An Upper Limit Problem (ULP) is a concept defined in Gay Hendrick’s book, The Big Leap.
The key idea is this: Each of us possesses an inner thermostat that determines the amount of success, love, happiness and wealth that we allow ourselves. This is our upper limit setting and when we exceed our setting, we tend to sabotage ourselves so that we can return to the old, familiar comfort zone where we feel safer. Your thermostat was probably set well before you could think for yourself, usually in early childhood.
When we exceed our internal thermostat by achieving something significant, it blows the mercury in our thermostat and creates discomfort. Something negative sabotages the success or positivity created: we get injured, computer meltdowns happen, family and relational issues arise, we overeat, become wasteful and fall ill. We start looking for external reasons for our disappointment, we start playing the blame game and slowdown any possible success with self-sabotage. We create a stampede of negative emotions to stop our progress.
Why do we allow this to happen? Because it brings us back down to our normal range of capacity where we feel most comfortable.
How can you eliminate your upper limit problem? Awareness is the first step to understanding how you conquer the problem. Your belief system is at the root of this challenge. Unless you fully understand the reason for this upper limit problem, you may erroneously believe that you’re not good enough, flawed or simply not deserving to handle a big jump in your success, circumstances or happiness.
A simple example of this upper limit problem is lottery winners. They instantly achieve incredible wealth way beyond their limits which creates a pressure situation that they are unable to manage. The majority of big lottery winners end up broke and unhappy. Another example is the drug dealer who leaves the case filled with money behind because he does not have ability to manage the responsibility and pressure of massive wealth. It happens!
Every single living person has varying degrees of ‘upper limit problems’.
Be aware that any time you’re in the midst of busting through your own upper limits, it’s bound to be a little daunting and uncomfortable. You may want to pull back and contract to the safety of your comfort zone. Don’t! Hang with the discomfort. It’s a good sign that you’re limit is expanding. It means you’ve just increased your capacity to experience a higher level of wealth, happiness, success and love.
John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.
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