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Stop Your Self-Sabotage

As a followup to my post about the Zone of Genius, I’d be remiss to not also talk about self-sabotaging patterns. 

We talk a lot about the glass ceiling, which is an important topic.  But there are also ceilings that we put on ourselves that I think we should examine.  Most of the time, it’s driven by sub-conscious beliefs that we may not even be aware of.

In his book “The Big Leap”, Gay Hendricks talks about the Upper Limit problem that often keeps us trapped.

“When you push through your Upper Limit thermostat setting by making more money, experiencing more love, or drawing more positive attention to yourself, you trip your Upper Limit switch. Deep inside your mind a little voice says, “You can’t possibly feel this good” (or “make this much money” or “be this happy in love”). Unconsciously, you then do something to bring yourself back down to the thermostat setting you’re familiar with. Even if you do achieve a glorious new height, it is often short-lived.”

This is the voice in your head that:

  • limits your ability to stay in joy.
  • becomes active as soon as good things start happening to you.
  • doesn’t believe you deserve good things.
  • worries about how others will feel.
  • keeps you focused on the risks of a situation.

This voice in your head has good intentions: it wants to keep you safe.  Once you hit your ceiling, which is your tolerance for how good you’re allowed to feel, your brain starts to manufacture reasons to feel bad. It starts to worry.  It puts you in a victim mindset.

There are 4 common beliefs that underlie your Upper Limits Problem:

  • Feeling fundamentally flawed and unworthy of good things
  • Exhibiting disloyalty and abandonment to yourself or others
  • Believing that more success means more burdens
  • Fearing that outshining others is not acceptable

These upper limits are particularly prevalent when facing major changes – a career switch, a new job, or even a promotion.  They can lead you to make safe choices, keeping you in your comfort zone rather than your ‘Zone of Genius,’ where your brilliance and uniqueness truly shine.

How do you overcome these beliefs? Start with these questions:

  • How willing am I to increase the amount of time each day to feel good inside? 
  • Am I willing to feel good and have my life go well all the time?
  • How much love and abundance am I really willing to allow?
  • How am I getting in my own way?
  • Am I willing to do the work to reprogram these limiting beliefs?

This is ultimately an exercise in letting yourself consciously enjoy the money you have, the love you feel, and the creativity and gifts that you possess.  It’s about making time each day to expand your capacity to enjoy these things and appreciate the goodness in yourself and in your life.

A meditation or affirmation that Hendricks suggests is what he calls the Ultimate Success Mantra:

“I expand in abundance, success, and love everyday, as I inspire those around me to do the same.”

This may not sound resonant for you, in which case I’d edit it to make it yours.  But hopefully you understand the intention here: to allow yourself to expand and take up space while encouraging others to do the same.

See what happens after trying this for a few months.  My guess is that things will start to shift around you.  And I’m here for it.

Are you ready to step into an unconstrained life?  Schedule a call to get started.

Hi, I’m Nancy and I partner with mid-senior leaders and changemakers who are invested in solutions for positive change.  I offer custom leadership development programs, tools and practices, and deeper transformations to help them navigate their career with more purpose, effectiveness, and confidence.

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