I’ve just read
THE BIG LEAP
By, Gay Hendricks
“The Big Leap is famous for something called the “Upper Limit” problem. Gay Hendricks proposes that many of us unconsciously sabotage ourselves or even make ourselves ill when we are experiencing happiness, financial success, joy in a relationship or any number of awesome things”.
An example of reaching the “Upper Limit” problem – the place where we begin self sabotaging behaviour.
You’ve given up smoking, and you’re beginning to feel strange – like something is missing maybe. You’re stressed about money, life, friends, etc, and you’re habitual response would be to have a cigarette.
You’re not used to dealing with uncomfortable feelings and want to create a ‘smoke screen’ so that you don’t have to feel the discomfort.
Welcome to the Upper Limit problem! You have the opportunity here to go beyond your usual experience.
Really get in touch with the discomfort and bring it into your awareness.
Pause, feel, and identify where you’re feeling uncomfortable, maybe in your body. It may be a knot of anxiety in your stomach, jittery feelings, or a vague sense of discomfort that you can’t put your finger on. Simply acknowledge it. Dare to speak it out loud – “I’m feeling really stressed/uncomfortable/nervous/a knot in my stomach”. This may in itself move the discomfort, either altogether, or, somewhere else. Follow the feeling and verbalise it – “I’m feeling x /y/ z” until it dissipates. You may find yourself in unchartered territory. You may feel a new sense of well being for not going back into the habitual comfort zone, or you may feel uncomfortable and out of your depth! Whatever, stay with it. You may have entered your zone of excellence. The next place is your zone of genius! This is the place where its possible to live in love, abundance and success. The book gives practical tools such as these to identify when the Upper Limit is reached, and, move into your zone of Excellence and Genius…
Using NVC (non violent communication) helps here. Once you’ve identified the feeling, just be present with it and sense what the need is. If it’s money problems, what do you need to do about it? When you’re in your zone of genius, the answer is very near the surface, and, may take a great leap of creativity to take you into the zone.
When you’re banging your head against the Upper Limit, you’re preventing yourself from living a highly fulfilled life. Once you can identify what’s underneath the habitual behaviour, what it is that is trying to sabotage (feelings of lack of self worth is a common one) and keep you from reaching your full genius, i.e., the feeling/emotion that is uncomfortable, sit with it, and give it a title – sadness/fear/worry etc, then tune in to see what this feeling needs to be able to move on. Maybe it needs acknowledgement from a partner – simply a reflection of what you’ve just verbalised e.g. ‘ oh, so you’re feeling sad/frightened/anxious?” Then ‘what do you need for that to change’? is really helpful…. Or, to be honest with yourself and sit and write this down and work it through… It has the potential to change your experience from living the ‘normal’, or, from a lifetimes conditioning, into the exceptional. This in itself can be frightening! And, challenges perceptions of self worth etc. Sit with them, identify them, find out what they need, sit with that fully and fearlessly, and watch the unfolding of being the change that you want to see!
You know that feeling when everything is going really well, and it’s almost too good to be true? It’s so good in fact that you’re worried that it’s going to change, so you make sure that it does by creating dissonance, or an argument, just to prove yourself right!
You’ve just come up against your Upper Limit problem!
Ask yourself, does this make you feel good? Does this promote loving feelings? Probably not – more likely, it keeps you in the zone of familiarity, one of discomfort, struggle and stress, that confirms subconscious habitual negative patterns of behaviour, which prevents you from going through your Upper Limit and entering your personal zone of excellence, and then genius, where its possible to live in love, abundance and success.
So what to do when you feel the urge to sabotage a good thing, and keep you from moving out of your Upper Limit into your zone of excellence and into your zone of genius?
Take a moment to feel into your body/mind. Are you unhappy? Sad? Do you have financial/health problems, stress, loss of friends and family? If you can identify the feeling, you’re working towards breaking through the Upper Limit ceiling, into the zones of excellence and genius where its possible to live in love, abundance and success.
Once you’ve identified the feeling, what is the need behind it? Do you need love, understanding, sympathy, a hug? Or, to take time out to nurture yourself and take stock? If so, ask for, or give yourself what you need rather than push the uncomfortable feelings out into the world, maybe projecting them onto others as criticism and blame. This is sabotaging the possibility of moving out of your habitual way of responding, and into your zone of excellence and then genius, where its possible to live in love, abundance and success.
Identify the sadness, loneliness, anxiety, fear etc. Sit with it, giving it attention. This may be all it needs – the healing balm of acknowledgement. See if there is anything else that is needed, whether practically or emotionally. Ask a friend/partner/yourself to support you in getting your needs met, rather than retreating into pushing your uncomfortable feelings out into the world, where it is not possible they will not be met with love and understanding! Whilst these uncomfortable feelings are subconscious and non verbal, these unacknowledged needs can be destructive. I believe that when we are truly vulnerable (with those whom we trust), we are met with love, tenderness, empathy and understanding. It’s in these moments that transformation is possible.
We are all able, through application of skill full means, to live what the author refers to as the zone of genius, one of love, abundance and success…