Let me tell you a couple of recent stories of the upper limit in action.
A client of mine had just finished her 6 week program and we had set some great goals for her that she was well on her way to achieving. She was feeling positive in her mindset and she was feeling like she was on track. Things were flowing for her and she felt the momentum going forwards. Come Saturday night and a series of events led her to a broken rib and a lot of pain. This set her back, her momentum stopped, she needed to take time off work which set her back financially and the weekly goals she had almost achieved went un-reached.
I have had great momentum over the past month both in my personal life and business life. I have let go of many fears like insecurity and loneliness and my confidence has grown. I started myself on a 30 day body challenge and I was feeling AMAZING, my skin looked great, my body felt great, my mind was clear, my attitude positive. Life as I saw it was going better than ever. Come Saturday night and I decided to have a drink with friends, turned into many, many drinks. Sunday I woke up feeling sicker than I had in I can’t tell you how long. But even more than that I didn’t feel positive or confident anymore.
A week later and I finally feel like I’m back on track. but if I was a level 9 before that Saturday night, I’m only back to a 7 now. How long will it take me to get back to a 9 and then surpass that and keep getting better? I don’t know but as my levels went from a 3.5 last Sunday and slowly increased over the week I realised I had upper limited myself.
In his book “The Big Leap” Gay Hendricks writes of this concept of the Upper Limit. The sub-conscious and pre-determined limit we have given ourselves. A limit that we feel more comfortable staying under. We can have this upper limit in life such as happiness, health, wealth, love and success.
So how does this show up? Say things have been going well with you and your partner, you’ve been communicating well, you’ve been having fun, enjoying each others company and then Bam! You start a fight over something petty, you take something random out on them, you go out of your way to upset them without really thinking about what or why you are. That’s you hitting your upper limit of happiness and love and self-sabotaging so you can get back under the limit where it is familiar and safe.
My client self-sabotaged because she was moving forward in her life and had hit her upper limit of independence and self-love.
I self-sabotaged because I had hit my upper limit of health and confidence.
So you might ask now, What the fuck do we have upper limits for? In my opinion it’s our egos way of keeping us in check. It’s how we keep ourselves in the comfort zone and keep ourselves small. We may have inherited our limits from our parents or we have learnt to limit ourselves from experiences we have had in life. As Gay Hendricks says “each of us has a limited tolerance for feeling good”
How do you know you’ve hit your upper limit? You have to be aware of what your signs are that you are self-sabotaging. I’m going to say right now, going out and over drinking is a sign I have hit my upper limit. Also eating chocolate or not eating is another one for me. What are your upper limit signs? Do you get physically ill? Do you get an injury? Do you start a fight? Do you run and hide? Do you get sloppy at work? Do you stop parenting? Being aware of what your signs are is the first step to raising your limits. No matter how much happiness and success you have in life there is always room for more.
Can you get past your upper limit? Being aware of your upper limits and the signs that you have hit them, is going to give you the best chance to move the upper limit. Imagine that your upper limit is on the third story landing, you’ve worked your way up three flights of stairs and you got to the landing and then you self-sabotage and start going back to the second floor. You recognise what you are doing and instead of going back down you stay where you are and sit in that uncomfortable feeling. This is the place you think of the ways you can keep going up and then you decide that your upper limit is going to be on the fourth story landing now. You have now given yourself more room to move until you have to face the upper limit again.
“When it comes to joy and success, your upper limit is completely adjustable” – Marie Forleo
What can you do when you’ve hit that upper limit? Start asking yourself and the universe some questions.
“What’s it going to take to push past these limiting beliefs?”
“What would I rather believe?”
“What do I need to do to be healthier, wealthier and happier than I was yesterday?”
“Am I ready to reach a new level of happiness and success in all areas of life?”
Sit down in the uncomfortable feeling and be kind to yourself, give yourself the love and understanding you need and don’t allow yourself to continue self-sabotaging.
Below is a short clip from Gay Hendricks the author of The Big Leap talking about what you can do in the moments of hitting your upper limit.
Every moment is a chance to create your life, every choice lasts until you make the next one. Each of you will have different tolerance levels and different ways you self-sabotage. You all have the ability to choose more possibilities and create more for your future. Your upper limit can keep being raised and you can keep climbing the stairs until the only limit left is the sky.
Reach for the sky my friends, Lucy xx