Why you need to know your limits

Pollyanna Lenkic

Photo by Eli Thompson

Keep your legs to jump another day was a mantra and guide I used to manage my energy and keep myself and others safe.

Eight jumps a day was my sweet spot. I loved completing a day’s skydiving with friends on the last lift at sunset, a sky bathed with rich colour emitting a sense of peace.

If enthusiasm took over and I got my eight in before the sunset load, checking in with my overall state was vital as was having a phrase ready to signal I was done for the day. For me that was, “thanks think I’ll save my legs to jump another day”.

No one ever tried to talk me into another jump when I used this nor did I try to talk myself into it; I knew my limits.

I also knew that if anything went wrong post eight jumps I wasn’t as mentally and physically  sharp. I wasn’t match fit, and nowhere near on top of my game. There were times early on when I miscalculated my jump tally and would go for the “just one more”. All good if the jump went to plan, not so good if it didn’t.

At 15,000ft, hurtling to the ground at terminal velocity it wasn’t just about me.

I took risks (skydiving) with total responsibility for my safety and the safety of others. Awareness of our own limits isn’t just about us.

Do you know your limits?

Those extra hours your working to get stuff done — how safe is the work in your hands when you are past your best for the day? How safe are you? Others?

When exhaustion creeps in, how does this affect you, your family, your team and organisational results?

Exhaustion can affect mental health. The world health organisation estimates that the by 2030 mental health will the main health issue in both developed and developing nations.

When we don’t know our limits, we are not able to set healthy work routines, practices and boundaries.

Add planning to manage and communicate your limits in your life and leadership practice, and live to jump another day.

Nothing is sustainable without boundaries. ― Brené Brown

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