“You can be invincible, if you enter into no contest in which it is not in your power to conquer.” – Epictetus
This is different than entering into a contest you know you will conquer. Knowing you can and knowing you will are two very different things. Entering into a contest you know you will win isn’t entering into a contest at all. Whereas entering into a contest where you don’t know if you can win is a terrible idea.
This strikes back at knowing where the limits of your abilities lie and then making the choice to work within those limits. If we work at knowing where our abilities are strongest and where they are deficient and if we are honest with ourselves, then we will never find ourselves in situations where we have bitten off more than we can chew.
This allows us to grow without the stress and uncertainty that comes with finding ourselves in situations that are beyond our abilities and require us to “fake it until we make it” in order to get through the day. Stress and uncertainty are unavoidable but they also interrupt the learning process and make it difficult for us to grow.
Better for us to recognize exactly what is within our sphere to control and to be aware of the limits of our abilities. Then we should strive to live each day within those limits while constantly seeking to identify and bolster weak points without entering into contests where we are unsure of our ability to handle them.
virtus fortis vocat