Limitation Leads to Discovery: A Lesson from Solange’s Book

Beyonce and Jay’s collaboration on Everything is Love and the On The Run 2 Tour may have been enough to satisfy our Knowles palate and temporarily distract us from Solange’s absence, but with the tour’s end, it was only a matter of time before the world would begin asking for more. Fortunately for us, The New York Times Style Magazine caught up with the “Cranes in the Sky” superstar in an interview where she hinted that new music is on the way.

In the article, Solange discusses the fusion of her talents of dancing, singing, visual art, and activism and how it plays into her overall artistry. Her first aspiration in life was to dance, but the discovery of her other talents usually occurred when she was “feeling limited in how to tell my story,” she said. “This is how a polymathic artist is born: When one mode of expression proves itself insufficient, she looks to others,” New York Times bestselling author Ayana Mathis wrote.

It was this particular statement that hit close to home, or at least resulted in me thinking about how I deal with limitation.

I’ve always said I didn’t have a talent. In a family that based much importance on education, I spent most of my youth consumed with my studies and leisure reading. I couldn’t play any sports or dance, but this limitation increased my focus on reading and ultimately birthed my love of writing and telling relatable stories.

When I fell in love with music, my request for vocal lessons were shut down. My inability to play instruments, yet another limitation, forced me to think of alternate ways I could be involved in making music. I settled on the thought of becoming a ghostwriter, a thought that probably would have never come to mind if I was a beast at playing the piano.

The narrative goes on…in various stages of my life, I tried writing raps, love letters, poems and now articles, each change occurring after some restriction had me explore another facet of writing.

But in the same sense, my discoveries themselves have been limited. While I have been able to explore different categories of writing, I’ve only allowed myself to try things that exercise my use of words and a pen because that’s the only thing I know I’m somewhat good at. It’s the only craft I have confidence in.

When the world limits me, I’m open to exploring new things, but only within my comfort zone. I am now realizing that in many ways I’ve set my own limitations and as result of it being my own boundary, I often feel stifled when things may not be going right.  

In my journey towards being an entertainment journalist, I’ve even limited myself to writing because I trained myself to think I could never be great on air. Truth is, who knows what else I could be good at if I’m robbing myself of the opportunity to at least try.

Many of us don’t know how to deal with limitation. When life happens and prevents us from doing something we want or love, we stress over not knowing what our next steps will be. We allow ourselves to get frustrated, sometimes depressed, over the possibility of our plans being ruined and being stripped of the opportunity to follow our dreams. That is the wrong mentality to have.

During our down time, we are actually presented with time to discover new things that can eventually lead to our growth. Think of the many times athletes are injured and are prevented from playing during the season. Feelings of disappointment kick in, but while recovering, they carefully watch their teammates play. They may look back and study their past games. By the time they make their return to the game, their newfound knowledge coupled with the excitement to play once again usually results in a new approach and mentality that reveals a better and stronger player.

Sometimes, our discovery is a new talent or passion. When our mind are set on something, we can be headstrong against trying new things or executing the ideas fear has always gotten in the way of. Being limited, however, gives you no excuse because you are allowed the freedom to look into other ways you can be a help to this world. That revelation may turn out to be an asset that helps catapult your overall dreams to the next level.

The next time you find that life’s happenings place some restrictions on your goals, focus on the positive and think, limitation led to discoveries that made Solange the women we all love today. Imagine what it could do for you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s