5 Tips For Dealing With Your Upper Limit Problem

For the last couple of weeks things have been REALLY GOOD in my life and business. Like, REALLLLLLYYYYYY. 

I’ve been feeling SO good every day. New opportunities and clients have been showing up in my inbox almost daily. And money has been so easy. 

So, of course, I expected that at some point, I would trigger my Upper Limit Problem (ULP). 

And I did. On Friday and Sunday of last week, I hit my feel-good limit. 

Things were just going too well: too many new clients; too much money coming in; too many days where I felt freaking amazing. 

I began to sabotage it. 

But before I get into this, let’s back-track for a second and talk about what an Upper Limit Problem even is.

An Upper Limit Problem is a term coined by Gay Hendricks, author of the book, The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level (read it here: https://amzn.to/2JqcflC). And the short version is all of us have a “thermostat” inside us that’s been programmed since childhood to tell us how much good we can accept in our lives–how good we can feel, how successful we can be, how much love we can handle, how much money we can receive, etc. 

And when that thermostat gets tripped–when something happens to push you past that feeling-good comfort zone–you will (often subconsciously) do something to sabotage it, so that it goes back down to your “comfortable” range.

This is why people who win the lottery end up broke again not long after. The amount of money they won was too much for their Upper Limit Problem, so they sabotaged themselves by spending it all or making it disappear in some other way.

And the problem with the Upper Limit Problem, is that if you never deal with it and consciously raise your thermostat setting, you will spend your whole life triggering it over and over again and going back down to where you were before. 

The ULP will keep you stuck forever if you do nothing about it. 

I’ve increased my thermostat A LOT this year, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still trigger it. I trigger it all the time. 

And Friday and Sunday of last week was a perfect example of this.

After two weeks in a row where I got new clients, received several thousand dollars in cash, had opportunities fall in my lap, and just felt so-freaking-good every day, I began subtly sabotaging myself. 

First I just “didn’t feel like doing anything” (on Friday or on Sunday). Then I started feeling angry and tired for no reason. Then I started having money leaks (out-of-the-blue stuff that required me to spend money). Then I started to argue with my mom and hubs over stupid stuff.

ALL signs that point to me having hit my ULP. (The good news about the ULP is the more you hit yours, the more you’ll recognize your sabotage patterns, and that makes it easier to do something about it.)

When this happens–when you hit your ULP–there are five things you can do to handle it and keep going. The more you do this (especially as the ULP rears its ugly head), the easier it will be to keep going in the face of it. 

And by pushing through, you will automatically begin to raise your thermostat.

Here are the five ways I’ve found to deal with the Upper Limit Problem:

1. Have Some Compassion for Yourself

I used to make myself wrong for hitting my ULP. I’d get angry at myself and give myself a hard time for it. “Good job, Jen. You did it AGAIN. You hit the ULP again and sabotaged all the good you’ve been feeling and experiencing and brought a bunch of crap into your life. Nice. Bravo. Way to go… idiot.” 

But the truth is, it’s not like I’m doing this stuff to myself on purpose. I’m not intentionally creating the bad feelings or bad stuff that shows up. It’s happening subconsciously. 

And neither are you.

So rather than giving yourself a hard time about it, be compassionate. Realize you’re doing the best you can and that pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is always going to trigger your ULP. 

What I try to do now is have the same level of compassion for myself that I’d have for someone else going through the same thing. I would never call my friend an idiot or tell her that she’s wrong for triggering her ULP. And so I need to treat and talk to myself as I would a friend of mine. 

Compassion is key to not letting the ULP destroy all the good you’ve created.

2. Massive Self-Care

When dealing with the fall-out from hitting your ULP–or when you’re attempting to raise your thermostat setting–it helps so much to take really, really good care of yourself. 

For me this weekend, that massive self-care looked like: taking a full day off from doing anything work-related; taking my dog on more walks in the sunshine; getting a 60-minute massage; and taking a long-ass nap (3+ hours).

Self-care is necessary when you’re pushing out of your comfort zone and want to keep it up.

3. Get Back Into Alignment

Alignment simply means you’re approaching things from love and not fear. The ULP gets triggered by fear: fear that you can’t handle that much love, success, money, good feelings, etc. 

But the truth is, you can handle it, because at your core, you are love. It’s when you get caught up in the fear-based thinking and action-taking where you get off track.  

Bringing yourself back to love is the easiest and fastest way to get into alignment again.

And when you’re in alignment–with your dreams, with your desires, with who you now choose to be–you will continue to raise your thermostat and be able to handle more of the good stuff.

4. Feel As Good As You Can

When you’re going through an ULP trigger, it’s easy to give into the bad feelings, thoughts or stuff that’s coming up. But don’t do it.

Continue to focus on feeling good, in whatever ways you can.

For example, while it totally sucked to feel angry and tired all weekend, I did take more naps and spent more time relaxing, which definitely felt good.

Focus on the good–even when dealing with the bad–and the good will grow. And self-care also helps with creating the good feelings (see point #2). 

5. Do Your Soulwork

One of the biggest ways the ULP throws you off track is when you allow triggering it to become an excuse for not doing your soulwork (your writing, creating and anything else you consider to be your soulwork). And that’s what it wants.

The ULP wants you to stop doing your soulwork. It wants you to stop taking action. It wants you to fall back into fear-based thinking. Because that will keep you “safe.” 

But no one ever lived an extraordinary life by staying in their comfort zone, and neither will you. 

So you must continue to do the things that fuel your soul, even while dealing with the ULP madness. 

It was very tough, but over the weekend I worked on my new screenplay and I re-built the Dream Life Or Bust Collection shop (that I had to shut down a couple months ago thanks to the shitty company I was working with). This made me feel so good and like I was still on track and making progress, even with all the ULP BS going on. 

The Upper Limit Problem won’t ever go away completely. Triggering it, dealing with it and continuing to raise your thermostat is the only way to stop it from holding you back.

Next time you trigger yours, use these five tips to help you get back to focusing on the good stuff, and watch how fast you expand the amount of good that you can handle.

Dream life or bust,


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