Everybody Has An Upper Limit Problem
This week I have made some serious breakthroughs in my upper limits. As I was looking for simplicity in the steps to really embrace the expansion that is blooming in my life, I ran across this wonderful article written by Marie Forleo over at KrisCarr.com Home of the Crazy Sexy Wellness Revolution. Marie is so wise and this is yet another piece of her journey which adds to the world. I just had to share it. May you be as blessed and opened to peaceful expansion as I was by it.
Do You Have An Upper Limit problem?
By Marie Forleo
It was the first time I’ve ever walked out of a yoga workshop in my life. Let’s be clear — the teachers were fantastic.
But after my fourth downward dog, I started breaking into a cold sweat, got nauseated and my head began throbbing so hard it felt like it was about to explode. “Oh great,” I thought.
What I originally thought was a 24-hour stomach bug turned into an entire week of being completely out of commission. And I do mean completely. For seven straight days, I was a hot, sick mess.
After the first three days with no signs of improvement, I started to get concerned.
“Is it salmonella? Hmmm … There was a big egg-recall recently. Some kind of nasty-ass 10-foot-long parasite or tapeworm? Maybe, but highly unlikely. A life-threatening stomach disease? Boy, would that would seriously suck.”
“You’re pregnant!” was the first thought my girlfriends all had. Nope. No shot in hell.
Then my friend Kate made a very astute observation: “I think you’re having an upper-limit problem, Marie.”
Cut to day four. I was deathly pale and emaciated. My boyfriend was back from L.A., and it was clear to him that whatever I had was not going away on its own.
We went to the doctor to run tests. Later that same evening, I wanted to get out of the house, so we stopped by my girlfriend’s house for tea. One by one, everyone took bets on what was causing my mystery illness.
Then Rachel, Kate’s uber intuitive cousin, said: “Marie, I really think those test results will come back negative. It’s definitely an upper-limit problem. You’re going through some major growth right now, and I’ll bet this is just part of you busting through your upper limits and increasing your capacity for success.”
In case you’ve never heard of an “upper limit problem,” what Kate and Rachel are referring to comes from Gay Hendrick’s incredible book, “The Big Leap.”
Here’s the basic idea: Each of has an internal thermometer for how much success, wealth, happiness, love and intimacy we’ll let ourselves experience. That’s our upper limit setting. Kind of like our success comfort zone.
When we exceed our internal thermostat setting, and life gets super duper OMG good (we have an influx of money, get healthy, find a great relationship) — we unconsciously do things to sabotage ourselves, so we can drop back to the old, familiar place where we feel in control.
Upper limit problems can manifest like this: You’ve just had a huge win, and then you get in an accident, break a limb, fry your computer, over-drink, over-eat, over-spend, start a fight with your significant other, get really sick, etc. You know, fun self-sabotaging stuff like that.
The truth is, I was so ridonkulously excited about the success of Rich Happy & Hot B-School and the miracles aligning for my annual Rich Happy & Hot Live event (partnering with Donna Karan’s Urban Zen; securing all of my dream speakers, etc.) that I didn’t just bump into my upper limit, I demolished that sucker with a sledge hammer.
So, yeah. I guess I was bound to have a little readjustment time.
Cut to Sunday morning. I’m reading “Breaking Dawn” in bed when the phone rings. Test results time.
“Hi, Marie. It’s Dr. Mott. Really good news here. There’s nothing wrong with you. No bacteria, no parasites or anything we need to worry about. You got a regular old stomach virus. Keep doing what you’re doing, and you’ll be just fine.”
So here’s what I did: I gave myself total permission to chillax. Zero computer time. I told everyone in my world not to expect anything work-related from me for a few days. Released myself from guilt and totally indulged in healing, coziness and every guilty pleasure I could think of.
Funny enough, the moment I stopped beating myself up for being sick, my body kicked into speed-recovery mode.
How to dismantle your upper limit problem
Unless you understand this whole upper limit thing, you may mistakenly believe that you’re flawed or simply not “good enough” to handle a big jump in your success or happiness.
It may feel like you’re always on the verge of a life-altering breakthrough, but you either can’t seem to ever get there or maintain it.
I can tell you firsthand that everyone on the planet has varying degrees of “upper limit problems.” Thankfully, they’re a snap to overcome if you’ve got the right tools and an open, willing heart.
Step 1. Get that dealing with “upper limit problems” is a necessary part of the journey.
Look. No one escapes this shit. So don’t feel weak, bad or alone if any of this sounds familiar. Thankfully, upper limit problems can be super-easy to dissolve when you bring compassion and self-awareness to the table.
Which, of course, means checking both your ego, and your victim-y “Why does this always happen to me?” B.S. at the door.
Important note: Moving through upper limit problems is not a one-time event. If you’re committed to continually expanding your levels of wealth, love and happiness, strap in for the ride, baby.
Step 2. Increase your tolerance for how good you’re willing to have your life be, starting right now.
What’s this mean? For starters, it means treating exactly where you are and what you have with all the love, honor and respect you can muster. And this isn’t just a mental exercise, you need to act on it.
Tell your family that you love and appreciate them; be truly grateful for whatever money you have in your bank account; take care of your physical environment and the roof over your head; thank your clients for their business, and nourish your body and soul in every way you can possibly imagine.
Step 3. Go on high ULP (upper limit problem) alert when loads of good stuff starts to come your way.
Pay special attention to your thoughts, behaviors and actions when things in your business and life start getting OMG good. Here’s a question to regularly ask yourself: “How much wealth, love and happiness am I r-e-a-l-l-y willing to have?”
If “a shit bunch!” is close to your answer, then make sure your behaviors and words line up with that answer.
Then, keep a watchful, observant eye and open heart. If you catch yourself about to start an argument, go into some manufactured mental drama or make a royally stupid and rash business decision, stop. Take a few deep breaths. Call your most grounded friend, and have a chat.
Remember, any time you’re in the midst of busting through your own upper limits, it’s bound to be a little scary and uncomfortable. You may want to pull back and contract.
Don’t. Hang with the discomfort. It’s a good sign.
It means you’ve just increased your capacity to experience wealth, happiness and love — both for yourself and for us all.
For more on how to shatter your upper limit problems, visit MarieForleo.com.