Upper Limit Problem

by | Dec 3, 2020 | Leadership

Pay attention to the following scenario: things are going really well, everything is just falling into place, you are happy and content. Then, all of a sudden, things start to go wrong. You feel overcome with stress, worry, doubt and fear and it plays out by having an argument with your partner, you get sick or a bad financial decision wipes out your savings. Well there’s a good chance you’ve hit what’s known as an upper limit problem.

Author of “The Big Leap” Gay Hendricks explains that we literally hit our upper limit when a deeply held limiting belief begins to conflict with our aspirations or plans for success.

We all have an inner setting that determines how much success we allow ourselves to enjoy in different areas of our life. When we exceed this inner setting, we may do something to sabotage ourselves, causing us to drop back into the old familiar zone where we feel secure.

The upper limit normally comes disguised as a tolerance cap for the amount of happiness we will allow ourselves. The sabotaging plays out in various ways. We might find the job of our dreams, but we argue and find fault with the boss. We may believe that we don’t deserve a 6-figure salary, so we find ways of wasting our money or sabotaging our job!

You may be the only member of your family to complete a university degree and as a result have a sense of not deserving it. So, rather than celebrate your success you downplay it. Trust me, the list goes on…..

So how do we tackle the upper limit problem?

The starting point is to become aware and recognise those moments when you transition from a happy moment or event to a feeling of fear and doubt. Recognise what the trigger is when you bump up against your upper limit.

Pay attention to your thoughts, beliefs and behaviours as the inner chatter starts and the self-sabotaging wants to kick in. Before the momentum of the critic takes hold, remind yourself of past successes and triumphs that provide a reference point of what you are truly capable of. Focus on these moments of achievement and the fear and doubt will quickly pass.


A message from the 5th century

A message from the 5th century

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