ARE YOU UPPER LIMITING YOURSELF? LET'S TALK SELF SABOTAGE.
Have you ever wanted something so badly that you self sabotage and get in your own way? *raises hand* I FINALLYYYYYY have the outline together for my upcoming program, CORE CONFIDENCE, and am starting to see the finish line but it's been a LONG time in the making. I actually had the idea for this program in June last year (lol) and have been in my own way ever since.
Soooo many VALID excuses, right? It's not the right time. I don't know enough yet (this is by far the easiest one to justify). I just don't have the time right now because of [insert other perfectly valid priority here]. Once I have [completed that 100th training, built my website, cleaned out my closet, put that other event on sale, walked the dog, lost 4kgs] THEN I will [finally chase that big dream]. Then I will be 'ready'. Any of this sound familiar? Last week I asked the question on my stories, 'what is the biggest challenge you face when it comes to your confidence?' and then I DM'd everyone who replied. From the polls, comment boxes & messages the resounding impact of confidence was the belief in your value. That some of you felt confident, and you would take some action, and then...it kind of goes away.
I recommended the book The Big Leap so many times in my message exchanges that I thought I would bring the concept of that book to this weeks blog post. What it dives in to in great detail is our upper limit. Whatever that dream or goal is your chasing, it's never a lack of knowledge, time or resources that get in your way. It's the silent upper limit around your belief in your value - and it keeps us distracted from taking action and being in our zone of genius.
What is an upper limit?
An upper limit is the cap we put on what we can achieve. Here's a visual for you that an old mentor once told me, about an experiment with fleas. They put the fleas in the jar and put the lid on and over the course of a few days, the fleas kept jumping and hitting the lid. When they finally took the lid off, the fleas would jump just underneath the lid every time and no longer knew they could get out. That's kind of what we do, we put a lid on our jar, and when our results exceed the limit we have on ourselves, we self sabotage ourselves back in our jar.
Why do we upper limit?
Each of us has an inner thermostat setting that determines how much love, success and creativity we allow ourselves to enjoy. That thermostat setting usually gets programmed in early childhood. And, once programmed, our upper limit thermostat setting holds us back from enjoying all the love, financial abundance and creativity that’s rightfully ours. This applies to everything - relationships (we are in a good one, things are going well...then we pick a fight), health (we are nailing it at the gym, drinking all the green juice...then we decide to go on a sugar binge and skip the gym). How many times have you been 'waiting for the other shoe to drop'? Expecting the good times or harmony in your life to be interrupted? I said to my boyfriend yesterday I would be great in a disaster situation because my brain creates catastrophes for so many things. And that is my auto-pilot I am working on overriding. For me, my upper limit and cap for joy/success comes from a series of experiences growing up, that taught me when things are going well...something bad happens. So I have almost been afraid of things going well, because I expected something bad to follow. So what's the best thing to do? Take it in to my own hands and sabotage it first.
What are the common upper limits?
1. Feeling Fundamentally Flawed.
The belief that we are somehow flawed, or missing the secret sauce that everyone has is a common upper limit. The fear that if you did make a commitment to fully using your unique gifts, you might fail. This belief tells you to play it safe and stay small. That way, if you fail, at least you fail small. This used to be a HUGE one for me, particularly in the workplace. I would pretend not to know how to do things, or always joke and be silly so people had low expectations of me so I never let anyone down. What this did though, was slowly chip away at my belief in myself and lower MY standards and expectations for me.
2. Disloyalty and Abandonment.
This is the feeling that if you expand in to your full potential, it would cause you to end up alone, or be disloyal to your roots/family and leave people behind in your past. If this comes up for you, ask yourself - "did I break my family's 'rules' to get where I am? Even though I am/will have success, did I fail to meet my parents expectations of me?" If you answered yes, you are likely to feel guilty as you have more success. The guilt pumps the breaks on your success and prevents you from enjoying what you have.
3. Believing That More Success Makes You a Bigger Burden.
This barrier is the feeling that I cannot achieve my highest potential because I’d be an even bigger burden than I am now. An example of how this one could have been ingrained as a limit, would be if your primary caregivers had to take time off work to create space to celebrate your achievements, and there was an energy or conversation that made you think they didn't have the time or it was negatively impacting the family.
4. The Crime of Outshining.
Ooooo this is a big one here in Australia (and NZ!). We call it Tall Poppy Syndrome. That by us shining, we may take away someone else's shine. The 'who are you to be better than your mate?' attitude. I could get so fired up about this one but that might be a whole other newsletter. All I will say for now is, WHO ARE YOU NOT TO? Your shine doesn't take anyone else's away from them, in fact it lights the way for them to embrace their own.
What are some symptoms of upper limiting?
Worry - This one is my specialty haha it's the 'noise' that our brain creates to distract us from our zone of genius and keep us on the 'what if' loop instead of taking action.
Blame and criticism - we either blame or criticise others (this is particularly rife on social media 'I can't believe she...I would never...) or we blame and criticise ourselves to hold us stuck.
Deflection - The inability for us to accept praise is wild. "You look great today!" "Oh this old thing? No it's from Kmart. But YOU look really great today." "You did so great in that presentation!" "Oh no I was way off I forgot a whole section." JUST. SAY. THANK. YOU.
Arguments - The author of the book Gay Hendrick says that arguments are just two people racing to occupy the role of the victim. BOOM. I don't know about you, but that is not a role I want to play.
Illness - Here's a real life example for you. Me - "I haven't been sick in 7 years!" Also me: Has the biggest up level in my business, on a real roll...gets the flu. Lol Ever had something really important on and then suddenly you get a migraine, or lose your voice before a speech etc? Upper limit.
How do we break through our upper limits? (BECOME A LIMITS TESTER.)
1. Make a commitment to keeping an attitude of wonder and play while learning about your upper limit behaviours. Get curious! Say this sentence in your mind as often as you like (and strive to embody the attitude it represents): "I commit to discovering my upper limit behaviours, and to having a good time while I’m learning about them." You can learn a lot more with a spirit of wonder and enjoyment than you can with an attitude of criticism.
2. Make a list of your upper limit behaviours, so you can start to be aware of them. Every time you catch them? Take immediate action in the opposite direction. Worried? Take action & have fun. In an argument? Laugh and acknowledge the real issue. Deflecting? Say thank you and RECEIVE.
3. When you notice yourself doing one of the things on your upper limit list, such as worrying or failing to communicate some truth, shift your attention to the real issue: expanding your capacity for abundance, love and success.
4. Consciously let yourself make more room in your awareness for abundance, love and success. Use the resources of your whole being, not just your mind. For example, feel more love in your chest and heart area. Savour the body feeling, as well as the mental satisfaction, of success and abundance.
5. Embrace a new story that tells about your adventures in your zone of genius. Scripting is a great one to do for this, literally write out your life in CURRENT tense (eg I am...not I want or will) exactly how you want it to go - and being in your magic. Read it daily.
The most important thing is to just keep taking action. Action, action, action. Every time you notice the self sabotage sneaking in, take action. Because it trains your brain to know that no matter WHAT happens, you'll do it anyway. So although the fear and the excuse list may never go away, the time that expands in between the excuse and the result gets smaller and smaller. You are enough. You know enough. You have the time. You will figure it out. Now what do you choose? Add a comment and let me know.
Sending you so much love! Have an amazing week. xo
Want to go deeper?
JOURNAL PROMPTS TO UNCOVER YOUR ZONE OF GENIUS:
What activity do I most love to do?
What work do I do that doesn’t seem like work?
In my work, what produces the highest ratio of abundance and satisfaction to amount of time spent?
What is my unique ability?