In the 12 Limitations class, students explore their values, set goals, and develop processes with the guidance of coaches, a mastermind group, and an open, collaborative community. The 12 Limitations are the only things that can hold a person back from being successful.

The 12 Limitations are:

  1. Belief
  2. Rules
  3. Culture
  4. Clarity
  5. Desire
  6. Knowledge
  7. Time
  8. Connections
  9. Resources
  10. Location
  11. Talent
  12. Health

The Divergent Learning Model

At Divergent U, we use the Divergent Learning Model to overcome the 12 Limitations. This looks like using divergent thinking to build a foundation based on value, building awareness to hone in on goals, using divergent thinking again to create and test a strategy, and converging on and executing a process to overcome all limitations.

The sequence looks like this:

The 12 Limitations

The steps of the Divergent Learning Model correlate with the 12 Limitations. Each stage of the model, Foundation, Awareness, Strategy, and Execution, are worked through by exploring 3 of the 12 Limitations.


Building a foundation means exploring what is possible. In the Foundation stage, students explore the limitations of Belief, Rules, and Culture to challenge and expand their understanding of what’s possible.

Belief- To build a foundation, we start with understanding and challenging beliefs. Our beliefs influence what we are able to achieve. What are your beliefs about each of the limitations? What do you believe is possible? Are you confident that you can achieve anything?

Rules- The rules of society and nature influence us in ways we often aren’t fully aware of. Which rules influence you? Can you use them to your advantage? When working in an organization, how could you bring value to others by doing something you enjoy that will also pay well?

Culture- The beliefs of the people around us influence our confidence and ability. Who are the people and communities around you? How do their beliefs influence you? How can you protect your confidence and build a culture that helps you grow rather than holds you back?


Developing awareness means getting clear on goals. In the Awareness stage, students explore the limitations of clarity, desire, and knowledge.

Clarity- Clarity helps us define our goals, increasing the likelihood that we will reach them. What do you want to be able to accomplish? When do you want it to happen? Don’t worry as much about “realistic” timelines. Test what is possible by attempting things that seem impossible.

Desire- Desire helps us to stay focused on our goals and stay motivated for the long term, even in the face of challenges. How motivated are you? How can you find inspiration and stay focused?

Knowledge- We live in a world in which we have access to nearly unlimited information. What do you need to know to reach your goals? How can your specialized knowledge help you collaborate with others?


Creating a strategy requires understanding what is getting in the way. In the Strategy stage, students explore the limitations of time, connections, and resources.

Time- Time is a limitation when we lack an understanding of how to schedule and manage it effectively. Time is a resource, not an enemy. How can you free up your schedule and get your time back?

Connections- Who we know is often more important than what we know. As long as you know who you need to connect with, you can learn how to do so. How can you connect with anyone in the world through technology?

Resources- This is the limitation we are most likely to think is holding us back. How can you create value in order to make money? How can you use your resources more effectively and intentionally, in line with your values?


Executing a process looks like developing follow through and making adjustments as needed. In the Execution stage, students explore the limitations of location, talent, and health.

Location- This refers to physical location. It’s important to be in a location that encourages growth. If you aren’t, you can choose to move or adapt to a more remote lifestyle. How can you optimize your location for better opportunities?

Talent- We often fall into the trap of not practicing enough. Practice makes perfect but it must be done with intention if we are looking to make rapid progress. If we focus on our talent, we will be better able to make money, time, and connections. How do you approach practice?

Health- This refers to both physical and mental health. We cannot execute any of our dreams without the health to do so. How can you approach your life to make sure you are operating optimally?

What to Do with Your Limitations

Start by getting clear on each of the 12 Limitations. These are the only things which can hold you back and yes, they can be overcome.

Which limitations are holding you back? Where are you lacking? What is preventing you from living the life you want to live? You may be struggling with one of them, but it’s likely that you’re dealing with multiple. Focus on what’s difficult for you.

Each of the limitations can be flipped. Rules can work to our advantage. We can learn how to connect with nearly anyone. Even the physical limitation of health can be overcome if we set goals that are greater than ourselves; our missions may outlive us.

Before you can flip the limitations, you need to understand them. We have nearly unlimited access to information. When you look at what’s been holding you back, you will have a better understanding of what you need to learn in order to overcome it.

For more information on exploring the 12 Limitations, download the Divergent U’s 12 Limitations Questionnaire here.