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  • Writer's pictureWojciech Salski


Updated: Apr 28, 2021

The greatest limit of one’s potential is their own belief in themselves…

The boy was standing still in the lake, his neck, and shoulders still visible above the surface. It was cold. So cold, there was a mist of steam hanging above the water, as the temperature difference between the lake and the air was so great. Must be below zero he pondered gazing in the distance. Breathing deeply and slowly, he felt fixed in place, like a tree in the forest’s floor grounded with its roots. His friend standing next to him was similarly still and far away with his thoughts, as they waited for the healing time to pass. The watch signaled the six-minute goal reached, and the boy hesitated, thinking of emerging from the freezing bath already. His mate turned his head and smiled; can we add another four…? I guess we can the answer rang in the boy’s throat, as he clicked the watch’s button trying to stay as motionless as possible, it hurts less if you stay still…


It was amazing how far they have gone already. Having participated only three times in these morning cold sessions, the boy went from lasting three minutes up to ten. All within a week time of training. His friend, who attended these sessions for a little longer was already doing twelve, thirteen minutes without a flinch. Crazy the boy thought, no one could have convinced me to such possibility for myself prior to trying he concluded. Using the time of heightened focus and quiet awaiting, he considered the potentiality, which lingers in each individual, yet so seldom is it recognised and acted upon. Why is that he asked himself, shifting his weight slightly forward, as his toes went numb and he anticipated falling into the water, why do we have so much disbelief in our abilities…? Recounting the experiences of the past, he felt inspired, as there were a few recognisable traits that divided failure from success in any area of life. It was obvious to him that persistence and self-discipline played a major part in most of his endeavours but struck by this feeling of confidence about his ability to stand in the freezing water for so long made him wonder about the most important factor – belief. Rarely does someone manage to convince us about a certain ability until it is done by someone else or by ourselves, he thought, almost as if we do not want to consider anything that isn’t known to us already… That is such a limit he added, even more so, a limit to oneself…


The watch buzzed again announcing the end of this session. With a ten-minute mark done, the boy started making his way out the lake, his body shivering and tensing with each step. He felt proud and extremely cold. Standing by the towel, he looked down at his chest and realised there is a contrasting redness covering the part of his body, which was submerged in the cold for so long. It looked like the skin was on fire. He chuckled feeling his teeth clench and clatter. Shivers all around, he wrapped himself in a towel and started changing into warmer clothing. His awareness heightened by the temperature offered a great deal of satisfaction and an avalanche of thoughts concerning the topic. He thought of the limiting beliefs he has granted himself over the course of his youth, and about those that hold in place many beings around him, how much do we disallow ourselves…? Trying to dress up he struggled, as both his toes and fingers didn’t seem to work properly. Putting on shoes, he had to sit down, as there was little if any control over the way his hands dealt with the task. With his gaze rested at the lake, he observed his friend taking his personal best to the new height, lasting over twelve minutes inside the water. It was an early morning, plenty of time to take care of other things later in the day. It was time for healing.


Driving back home with his body wrapped up warm in the many layers, the boy was listening to a speech. The thesis made by the speaker offered a glimpse of what the boy considered a few moments earlier while standing still in coldness. What kind of stories and beliefs do you constrict yourself with the speaker asked the crowd, what kind of limits did you put on you…? Letting the mind do its work, allowing the inner discussion to take the lead, he drove across the city to get back home and start the day. It was the end of the year and a perfect time to review and rewire his life.

What things am I stopping myself from doing he pondered, which beliefs should I discard, and which should I acquire…?

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#prose #selflimit #potentiality #motivation #inspiration #newyear

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