Have you ever…
had that nagging feeling like you wanted something so bad and then when you got it, you felt like you didn’t deserve it? Ever applied for a job that was out of your comfort zone and “a long shot” but then you got it and felt like you weren’t good enough? Ever not applied for a job because you felt like you weren’t qualified enough? Ever started worrying about when the next shoe was going to drop because things in life were “going too well”? Ever started a fight with your spouse because things were “too good to be true”?
All of these are self-sabotaging examples that have to do with your Upper Limit Problem.
Your Upper Limit is the glass ceiling belief that you put on yourself, your thermostat. It’s the level of success in your relationship, your job, your personal life, or where you’ll be to be successful. The problem comes in when you get to that point or just above that point, you sabotage yourself because you don’t know what to do with that success or you have a certain negative belief around actually achieving it.
Did you know that according to Harvard Business Review, statistically women will not apply for a job unless they have 100% of the job criteria met while men will apply if they have only 60% of the job criteria met? Most of that job criteria is a “it’d be nice to have but isn’t necessary” anyway.
Ladies! What does this say about our sense of self-worth? You don’t know if you don’t try, right? But there’s that Upper Limit Problem. We don’t believe that we will get the job, so we hold ourselves back from even trying in the first place because what if you do accidentally get it and then everyone finds out you’re a fraud. Worst case scenarioing things never got anyone anywhere.
Stop living in fear. Robert Heller said that fear is the exact same emotion as exhilaration but without the breath. Think about an athlete, speaker, celebrity, or whomever has a lot of nerves but also a responsibility to uphold. What do they do just before they go perform? They take a big breath and they change the energy of fear into the energy of exhilaration by blowing that air out as if they’re blowing out candles on a birthday cake. Then they move. They take action.
You do new things every day, drive a new route because of a road construction detour, speak to new patients or clients, learn new things, complete new tasks, dive head first into learning 4th grade common core math just to help your child with their homework, figure out how to get spaghetti sauce out of your brand new white rug and didn’t disown your child for spilling it in the first place. (All of which are examples I’ve been through in the last 2 months so believe me when I say, when you put your mind to it- you can do hard, new things!) You can take that breath, blow it out, change the energy and take action. So why the self-sabotage when we finally get what we’ve asked for or hold ourselves back because of our own limiting beliefs?
When I work with couples, at least one session is dedicated to finances. Not only because it’s one of the top reasons for divorce but because the fights about money are never just about money. They are so much deeper than that. The upper limit problem of one or both parties that make up that couple keep them thinking small. That limited belief system then spills over into the relationship and one picks a fight with the other over “spending too much” when it’s really the limiting belief of angered party that’s the problem- not the “money being blown by buying the good toilet paper instead of the generic.”
Another example is of a good friend of mine. She is married to the love of her life, has 4 beautiful children who are all healthy. They own a home on quite a bit of land with an enormous backyard and have little to no debt. They travel and genuinely live “a great life” (her exact words). Yet, she has debilitating anxiety attacks almost nightly because she believes that something is going to happen and they’ll lose it all or one of them will die. Her upper limit problem- she doesn’t believe she is good enough to have this great of a life so something has to happen to make it “normal”.
How do you spot your Upper Limit problem? If you have: anxiety, frequent bouts of criticizing or blaming your partner, deflecting when someone points out your limiting belief system, picking fights with your partner, friends or family, frequent sickness or injuries, frequently comparing your life with others, finding fault in everyone else but yourself/having a “victim” mentality, you my friend, are suffering from an upper limit problem.
How do you fix it? Well naturally, I’m going to tell you coaching! Additionally though, letting go of the guilt and the blame. Get to the root of the upper limit problem- do you have more than one? Commit to identifying them and working through them consistently. Work to not just get through it but completely dissolve the problem. Close the gap by recognizing when you’re letting your upper limit problem get in the way of your success and recover from it by acknowledging it and then changing the narrative in your head- “The lie I’m telling myself is that I have not done enough to deserve my success. My TRUTH is that I have worked very hard for the accolades that I’ve earned and I am successful because of that dedication and determination. I excel in all I do!” Lastly, make a conscious decision to change your thought process from a lack mindset to thinking abundantly, with gratitude, love and success! What you focus on grows!
If you resonated with this, I’d love to hear from you. If you want to read more about it, Gay Hendricks talks all about it in his book The Big Leap. If you need help with this, I’d love to help you through it! I used to have debilitating anxiety as well and now I have none because I took responsibility for my own mindset, my own upper limit problems and my own dissolving of those limits. Upper limit problems aren’t forever. They’re only there as long as you let them take up space.
P.S.- This week’s episode, just dropped this morning, talks more in depth about the Upper Limit Problem and how to overcome it. It’s fire, if I do say so myself.