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  • Writer's pictureCandy Widdifield

Dear Candy Q&A: What are Your Stories of Limitation?

Candy Widdifield

Jul 31, 2023

3 min read

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We all have them. A lot of the time they are so automatic and engrained that we don't even realize they are there. That is, until we start to pay more attention to what we stop ourselves from doing and we start to get curious about why that is.

Often these stories come in the form of "I can't...because...", or in the internal chatter that goes on in our minds when we are having a bad day or a dip in progress. While some retrainers push themselves too hard too fast, others have fear around increasing discomfort, even temporarily. And yet, change does not happen in our comfort zone. We have to push the edges into a little more discomfort, combined with retraining, in order to progress. To clarify, being in your comfort zone is not necessarily equated with comfort. The comfort zone is the level of functioning with which we are familiar, how we have been operating for a while. In order to expand our capacity we need to incrementally increase what we are doing, and it's the stories of limitation that often get in the way of doing this.

For example, if we have been sedentary for a while and we start to incorporate a little movement or even stretching, we can encounter stiff muscles and other aspects that show us we haven't been exercising. In order to overcome this, we need to do a little stretching and movement each day and gradually work our way up. At first it may be uncomfortable, you may hit feelings of limitation not only in the body but in the mind about what you can and cannot do. Continuing to push a little bit, even if it means having to lie down and rest afterwards is what gets us over this hump. Letting go of the stories around it both while doing the exercise and afterward is paramount. (It is important to note here that it's normal for anyone getting back into an exercise routine after being very sedentary to need to rest afterwards for the first few days/week when initially re-engaging. This is temporary while your body adjusts, and the less you resist it and allow yourself to rest, the sooner you will move through needing to rest).

This doesn't mean that we "push through" everything no matter the cost. It also doesn't mean we brace ourselves for a hard time or hold onto negative expectations about it. This is a process of finding acceptance for what is, observing where the mind believes we are limited, gently pushing the edges, celebrating our accomplishment (even if it is tiny), not reading too much into what happens immediately afterward knowing that it is temporary, engaging in our brain retraining practices to support us along the way, and giving ourselves a period of time with this practice before judging its efficacy or re-evaluating.

So, over the next while I encourage you to spend some time uncovering what your limiting stories are and start to question them (Note that many of us have both traits of pushing too hard in some areas and not enough in others, so if you categorized yourself as the former, still do the exercise). Push the boundaries a little bit to see if there is any true evidence that really supports them. They may just be old stories that the brain has held on to from previous experiences that no longer fit with the present day version of you. Or, you may find that there is some limitation but with gentle persistence it is easily changed. You may be surprised at what you discover and even more surprised at what is actually possible for you.

Until next time!

If you have a question, please email me at


Candy Widdifield is Certified Master Coach, Registered Reiki Master Teacher and former Registered Clinical Counsellor, living in Calgary Alberta, Canada. She has a background in brain retraining & nervous system regulation, trauma, grief & loss, mindfulness, somatic therapy, & positive psychology. She taught the DNRS in-person program for 5 years, has over a decade of experience coaching brain re-trainers & provides mentorship to other coaches. Candy works with people all over the world, helping them to optimize their wellbeing and thrive in their lives. More information about Candy can be found at

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