Today we have JT Ayers, my friend and fellow blogger sharing how limitations can work to your advantage. Good stuff here!

For more by JT Ayers visit his website at

Limitations affect your perspective, your goals, and your willingness to act. We impose limitations on ourselves and also find ourselves dealing with limitations we can’t control. We develop a pessimistic self-regard and see only the limitations as stop signs. We have no answers where to turn next. With the proper attitude, a limitation can be the best thing to ever happen to your leadership and team. 

Zappos, the wildly successful online show retailer, quickly found themselves dealing with a critical limitation. Their online customers can’t try on shoes to see if they fit. So they developed an innovation solution: They do not charge for shipping and accept returns with no questions. Buyers can test shoes and send them back easily. 

Examples of other limitations include: Time, technique, personnel, and budgetary limitations. 

Here are 3 ways to change your outlook to your limitations:


Taken from A Beautiful Constraint, authors Adam Morgan and Mark Barden describe that a limitation can make you more ambitious by finding ways to move forward despite what you are facing. People respond in 3 sequential stages:

1. A “victim” reduces his or her ambitions and pulls back when limitations appear

2. A “neutralizer” maintains ambition and goes around the limitation

3. A ‘transformer” views a limitation as an opprotunity and grows more ambitious 


Refuse to be the victim and refrain from asking, “Why is this happening to me.” Accept that you can deal with the problem. Find the will power to face the limitation and find a new path or routine to increase your motivation. 


The composer and conductor Leonard Bersnetin remarked that ‘to achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quiet enough time.”

In 2006, when automaker Audi sought to win the legendary, 24-hour Le Mans road race, its engineers didn’t ask how to make their car faster than anyone else’s. They asked how they could win if their car wasn’t the fastest. Their radical solution was to design and build a high-performance diesel engine. The revolutionary Audi R10 TDI was no faster than its competition, but its diesel engine provided a significant boost in their fuel economy and required fewer pit stops than its rivals. That margin led to victory. 

Consider IKEA, who asked the right questions when it offered a striking, sturdy table and kept the price down by having the customers assemble it. 


Joy and delight “fuel increased cognitive flexibility’ by unleashing dopamine and noradrenaline, which speed the movement of cerebral data and form links among diffuse bits of knowledge. In other words, being happy makes you feel safer and less oppressed, which frees up your thinking. 

Create a team of individuals who share your thoughts on limitations. Your newly found and shared limitation will require you to think, plan, and act in a way you would have never thought to try before. And that idea might be the best one you never thought of. You are literally one limitation from complete success. 

What did I miss? Any other positive solutions to the limitations we face everyday?