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Last week I came down with the “creeping crud.”  The stressors of traveling back and forth across the ocean to support my parents with the initial stages of moving into a medicalized nursing facility took a toll on my health.  I’ve been reflecting on the ideas of capacity and capability.  

Loving the dictionary, I looked up the definitions:

Capacity: the maximum amount that something can contain or produce.

Capability : the quality or state of being capable; a feature or faculty capable of being developed: Potentiality.

It’s easy to confuse the two.  I feel we do this every day.

Capability is what you are capable of. In the short term and in the greater sense of who you are and what you want to create. But capacity is something altogether different.

Just because you’re capable of working 100 hours a week doesn’t mean that that is your capacity. You might be capable of running a 7 minute mile, but trying to sustain that over 4 miles might kill you.

Capability is malleable, expandable, filled with potential.  What you are capable at any given moment allows you to tap into infinite possibility.  Capability is about who you are.

To truthfully become what you are capable of becoming, you have work within your capacity to create that.

Capacity is more than what you can cram into a day, hour, an interaction or a call. It’s about creating impact and it’s about doing so with less EFFORT.  What can you deliver of quality to the relationships you’re in, the work you do and the life you live in the time you have?

You may be capable of pushing yourself to your limits – out of obligation, familiar coping patterns, guilt, comparison, perfectionism, and fear of what others would think if you didn’t – until you fall into bed exhausted every night. Which translates to more effort, less impact, more stress, less reach, and ultimately, less capability in becoming who you are really meant to be.

Is that reasonable?

I would say no.  When you focus on your capability while ignoring your capacity you run the risk of overwhelming your nervous system. 

Let me be clear, capacity and capability are not in opposition. To truthfully become, do, be and have what you are capable of you have strategically function within your capacity to create that.

And honor your capacity each moment. This takes mindfulness, slowing down and asking:

What’s the greatest use of my energy?

Capacity is about protecting your body, your energy, and your health so that you’re able to deliver the absolute impact that you know you are capable of. The two work side-by-side.

As I ready to board another plane I am wishing to honor what’s presencing and alive for me right now so I can have greatest access to my strengths in the process and modulate as I go.

Where are you setting yourself up for failure in creating impact with over-responsibility, pushing, working over-capacity?

Where would you like to create more impact by slowing things down?

If you would like clarity on next steps. Let’s talk. 

Click here to apply for your complimentary 1-1 Discovery call. Let’s see if the relationship work I do is a match for you.

Let Love be your decision today and always,