How the concept of the ‘Upper Limit’ can be dangerous to entrepreneurs’ mindsets

Have you read this book? Oh, you must read it! It is awesome,” one of my entrepreneur friends said to me.

I glanced at the image of the book she sent me over Facebook messenger. It was ‘The Big Leap’ by Gay Hendricks.

Now, I have a love-hate-kinda relationship with this book.

When I first read this book, I truly liked it. I thought it was full of ground-breaking ideas and concepts. I heard about it while listening to one of Marie Forleo’s Youtube videos. I’m a fan of Marie Forleo and so, I trusted her and read the book.

In the video, she talked about the Upper-Limit concept. I was curious to find out what it was all about because at the time, it resonated with me and the consistent bumps I was experiencing in my business development cycle.

In case you haven’t read the book or, you need a reminder regarding the main message of the book, this is it:

According to Gay Hendricks, we each have a set point for happiness, he says, like the setting on a thermostat.

Whenever we reach beyond it, we unconsciously drag ourselves back down to the level we’ve gotten used to. We do this by making a mistake, getting sick, ruining a relationship, or finding another way to sabotage ourselves so we don’t exceed our set point for happiness.

According to Hendricks, we develop this set point based on old scripts from childhood and he refers to it as the “upper limit problem.”

Pretty interesting concept, right?

I am not denying that we are not unconsciously programmed in certain ways that goes back to childhood and adolescent experiences. I am also not denying that we carry a lot of these ‘programs’ with us and they influence the way we react to the world we’ve created around us.

Though, over the past four years of full-time entrepreneurship, I’ve found this book to be dangerous in many ways.

Yep. Pretty strong statement right there and I even feel a bit uncomfortable writing this because I am no Gay Hendricks *yet* but I want to explain to you why I – as an entrepreneur and business owner – think that the main message of the book is dangerous.

To explain this further, let’s dive into some truths about human psychology and our inner make up.

Our believes shape our worldview.

Yes? I think we can all agree with that statement..

Yes? I think we can all agree with that statement..

Now, if your belief shapes your worldview, then what you think not only about yourself but the world will shape your reality.

If I buy into this idea that is outlined in the book that to get to each NEXT level in my personal development, I am faced with hitting and working through some form of crushing Upper Limit – it will hold me back.

Heck, I’ve found myself simply finding excuses and explaining certain situations away by referring to them as, “Oh well, this is just my upper limit showing up so I will just have to take this slow. Etc.

What is worse is that I was even expecting to hit a block and either i.e. get physically sick or self-sabotage myself!

At every stage of my entrepreneurial journey that is.

How dangerous is that?

And not only that, I started to believe that growth has to be correlated with pain.

Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes, experiencing pain is essential to grow in specific areas. A great example for this would be going to the gym and reaching a certain body goal. That typically is connected with some form of muscle pain.

Though, if you expect that you are going to experience Upper Limits when you move through professional, business and life stages, you can also take this believe as an excuse NOT to act BECAUSE you know you will experience pain. And we humans, generally try to avoid pain.

Do you see where I am going with this?

Yes, there are many helpful passages in the book. It’s a well-written book, I am not going to negate that and you can certainly take some insightful concepts away from it.

But it is equally important to stress that how you are digesting the context of the book could be potentially dangerous to your self-development.

It can have a negative affect on your mindset based on how you choose to view and integrate the knowledge shared in the book into your overall believe system (as was the case for me).

Personally, I choose to believe that growth is something beautiful and even though, it always requires effort – which can be painful at times – it is also equally connected with joy AND fun.

My intention with this article is to help you understand that you can break through the regular ‘entrepreneur development cycle’ that consists of:

Take focused action.

See yourself making some progress.

Dream bigger.

Then, have yourself freak out internally about the progress you are making.

Self-sabotage.

End up where you started (or just a tiny bit further ahead).

THIS. IS. EXHAUSTING.

Let’s change this life-cycle and stop with the self-sabotaging already!

You are what you believe.

Choose to believe something else, something that will serve you better.

Believe in perfect timing <3.

In fact, believe that YOU have perfect timing. Always. And grow at a pace that feels right for you without ever ‘hitting’ any upper limits ever again.

How so?

Because whatever progress you are experiencing right now or, will experience in the future, YOU HAVE BEEN MADE FOR THIS.

As a result, this completely deflects and negates the concept of upper limits.

What’s your take on this? Would love to know in the comments down below <3.

P.S. You might also enjoy: https://corneliapauline.com/2018/02/14/people-succeed-life-others-dont/

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