glassceiling
This week, I’ve been diving deep into a wonderful book by Gay Hendricks called The Big Leap. The timing of this has been perfect for me, because I’m plotting my next big leaps for 2014 as we speak.The interesting thing about Hendricks’ book is that it revolves primarily around the idea that we all have an Upper Limit Problem– a set of negative beliefs that kicks in when we get to the limit of the “good” we think we can tolerate. Usually, this limit is grounded in something we learned in childhood. If we can’t overcome our Upper Limit, we end up stuck in a zone where we are not operating to the complete capacity of our gifts, and we fail to leap to our next big stage of success.

Here’s an example: I had a very good day yesterday financially– a five figure day that capped off what has been a smashing year for my business. On top of that, every day for the last two weeks, my business has made money. And not just a little money. Like thousands of dollars every day.

You would think that this would put me in a place of financial security, wouldn’t you? Not so. Enter Elizabeth’s Upper Limit Problem.

Last night, after my husband gently suggested a particular outlet for some of this money that doesn’t have to do with socking it away, I had . . . how shall I put this . . . a total meltdown. Complete with outburst, tears and mind-blowing panic about keeping us afloat for the next year. It was ugly.

It wasn’t until several hours later that it occurred to me that I was suffering from an Upper Limit Problem. I had reached the limit of my capacity to feel good about my financial success (and true to form, it’s based in my own familial history about money), and I had unconsciously started to self-sabotage.  Yikes.

You may recognize other forms of the Upper Limit Problem in yourself. Have you screwed up an important project at work right after a fantastic annual review? Spent a big bonus before it even hit your bank account? Picked fights with your partner in the middle of a hot date night? Lost ten pounds and then gone on a cheesecake binge? You’ve got an Upper Limit Problem.

So how do you overcome an Upper Limit Problem? Read on.

Hendricks suggests that when we recognize that we are in an Upper Limit Problem, there are a series of steps we can use to get ourselves out of it and into a state that is more conducive to how we really want to feel.

First, notice that you’re in it, and observe how it feels. (This is usually not that hard– my panic manifests as the inability to breathe, for instance. Yours may look like a seemingly irresistible urge to eat a Snickers after running five miles.)

Second, shift away from the panicked/compulsive thoughts by asking yourself instead: what positive things are trying to come through in my life? Ask that question of yourself until you notice where in your body the sensation of that “breaking through” sits, and focus deeply on that sensation.

Third, stay with that feeling for as long as you possibly can.

It sounds almost too easy, but you’ll find that with this simple practice, it doesn’t take long to shift yourself from a truly bleak mindset to something that feels warm, beautiful and optimistic.

And curiously, as Hendricks points out, there’s a bonus: once you do this, you will often find that you KNOW what positive thing is in fact trying to break through for you, and you can get to work on THAT.

When I conducted this exercise, what was breaking through for me became shockingly plain: I’ve had a slew of new client emails in the last two weeks that have made the prospect of an explosive year for my business in 2014 not only possible, but probable. Nothing like the prospect of wild success to invoke the banging of one’s head on the Upper Limit ceiling!!!

So now, I’m breaking through and plotting out my best year ever. I’m making room in 2014 for success beyond my wildest dreams. And I am sitting with that sensation for as long as I can.

Next, it’s your turn: in the comments below, tell me what Upper Limit you plan to bust through in the next year. I want to know!  Let’s kick those Upper Limits in the ass this week and all year long.

See you next time.

 

XOXO E

PS. If you like this post, I’d be honored if you’d share it with someone you care about. Many thanks.

 

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