Am I Sabotaging Myself?
Why can't I stay motivated? Why do I experience a lot of progress and success in my life one day and find myself completely off track and feeling defeated the next? Why do I start the day very happy and peaceful only to find myself in a funk or frustrated later in the day? Could I be experiencing an "Upper Limit Problem"?
Recently I stumbled on a book called "The Big Leap". (I don't believe this was an accident by the way. I think this book was put it in my life exactly when I needed it). After reading this book (twice) I realized some of the things that "happened" to me or my lack of motivation were very likely a result of my own unconscious actions and thoughts. It's a concept called an "Upper Limit Problem" and we all do it to ourselves.
According to the author Gay Hendricks, an upper limit problem happens when we are experiencing our highest levels of success and deep down we feel uncomfortable with it. We have lived so long in a state of state of struggle, wanting, trying and reaching that it has become our comfort zone. As a result, when we find ourselves experiencing success and happiness for too long, we unconsciously do something to knock ourself back down into our old comfort zone. We sabotage ourselves.
What an amazing concept!
As I reflected on my past and the biggest problems in my life I wondered if I had actually created them. In a lot of cases I had to admit I might have. I might have slacked off unintentionally because I wasn't used to the levels of success I was experiencing. I might have picked fights or started to turn to worrying because things were going to good and this much happiness couldn't last very long. Maybe I unconsciously felt I didn't deserve the success. This concept put a whole new light on things.
With this new way of seeing things I am now armed with a tool that can potentially allow me to experience more happiness and success without unconsciously sabotaging things.
I can practice being comfortable with my successes. When I start to experience high levels of success, happiness or peace and I notice I am starting slide into negative thoughts or behaviors I can stop them in their tracks. I don't have to feed the discomfort and anxiousness with negative self talk, worry or comfort activities like eating, shopping, fighting or criticizing others. I can start new conversations and behaviors that encourage me to stay on course.
Understanding the upper limit problem is only one part of making a Big Leap in life. Gay Hendricks discusses much more on how to recognize where you want to go and what stands in the way. It is now one of my favorite books so go check it out!