So what is upper limiting?
Gay Hendricks, the author of The Big Leap (which is an amazing book, by the way) defines an upper limit problem (ULP) – as the amount of success, happiness, money etc that we will ‘allow’ ourselves to experience before we sabotage things and bring ourselves back to a more comfortable and familiar level.
Usually this is set in childhood and it sets the bar for what we will give ourselves permission to be, do and have later in life. When life gets too good, all of our internal alarm bells go off, telling us that we don’t deserve more, that more is scary, that we’ll end up alone, or this will end in disaster. Our ego can be very dramatic and always goes to worst case scenario.
As mentioned above, upper limiting rears it’s ugly head when life gets too good and we’re going through periods of growth, to be, do and have more than we’re used to. It’s not a one time thing either… if you’re committed to yourself and growth, then every big period of growth can and usually does, bring upper limiting. Let me share some example of life getting too good:
- We suddenly experience flow and ease when it comes to money, we’re selling out our programs, we have a wait list of clients and we have the perfect work life balance
- We feel happier and more content than we ever have, life is just flowing and we’re having fun
- We have the health and vitality we’ve always dreamed of. We’re prioritising self care and feeling the benefits
- Our relationship is going well and we feel deeply loved
- New opportunities are presenting themselves in every direction we look
It’s in these moments that a quiet voice inside of us starts to speak and once again we focus on our ingrained belief that we can’t have it all and so we set out to prove ourselves right.
This is when we self sabotage, because survival and feeling safe is our number one priority!
Let’s explore some of the most common signs of upper limiting in life and in your business:
- Procrastination and not starting or stopping doing something that you know it good for you.
- Giving into fear – fear can make you believe that you will make bad decisions, that people might judge you, that you could fail, or maybe that you could even be successful.
- Addictions – using drugs, drink, cigarettes, caffeine, sugar and junk food to ‘numb out’. This prevents you from getting into contact with your real feelings. When you start looking at what you are really trying to achieve or avoid by giving into the addictions, you know that life has to change and you have to start taking action. This makes you feel very uncertain, out of control and scared.
- Conflict – life is flowing, money is coming in and you’re feeling pretty happy with yourself. This is an unfamiliar feeling for you and so you decide to create some drama! The easiest way to do this is create conflict… start an argument or heated discussion with others.
- Playing down your abilities and gifts – when you start playing down your abilities to others and yourself, you don’t have to step into that next version of you. You get to stay safe….but at the same time, you will be pushing away potential opportunities for growth, expansion and for greater health, wealth and happiness.
- Hiding away in the shadows as other people live your dream life – you know that the key to being more successful is actually showing up and being more present in your own life and business, but instead you’re hiding away in the shadows. You’re feeling frustrated and envious as other people live your dream life.
- Toxic relationships and friendships – you know that certain people are not good for you and yet you stay connected with these people, emotionally and energetically. They may be people who don’t support you, make you feel good about yourself and who are very negative. Being with these people holds you back, but right now you’re unwilling to let them go.
- Putting obstacles and challenges in your path – and making them bigger and more complicated than they need to be. If you have ‘obstacles’ to deal with along the way, then this can stop you from doing the things that really matter.
- Negative self-talk – when you tell yourself that you can’t do something, or shouldn’t do something you are playing into the hands of self-sabotage. Your conscious mind starts to believe that you are not smart enough, clever enough, or good enough and so it keeps you trapped.
- Becoming ill and experiencing accidents – it’s our bodies way of slowing us down and preventing us from doing more
- Unexpected expenses – you thought you were going have a surplus of money or enough to pay the bills without struggle and before you know it, an unexpected expense comes up. This takes you back to a place of struggle again, which is a very familiar feeling for you.
- General feeling of discomfort, worry and anxiety – you started to feel too good, too content and you’re simply not used to this. Your mind searches for something it can worry or fret about to bring you back down to what feels normal for you.
- Blocking receiving – you aren’t allowing yourself to receive anything – compliments, help or support and this is intensified during periods of growth. To receive more means you have to deal with all the fear, doubt, guilt, feelings of worthiness and deserving…
Here are some more specific signs of upper limiting in our business:
- Never being able to move past a certain level of income, or achieving it consistently – when we’re in the mode of self sabotaging and upper limiting, it won’t matter what we do, we’ll always bring ourselves back down to this level of income. It’s the classic feast and famine.
- Every launch, you get the same number of people, or the same amount of income – we have placed a subconscious limit on things.
- Putting on the brakes – we stop taking enough action in our business during a launch. We hit a comfortable level of success and we decide that’s enough, even though we could do so much more! We tell ourselves we’ve run of energy, time or ideas.
- Overworking, over delivering and perfectionism – self doubt has kicked in and we believe that we need to do more to keep people happy and to prove our worth.
- Giving up when you’re almost there – the end is in sight for delivering a new product, program or project and just before we can experience success, we give up. We convince ourselves it’s not going to work, the timing isn’t right, or our ideas are stupid. In reality we’re overcome with the fear of success and how life could change for us.
- Not chasing the money sat in your inbox – booking people in when they have approached you, sending invoices for monies owed, not contacting people you know you could help
- Create new offerings all the time instead of focusing on what you have – before you’ve even begun delivering your program or offering, you’re already onto the next idea. Your energy is fragmented and you’re not allowing yourself to maximise on things.
- Investing in new courses, healing etc that you don’ really need – this is a classic distraction technique. You believe you don’t have enough tools, information, knowledge or the inner strength to deliver anything of value now!
- Blaming others for your lack of success – you blame your business coach, mentor, or other supporters for your lack of success and progress, when in fact it was you hitting up against your own upper limits.
These are just some of the things I have personally done and seen my clients do over the last few years, sometimes I indulge in just one thing when I’m in a period of growth, other times I do pretty much all of it, because the growth is so big and uncomfortable. I can laugh at myself now, because I recognise my habits and what I’m doing… self awareness and a huge dose of self honesty is key here.
I believe you’re worth your dreams and I know it’s possible, so lets walk this path together.
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Until next time!
Intuitive Mindset Coach & Energy Healer for the Sensitive Soul – Helping you banish negativity, self-doubt & self-sabotage forever – it’s time to believe in yourself, take action and create the life you deserve