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Don't Tell Me How Strong I Am

There is nothing of which everyone is so afraid of as of being told how vastly much he is capable of – do you want to know? - you are capable of living in poverty; you are capable of standing almost any kind of maltreatment, abuse, etc. But you do not wish to know about it, isn't it so? You would be furious with him who told you, and only call that person who bolsters you in saying: "No, this I cannot bear, this is beyond my strength."

- Soren Kierkegaard, 1855, The Diary of Soren Kierkegaard (Citadel Press, 1987), p. 111, item 134.