Upper Limit Problem. Ever heard of it? I had not until I read “The Big Leap” by Gay Hendricks. And it was a real eye opener. Click on the photo to get the book because it will change your life!
So what is ULP? Gay Hendricks summed it up beautifully: “Each of us has an inner thermostat setting that determines how much love, success and creativity we allow ourselves to enjoy. When we exceed our inner thermostat setting, we will often do something to sabotage ourselves, causing us to drop back into the old, familiar zone where we feel secure.”
ULP is where we have a comfort zone core belief on what we believe is the most we can expect from a situation (work, money, relationships, health, etc.). When we start pushing on the ULP like we’re breaking through a glass ceiling to get to the next level, that’s when an issue happens that derails us.
Have you ever been on a roll, things are going great, you’re feeling great, work is great, relationships are great, money is coming in, you feel like you’re making a difference and reaching for the next ring on the ladder? You may even have the thought that things are way too good right now. And then BOOM! The big smack down happens.
The smack down can appear as subconscious negative talk, getting sick, getting injured, getting into a fight with a co-worker/loved one, backing out of an opportunity, doing something publicly stupid, or just basically royally messing up the situation for no good reason. We don’t do this consciously and intentionally; it’s our ULP kicking in based on a core belief that we’ve gotten as high/good/successful/happy as we should. So when we start to knock on that ceiling to go to the next level, the subconscious saboteur comes out to join our party.
With a big leap comes a big mess.
Is this ringing a bell? Think back to a time when you felt great, felt like you were on top of the world, and then it crashed. If you really look objectively to what was going on, and what you were thinking/doing/believing, you may find that you experienced ULP.
There are 4 basic beliefs that trigger ULP:
- that we are fundamentally flawed and not entitled to greatness,
- that if we expand we will be disloyal to our tribe,
- that with great success brings great burdens, and
- if we really shine we won’t fit in.
Once I learned about ULP, I could identify times in my life where I ULP’d myself into a royal screw up, an illness, or talking myself out of an opportunity. I’m a shiner and each time I get smacked down it derails my progress. But once I learned this, I now shine and hand out sunglasses to the smacker downers. And now I see this with friends, colleagues, and clients and I just want to take them into a ULP Anonymous Meeting!
So how do you identify and stop yourself from crashing into an Upper Limit Problem? It’s really a simple answer. Look out for these emotions/actions: worry, criticism, blame, deflecting compliments, arguing, getting sick/hurt, hiding your feelings, not keeping promises, not speaking your truth.
Also, be aware and objective about your beliefs, thoughts, actions and words when you are in the midst of pursuing a big goal. If you start to sniff the hint of sabotage, shine a light on it, recognize it, write down everything that you’re uniquely good at to get yourself over the hurdle, and simply use the power of decision and will to go through the fear. Because on the other side of fear is greatness.
And here’s the affirmation that Gay Hendrick’s recommends to make sure you keep ULP at bey.
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