The Problem about The Upper Limit Problem


The Upper Limit Problem

This term was coined by Gay Hendricks, the author of The Big Leap, to describe the human tendency to put a cap on our own positive energy due to some imaginary limit we have set for ourselves.

So when we hit the upper limit, meaning when we achieve success, happiness or wealth, our ego tends to bring us back down within the lines, in other words our comfort zone, by giving us negative thoughts or behaviours that ruins what we’ve achieved – like losing all the money after winning lottery, arguing with your partner after becoming successful or thinking of negative things when you have happy thoughts. 


We all have Upper Limits. 

But not everything in your life is an Upper Limit Problem.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Gay Hendricks and all his work. His “zone of genius” concept has literally changed how I view “work”.

And yet I think our industry has abused the sh*t out of this term. 

I repeat : I agree that the Upper Limit exists. I do not agree that everything that happens in your life is an Upper Limit Problem.

Sometimes it’s Trauma.

Sometimes it’s because there are racist, misogynist people around you.

And sometimes, shit happens because it needs to.

I used to have a business mentor whose reply for everything was “Deepshikha you’re hitting your Upper Limit” or “this is your Upper Limit”.  The mentor was grossly unqualified as a coach to help me back to my wholeness.

So every time I’d hit a wall, I thought something was wrong with me and inspite of all the “mindset work” and busting my ass I was still not able to find my way out of this “upper limit”. I created more lack and separation from myself.

There is no mind-setting your way out of trauma.

There is no insight-ing your way out of your lived experience as a Black/Brown/Asian/Indigeous person.

There is no manifesting your way out of a shitty experience or in a shitty experience.

Sometimes you’ll need to fire your coach and work with a therapist or a trauma certified practitioner to safely help you back to your wholeness.

Sometimes you’ll need to go through the shitty experience just because….

A few months ago, a friend called and told me that her whole family was down with a stomach bug right before a launch. She said “it must be the upper limit, I have to push through it.”

I said to her “Actually no it’s not. You got a stomach bug because you ate out after being home for over a year. So you don’t have to push through it. If there’s anything that you should push, it is your launch. Take a week. Rest up.”

She listened and launched flawlessly after a week.

Did she still go through the fears of launching? Yes 

Did she still have doubts? Yes, I’m sure she did.

Did she brush against her Upper Limit a bit? For sure.

But she did when she was healthy, when her kids were healthy and no one had liquid coming out at the both ends. In closing, I repeat : We all have Upper Limits.  But not everything in your life is an Upper Limit Problem.

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