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The book The Big Leap addresses a life-changing idea: upper limiting. Have you ever been sabotaging yourself when things started to get the better? You can learn how to spot this behaviour – and even more important how to stop it!

the big leap - upper limiting

The book The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks contains several revolutionary ideas that changed my life. First, it talks about the concept of Einstein Time – a completely new way of managing time.

Second, it invites to find your ‘zone of genius’. In other words: finding a way of getting your special and unique gift out in the world. Writing this blog is one means to the end for me. On this blog, you’ll find many articles that show you this: happiness is a choice. You can quit any habit, mindset and state that is hindering you to lead the life you’re completely in love with. And you also can learn to create habits and attitudes that enhance your happiness in the present moment as well as in your private and professional life.

My perspective on what my ‘zone of genius’ looks like shifted when I learned about the concepts of Highly Sensitive Person HSP and Gifted Adults in 2015. More about this at the end of this article.

Now let me introduce a third concept that will allow you to reach new heights of everyday well-being: knowing about the ‘upper limit problem’.


Are you upper limiting?

Gay Hendricks : The Big LeapGay Hendricks explains the upper limit problem as follows: “Here’s the bottom line: We have an inner thermostat that determines the amount of love and success we allow ourselves. When we exceed our setting, we tend to sabotage ourselves so that we can return to the old, familiar zone where we feel secure. The thermostat was set before you could think for yourself, usually in early childhood.”

Gay adds: “The upper limit problem must be dis-solved not solved. You dissolve it by shining a laser-like beam of awareness of its underpinnings – the false foundations that hold the upper limit problem in place.”

This way of looking at things truly changed my life. The key is really simple: observe yourself in a gentle and curious way and you’ll be able to become aware of when and how are ‘upper limiting’.

How can you find out?


What is triggering the upper limiting problem?

There are four Hidden Barriers that are based on beliefs about yourself. These beliefs are neither true nor real. Gay Hendrick explains, “The fact that we unconsciously take them as true and real is the barrier holding us back.” The Hidden Barriers are:

  1. Feeling fundamentally flawed
  2. Disloyalty and abandonment
  3. Believing that more success  brings a bigger burden
  4. The crime of outshining


How to stop upper limiting?

The principle is easy: whenever you are doing something that sabotages your present happiness you are ‘upper limiting’. The good news is: once you are conscious of it you can stop it!

Like always the secret to success is to practice, practice and again practice. It takes courage, it requires effort, you need to be persistent. However, the rewards of learning to apply this process are enormous.

Try it out! See what effect it has on you and your states of mind and body.

I highly recommend you to read all about the concept in the fabulous book The Big Leap.


Upper limiting, HSP and Giftedness

Henry David Thoreau Quote
You may have wondered, “what has upper limiting to do with HSP or Giftedness?” Let me ask another question: what exactly changed when I ‘stumbled’ over the concepts of Highly Sensitive Person HSP and Gifted Adults? I am tempted to say ‘everything’, but it’s more complex than this. Above everything, it allowed me to see myself and my past troubles in a completely new light.

Many if not most HSP and certain Gifted Adults (even more so if you have never been detected as such) suffer from the Hidden Barrier number one: they feel fundamentally flawed. If you are ‘bright’ and ‘multitalented’ the Hidden Barrier number four – the crime of outshining – may as well play an important role for you.

Because in case you are an HSP – or maybe even an HSP plus High Sensation Seeker like me, which complicates things further – and/or ‘gifted’, it’s really important that you understand what it entails…

You are not flawed! You are just different. At least in certain ways and to some extent. In other ways, you are simply human.

If you have felt like an alien or like a chameleon in the past click on the links in this sentence to read more.

Please click on the buttons below to share this article with anyone who might greatly profit from learning about the upper limit problem and how to stop it. Thank you!


Patricia Mauerhofer
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