The Upper Limit Problem


Last week I turned my book over to the editor. 12 weeks to book launch!

It’s exciting. It’s rewarding. I have a huge smile on my face.

It’s also pushed me right up against the Upper Limit Problem, an idea from Gay Hendricks.

I knew it was coming.

Still, the 24 hours after I handed over the book felt like a hurricane of doubt and frustration I couldn’t escape.

Know the feeling?

You get a promotion, your network and community are growing in ways that are great for your career, you get a raise, or you even meet Mr/Ms right.

Suddenly everything feels all wrong.

You shy away from the very success you’ve been working towards. Others feel it, and they too begin to have doubts. About you. About the work.

Then all that hard work only yields a fraction of what is possible.

Argh! What can you do to turn it around?

First, be aware of the dynamic. Recognize it when it happens. Be kind to yourself.

Know your Upper Limit response. Do you become angry and blame? Do you become needy and whiny?

Next, know that you don’t have to fix everything in THIS moment. Put down the worry, frustration, fear or sadness. Focus on little things. Yes, doing the dishes is perfect.

Engage in some radical self-care. Calling a couple of friends, going to lunch and dress shopping worked for me.

Flip the catastrophizing on its head. Imagine instead the success version. Luxuriate in it, even if it feels fake at first.

Remember, upper limit fears are normal. Just know how to move past them so your hard work can pay off.

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