The Limitations of Reluctance


Growing up, I had a lot of people that tried to get me to do something by uttering a simple but really profound phrase. It went…

You’ll never be able to do something if you never try.

In other words, what those people were saying is that I could determine my own abilities by what I was willing to try.

As I’ve gotten a little older and the older we all get, the more we don’t see our lack of trying as not refining our abilities, but setting our limitations.

Often times, our self limitations are determined by what we don’t know rather than what we do…

It’s not that we know we can’t do something, it’s that we don’t know if we can. So what we default to is an, “I don’t do that,” or “I can’t do that,” mentality. Ultimately, I think we come to the place where we’re so set in our abilities and capabilities that we assume we can’t do things outside of what’s “typical” for us. We’re reluctant and, in turn, limit ourselves.

The reason it’s a problem?

Because often times God calls us to do new things. New seasons of life require new gifting and abilities. New ideas and careers require we do new things.

Becoming a Mom or Dad requires that we stretch ourselves. Becoming a college student requires we be willing to try. Being a grandparent means we learn new ways to love.

But we’re afraid because someone may see our weaknesses.
We don’t do because we don’t know how.
We become too lazy to learn something new.
We’re afraid of becoming frustrated.
We don’t have faith because we hate not being in control.

So, what do we do to rise above our limitations of reluctancy?

Know who you are.

When we’re confident of our identity and we can tap into it, it changes how we react to what we don’t know or what could be. Know who you are.

Be humble. Admit our lack of knowledge.

Simple as that. Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know. You’ll always be reluctant if you’re trying to hide some sort of sensitivity.

Live in community. Have trusty people around you.

Who do you have that can be honest with you? That you allow to and not react in anger? Community is important. They get us our of our comfort zone and force us to try new things and be honest.

Step out on faith. Learn along the way.

Eventually, you just have to step out and not let what you don’t know limit you. Try new things adjust as you go. If you mess up here, try it again. If you can’t do that there, move to something else. Don’t limit by not knowing the entirety of what you’re doing.


We're more limited by what we don't know than what we know we can't do. Click To Tweet

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