Arguing For Your Limitations: Are You Keeping Yourself From Getting That First Song Recorded?

by Marty Dodson
Nov 10, 2020

I’ve been reading a book called “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of “Eat, Pray, Love”, that was given to me by SongTownian Lance Sims. In the first few pages of the book, Ms. Gilbert writes…

“If you argue for your limitations, you get to keep them.”

That hit me squarely between the eyes. I can’t count the number of times in the past that I have done exactly that. “I can’t play volleyball”. “I’m no good at art.” “My songs aren’t good enough to play for anyone.”

Defending weaknesses will strengthen them… And make them true!

I can’t play volleyball if I WON’T play volleyball. I won’t get a song cut if I don’t ever play them for anyone. The list goes on and on.

Turns out, I’m ok at volleyball and it’s fun to play, I am decent at painting abstracts, and my songs are good enough to play for people. Who knew?

The only thing that changed for me was getting rid of the debilitating fear that had held me hostage for years. I was afraid to do much of anything unless I was guaranteed success. I was a perfectionist and a coward.

When I finally decided that the pain I was feeling from NOT doing things was greater than the pain of trying and failing, I was set free.

Not instantly. Not magically. Day by day. Courageous choice by courageous choice – I changed me.

In the days since, I have failed a lot. And failure wasn’t fatal. In fact, most of the time, it was a great learning experience that led me to some other type of success.

Most of the good things I have experienced in life have come from taking chances and being courageous. I’m not turning back.


If you have defended your limitations, I challenge you to choose courage over fear.

You don’t have to quit your job and become a songwriter, but step out. Play your music for people. Take chances on co-writes. Do those things that scare you most.

Defy your self-imposed limitations and LIVE.

Write On! Marty

Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson is a multi #1 songwriter, co-founder of SongTown, and co-author of  The Songwriter’s Guide To Mastering Cowriting and Song Building: Mastering Lyric Writing


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