A**-Kicking with Limitations

be who you were made to be

When I became mysteriously, incredibly sick in 2013, I wasn’t sure I could get through the next hour, let alone the next day.


Eventually, I stabilized. I could rely on a certain level of illness every single day. Many things in my life changed, including my ability to think, get around, enjoy “ordinary” outings, and plan for the future. What didn’t change were my ferocious ambition and my dreams for the future.

In the toughest times, I spent days upon days bed-bound and house-bound; I couldn’t read; I had trouble eating and swallowing. Even today, I still can’t reliably make plans with friends. But I wanted to win a MacArthur “Genius” Grant; I wanted to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Despite my new circumstances, I didn’t want to give up on those dreams.

If you’re an ambitious person dealing with limitations–whether that’s illness and/or disability, an unexpected life circumstance, bereavement, or any other limitation that can arise in a person’s life–A**-Kicking with Limitations is for you.

Since being diagnosed with late-stage Lyme disease and a severe psychiatric illness, I’ve managed to publish a critically acclaimed book, promote and tour for said book, be profiled in the New York Times about my writing and work here at esmewang.com, publish essays and articles in quality publications, teach and present at conferences, and earn a contract to write a second book at a prestigious press.

Looking back, I can’t quite believe that I’ve managed to do all of those things when every single day feels like a challenge.

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But I’ve also gone back and looked at what I did to make those things happen. With that information, I created a workshop called A**-Kicking with Limitations and taught it at the 2016 Get Bullish Conference in Palm Springs–a workshop that people told me inspired them to change their lives. And I’m here to share the same stuff–and more–with you in a simple, easy-to-digest five-day email course with written content and recorded audio.


◇ An introduction to the material, including my personal story
Examining our limitations
◇ Looking at our definitions of success, both abstract and concrete
◇ Learning how to use our boundaried space
Creating a plan for going after your goals







“Esmé, I just want to tell you that since I took A**-Kicking with Limitations a month ago, I have already met so many writing goals, including getting accepted by a prestigious magazine and beginning to look for paid work as a writer! Thank you!” —Samantha S.

“My life has changed dramatically over the past year, and it’s been frustrating to try to function as I used to under the new circumstances. AKWL has challenged me to consider what it is I want to accomplish and how I can fit that into the actual life I have, with its limitations and uniquely shaped spaces. Esmé’s concise lessons helped me break the big aspects I’d been treating as immutable into puzzle pieces that I could then rearrange and expand on. Now I have the beginnings of a workable plan for going after what I want while living the life I have.”

Esmé’s approach to defining goals within the scope of personal limitations was very helpful–and her own handling of her experiences were hugely inspiring.”

akwl twitter testimonial

“I really loved her advice about viewing limitations as ‘the rules of the game’ and reassessing specific goals vs vague concept of success.”

I didn’t even know that I needed it, I didn’t even know that I needed to hear what she had to say and work through limitations. Her workshop is so valuable to me as a professional and as a regular human with my family and friends. So much respect for Esmé and this topic.”

“She’s amazing. I liked the exercises. Actually writing down goals, breaking them down. Her specific examples of how she does it was great too.”

“I really liked this workshop. Even though I don’t have any big limitations in my life, I thought the information was very applicable to everyone.”[/ezcol_1half_end]


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