Episode 40: Don’t Let Your Gifts Become Your Limitations

November 22, 2021


If you’re anything like me, you come alive in your work and little by little, you start to see what you were put on Earth to do. And that is a powerful moment in an entrepreneur’s life, when they see themselves beyond just a set of learned skills, when they see themselves as a purpose-driven leader with a passion for their calling. But does there ever come a point where it becomes too much? A point where our greatest gifts become limitations for us? I think it does and I think it’s a dangerous trap that we can easily fall into. 

So, in today’s episode we’re talking about the pitfalls to avoid and the patterns that start to show up when you’re teetering into that limitation and how to leverage our gifts without building walls that are preventing us from becoming who we’re really called to be, all while feeling good in the process.


[2:08] Am I Really Free? 

If you listen to the show, it’s probably safe to say that you’re a hungry person. You are hungry for your work, you are hungry for what you do, you feel called to both family and entrepreneurship and you want to do both really well. That’s a treasure. That’s a blessing. There are a lot of people who don’t identify that within themselves or don’t have that hunger. Those people, the ones who want to take the path of least resistance or are unwilling to look within themselves and break through their limitations to greatness, have created a prison for themselves that we’re not in.

Sometimes, I see that and I say: “I’m one of the free ones because I’ve tapped into something that they haven’t.” But am I really? I think the answer depends.

[4:15]  The Weight of Gold

Throughout my work, I’ve had the honor of working alongside and witnessing a lot of incredibly ambitious and successful people who have leaned a little too heavily into their gifts. So much so they too are in some form of a prison. There’s a documentary put out by Michael Phelps and several other Olympians called The Weight of Gold. These athletes are gifted beyond measure, they train and dedicate their entire lives to honoring their gifts and when Michael Phelps was representing the US, I was glued to the TV. He was a total inspiration and it lit me on fire to watch that desire to fight so hard to get to the top; and he did, he made it to the pinnacle. 

But the entire premise of the documentary is – then what? That gift became a prison for him, it became a limitation for him. What we saw on the outside was not fully representative of reality. He achieved greatly but it was at the expense of everything else. And inside, as he said in the documentary, he felt like he was dying.

[6:15] Support The Whole Person

Over the years, I had my own version of pinnacles in my career that I was pushing for. I achieved some of them and I had many more that I was working towards, but the harder I pushed the more other areas of my life suffered. The more I obsessed about my work and using my gifts within the container of my work, the more my relationship suffered. My body kept the score as did my marriage along with the connection to my family, the toll it took on my kids, and eventually my own joy and peace. 

We all have our own version of the Olympics, we all have our own pinnacles, but we created The Luminary Leadership Company to support the whole person. Not just the business, not just the family, but the person that feels called to both and who’s committed to the whole version of success, that can really only be achieved through luminary leadership. 

[8:50] Pitfalls to Avoid and The Patterns That Start to Show Up

Let’s talk through a couple of things that I think can help or at least have helped me in the process:

  • Paying attention to the pitfalls. Look at the pitfalls that you can avoid, there are clues that this is coming. There are a lot of clues that show up that we choose to ignore because we’re so in love with what we do.
  • Not falling for shiny objects. Be aware of shiny objects that seem sexy but can take you off the track to who you’re actually called to be.
  • Stop looking into everyone else’s lane. Don’t try to do it how someone else did it. Don’t build the seven-figure business because someone else did it. You’re pushing for the life you want, without acknowledging the lifestyle required to get it.
  • Pay attention to the symptoms. Sometimes we miss the clues, we miss the warning signs and we lean into the pitfalls. So, pay attention to the symptoms that start to show up. What’s showing up in your life and in your reality, that isn’t you? 
  • Leave your phone alone. On average, we’re picking up our phones more than a thousand times a day. We’re not even doing it with purpose anymore, it’s an addiction. It’s a habit. It’s something that we need to break.
  • Lose the “I just need to X and then I can Y” mentality. I’m going to stop you right here and send you right back to the True North exercise at luminaryleadershipco.com/truenorth because your priorities need to be upended.
  • Notice your health. Restlessness, anxiety, exhaustion, brain fog, and other health issues are a clear sign that you’ve gone so far.
  • Look at your life and lifestyle. There are things that you might be saying you want. But, are you ultimately saying – what is the path to get there, what is the lifestyle required to attain that life that you want to live and do they actually align with your values and your priorities? Because if the answer is no, you don’t want that life.
  • Leverage your gifts outside of your work. It’s not all about your work. What are some of the things that you do in your business that would translate into serving your community, helping the elderly, raising your kids up well, or showing up better in your marriage. Don’t let your gifts just be in this one space.
  • Look at your calendar. Show me your schedule and I’ll show you your priorities. It’s really easy to say if and how your gifts will become your limitations just by opening up your calendar and seeing where your priorities are. You can’t say that you are a present parent and loving spouse and then have appointments booked throughout the whole week, day and night, trying to leverage growth in your business to get to your pinnacle.

If this speaks to you, I’m going to ask you to share it because I feel like this is something a lot of people can go through in life and not even realize it. And if there is more content that you want to hear about, please let us know by emailing [email protected] or shoot me a DM @elizhartke.


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