Limitations are What You Allow Them to Be
I'm not naïve. Everyone has limitations. Some of them are physical. Others are cultural or socially driven. And there are some limitations that have to do with the brain: emotional or cognitive.
Yet without a doubt, the most important thing any of us can learn is that our limitations are subjective. And what I mean by that is this: you are only as limited as you allow yourself to be.
Consider Rudy Ruettiger. If you love motivational movies, you've heard of the movie Rudy. His dream was to play football for Notre Dame. But his grades suffered because of dyslexia. On top of that, he wasn't the biggest guy on the team, either. Nevertheless, he didn't let any of that stop him. He refused to listen to the people who told him to give up on his dream. Rudy didn't see a learning disability or physical size as limitations, so he persevered and worked around them - even if he had to work ten times as hard as anyone else.
If you're a Harry Potter fan, you know J. K. Rowling's story. As one of the most successful authors in modern history, you might assume she easily attained success and fame. However, depression, failure, disappointment and rejection were her constant companions. She refused to let the opinions of others, losing her support system, or delays because of life events stop her. She pushed through. And for that reason, the rest is history.
Marlee Matlin, deaf from the age of 18 months, didn't see deafness as a limitation. She began acting at age 7 and has been nominated for countless Emmy's and Golden Globe's, and in fact has won her share of awards. As an author, actor and activist, she has used what others might see as a limitation as a launchpad to change the world.
Perspective is Everything
How you view the challenges in your life determines what you will make of them. For example, as a baby, our view is only the two or three feet around us. As we grow, our perception of the world changes. In the same way, an astronaut sees the world from a distinct vantage point than the person on the ground.
When you feel limited by the situation you're in, take a step back. Try to get a broader view of the circumstances. Refuse to let someone's opinion of what you should or should not do, be, or become stop you (unless, of course, it is completely illegal).
Not everyone is an American Idol finalist - but no one says you can't try out. In fact, like Jennifer Hudson, you might just find yourself the most famous non-winner ever.