5 Ways to Tackle an Upper Limit Problem Even if You’re WAY Out of Your Comfort Zone
Let’s talk about our upper limit problem; the place or circumstance causing us to begin to sabotage further up-leveling because we’ve hit a perceived limit of success or victory in our life- i.e; we’re out of our comfort zone. Okay, now…let’s wake up and realize we are the reason for it and stop that! Here’s how.
Thanks to Gay Hendricks, PhD and his amazing book, The Big Leap, I learned about the ULP (Upper Limit Problem). He took awareness to another level for me, getting me to realize I’m what’s in the way of my biggest goals. It’s coming up again today as I watch a friend all up in his ULP, and I started noticing what he’s doing to kill his own dreams.
Gay says when we reach what we think is our upper limit — of success, happiness, wealth, health, whatever- we tend to exhibit resistant behaviors that knock us back down a notch or two. Why? It’s a comfort zone thing.
It’s uncomfortable sitting outside of our comfort zone. There’re variables out there, risks of disappointment, worries and anxieties about sustainability. All the anxiety-provoking what ifs you could possibly think of sit right on the other side of that comfy line. So when we move up to the line and step over, we freak out and jump back over again for a bit.
The answer to all this? Awareness and action.
Here are 5 Ways to Tackle the Upper Limit Problem and continue to level up in life, no matter what happens:
1. Recognize the comfort zone.
2. Notice where your upper limit is and when the problem starts.
3. Feel what happens when you’ve gone beyond that limit.
4. Be gentle with yourself if you resist.
5. Carry on with the badass habits that brought you the success.
The form of upper limit problem I most recently faced was when it was clear I wanted a divorce; that the relationship was feeling toxic and to move forward with the life I craved, I had to make a big change. As I went through the process of thinking, planning and then the almost debilitating pain of saying the words, “I don’t want to be married anymore,” I felt myself cliff dive out of my comfort zone.
Then I doubted my decision big time. I began thinking of all the reasons to try harder, and all the ways I was ruining everyone’s lives with my actions. I started resisting my own intuition by imagining how I’d fix everything, work harder, settle for my current situation, and deal with the stagnation I was experiencing. Full on upper limit problem and way out of my tidy little, stable, solid, successful, comfort zone life.
That lasted a little while, until my soul wouldn’t have it anymore and shoved me from behind (I started having massive anxiety and chest pain). So off the cliff I went again and this time it was a little less painful. Learning to fly without wings is scary, but you tend to figure it out right quick.
I learned an important lesson — that my upper limit problem was simply my resistance to the feeling/sensation of fear and uncertainty. So I knew I had to get better at feeling those things, and moving forward anyhow. I knew I had to master the art of being afraid and doing it anyway.
So I did. Cuz that’s how I roll. But I know not everyone rolls like that; some people dabbling with their fear for so long it’s paralyzes them and doubting their every desire, dream and goal because of the uncertainty.
Well I know one thing for certain: nothing’s certain.
Embracing this one idea can change everything. And I was willing to take a risk on uncertainty for the possibilities for my life.
The excitement of the possibilities started growing bigger than the fear of uncertainty.
Here’s what you can do to start busting through your own upper limits and ignite the up-leveling you ache for.
- Recognize your comfort zone. This means practice awareness, in every way possible, every day. You’ll have to wake up to how you feel, what’s going on when you’re in and out of the zone, and start recognizing your habitual patterns of fear. Journaling helps. Meditation helps. Using the moments of your life as a training ground helps. Give yourself permission to feel everything and be curious about when you feel you’re stepping out of that zone and what your reaction is.
- Notice when you bump up against your upper limit — maybe you have a victory of some kind, make a decision, land a new job, reach a new level of intimacy with your partner; now’s the time to practice more awareness. Realize the normal thing will be to resist the goodness. And pay attention to your thoughts, beliefs and behaviors right after the event. Again, be curious about this. Journal your thoughts and ideas. The idea here is to shed a light on it all. Calling it out will fizzle it out.
- Feel everything after you bust through your limits. Physical, emotional, mental. Listen to your inner critic chatter and recognize the voice. Hear your fear voices. As you pass your upper limits and do something you thought you couldn’t do, or thought would never happen, the elation will feel like a drug, and then it’ll wear off. Pay attention to what you feel as it wears off and your habit of thinking, saying or doing things to sabotage it. The awareness here will be the way through it.
- Practice extreme self-compassion through this process. Try treating yourself like you’d treat a small child, with patience, kindness and gentleness. You wouldn’t trash talk that child if he/she made a mistake. You wouldn’t say things like, “You idiot, look what you’re doing!” or “You’ve gone and screwed this up again!” But we tend to say these things to ourselves. Self-compassion along with awareness will get you back to up-leveling in no time.
- Carry on with your badass self. You have dreams, desires and goals that you’ve worked on relentlessly. Get back to it. Get right back to the thinking, dreaming, believing and doing that brought the victory to you in the first place. The faster the better.
You’ll have to repeat this process every time you bump up against your upper limit. The practice will be the way you master it. Through that practice you’ll gain momentum and ease. The better you are at noticing the pattern, the quicker you’ll change it, and the faster your next level of life will arrive. Try taking this on like a game. Have more fun when you notice your patterns and say things to yourself like, “Not today! I’ve got this!”
Because you do!
Want more ideas for next level living? Pick up my new free eBook, 7 Badass Habits for Next Level Living HERE!
Laura Di Franco, MPT is a holistic physical therapist, published author, poet, blogger and black belt with over two decades of experience in healing. Her transformational programs combine the empowering tools of body awareness and therapeutic writing to help you learn the language of your intuition and gain the clarity you crave for your life and business. Laura’s enthusiasm is contagious and the spark that’ll inspire you to make the change you’ve been afraid to make. She’s the sherpa you’ve been looking for! Want a workshop that’ll give you practical powerful tools you can use today? Find them at www.BraveHealer.com And more free inspiration on my Facebook page HERE.