoughts were inspired by an article in The Weekly Insight newsletter, written by Bill Bayer, a good friend and colleague.