Where is the limit?

I was listening to an interview with DHH, when he began talking about his hobby of racing. I found this gem in the middle of the discussion.

I think the key thing holding a lot of people back from racing or a lot of other pursuits is just this innate fear of the limit. In racing, the limit is when the tires are going to give up their hold on the asphalt and let go. So to find where that limit is, you have to overstep it. You have to go beyond the limit to know where that limit is and then be able to ride it.

If you just accept that there will be minor missteps and mishaps and maybe a few accidents in the process, from stepping over the limit, you gain the freedom to do so, at will.

I think we often fear what will happen when we step over the limit. Will I get fired? Will I get injured? Will I be embarrassed? Will I try too hard and then not succeed? Sure those consequences are possible, but things don’t usually turn out that badly. Like most drivers who spin out during a race, we always seem to come out on the other side.

Without knowing where that limit is, you’re never quite sure if you could be performing at a much higher level. I’d say that’s far more tragic.