My mission is finding a passion for life, Bill. I’m tired of this self-sabotage nightmare of an existence. Okay, I have an Upper Limit problem! So how do I fix it?
We began this series a few days ago when I posted No Passion for Life? Self-Sabotage? Could Be an Upper Limit Problem. In his book The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level, psychologist Gay Hendricks, PhD details what he calls the Upper Limit Problem (ULP).
In this second and final installment of the series we’re going to discuss ULP resolution. In the interest of space I’m not going to provide a ULP summary. So if you haven’t already, you really need to read Part 1.
No Passion for Life? Find Your Zone of Genius
Dr. Hendricks submits that liberating and expressing our natural genius is the ultimate path to enhanced life enjoyment and fulfillment. He believes we’ll find this genius in the set of activities we’re uniquely suited to do – which are drawn from our special gifts and strengths.
Hendricks calls this our “Zone of Genius,” and we can find it by paying focused, yet relaxed, attention to what we’re doing in every moment. And that especially applies to when we’re experiencing ULP symptoms.
Self-Sabotage? ULP Symptoms
According to Dr. Hendricks the most common way in which we “Upper Limit” ourselves is through worry. And that worry is typically focused upon something we can’t do anything about in the immediate. When such worry hits we need to ask ourselves if the worry-outcome is a real possibility – or if there’s action we can take in the immediate to make a positive difference. If the answer’s “no,” it’s time to consider what I’ll detail in the next paragraph.
Catch this hopeful spin on worry. Hendricks believes when we find ourselves engaging in worry – particularly if we’re recycling the same junk over and over again – it’s a sign there’s something positive trying to break through from our Zone of Genius. And if we can look beyond our worry-thoughts we’ll often find a new and exciting direction being laid out for us.
Another way we Upper Limit ourselves is through blame and criticism – including that directed at self. When either occur it’s often because we’ve hit our Upper Limit and we’re self-sabotaging by doing all we can to inhinbit the flow of positive energy.
Deflection is another symptom of a ULP. What better way to cut the flow of positive energy than to avoid it altogether? Someone pays us a compliment? Ah, it’s best to somehow turn it away.
Arguments are another symptom of a ULP. According to Hendricks, they’re often caused by two people racing to occupy the victim position in their relationship. Once the race for the victim position is under way, each person must find some way to out-victim the other. That, opposed to finding room for compromise.
Finally, when things are going well some of us present with the most natural ULP symptom of all. We get sick. Wonder if some of your illnesses were due to a ULP? Reflect upon times when you’ve fallen ill. Did any of them occur during, or just after, a significant business, academic, or personal victory?
No Passion for Life? Self-Sabotage? ULP Resolution
Dr. Hendricks maintains that the most important personal goal is to find and fully use our special gifts. And the key to implementation is making the decision to allow it to be a possibility. That means being willing to explore and celebrate our truest of selves.
Really ready to work on ULP resolution? Hendricks offers these valuable tips…
- Make a commitment to keeping an attitude of wonder and play while learning about our Upper Limit symptoms. To that end, mentally express – and live – this statement: “I commit to discovering my Upper Limit behaviors, and to having a good time while I’m learning about them.”
- Make a list of our Upper Limit symptoms. The most common? Worry, blame and criticism, getting sick, squabbling, hiding significant feelings, not keeping agreements, not speaking significant truths to those who need to hear them, and deflecting (e.g.: turning away compliments).
- When we find ourselves in the midst of Upper Limit thinking shift our attention to the real issue – expanding our capacity for enjoyment, abundance, and fulfillment.
- Develop an ability and willingness to feel and appreciate natural good feelings. By expanding our ability to feel positive feelings, we expand our tolerance for things going well in our lives.
If your mission is, indeed, finding a passion for life and changing your self-sabotage nightmare of an existence, understanding the Upper Limit problem is a great place to start.
How sad it would be to never have visited that Zone of Genius. Sadder still that others couldn’t reap the benefits.
As I mentioned in Part 1, be sure to take a look at these Chipur articles…
Self-Sabotage: 12 “Are You the Perps?”
Great article, Bill — really enjoyed reading this, and it is uplifting. Hmmm. Something for me to reflect on this weekend! Thanks.
Well, this is the story of my life. A little intelligent woman who tries to make herself smaller, small enough to disappear. One of my ULP’s is obsessing and terrorizing myself when I am trying to go to sleep. And I always deflect compliments….didn’t get many of those as a child and do not trust them as an adult. Wonder why that is??? Looks like a good book but I have been trying to change my negativity for a long time. I am not very hopeful of this. (See there I am hitting a ULP!)
Never give-up, Nancy. You work so hard and I know you’re frustrated – but don’t disappear, okay? I always appreciate your visits and comments…